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Utrecht council questions 'discriminatory' marathon prizes

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Utrecht council is to ask the equal opportunities commission for its view on the city's marathon organisation, which has introduced different prizes for Dutch nationals and foreign runners.

'This does not make the city look great,' Rinda den Besten, city council executive in charge of sport, told news agency ANP.

The race organisers are trying to discourage Kenyans in particular from taking part, saying only invited runners can win 'big money' prizes. Only Dutch nationals have been invited to take part.


This means if the 42 km race is won by a foreigner, he or she will win €100. But the best Dutch runners will win €10,000. The organisation says the Kenyan dominance of marathon racing is bad for Dutch road racing and does not believe the measure is discriminatory.

Van Besten told ANP she wanted to make sure that discrimination is not involved, which is why she is asking the equal opportunities commission for its opinion.

The situation is 'unfortunate', Van Besten said. However, the city council will continue supporting the event to the tune of €150,000, ANP reported.

More on this
Utrecht uses €100 trick to discourage Kenyan marathon runners

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

That's getting ridiculous. I can understand wanting to reward Dutch national runners, but the difference in top prizes is absurd. So perhaps the Amstel Gold Race should have a differential payout for Dutch winners vs. foreign pros too? Why not have a 5K euro prize for the top Dutch runner and 5K euro prize for top overall. That way it is not only more equitable to all participants, but extra motivation for Dutch runners to be good enough to double their prize.

By Petr | 12 April 2011 3:43 PM

'This does not make the city look great...It doesn't make Holland look great either.Unfortunately there seems to be a rise on blatant racism in Holland while at the same time its so normal they have to go and ask advice about it.Any one can see this is discriminatory.If its not then what is?This would be fine if the race was a Dutch only event but it's not it is on the international calender and so all competitors must be treated equal or it's just not fair.

By Jason Buttle | 12 April 2011 3:47 PM

As a Utrecht resident, I don't want one cent of my tax money (or my travel around the city impeded) for this racist marathon.

By Prince Burnhard | 12 April 2011 3:54 PM

Are the marathon organisers reliving the pre-independence apartheid policies of the Dutch in South Africa, this time applying them on Kenya?

By Mahebub | 12 April 2011 3:54 PM

Please don't do this. All people deserve equal treatment, not treatment based on skin color, religion, or artificial boundries called nations. The xenophobia shown here is in stark contrast to the Dutch example of tolerance.

By john | 12 April 2011 5:50 PM

It either racism or just being cheap.
They know turtle will never win to race against the rabbit, so they can keep 10k for them self.

By No one | 13 April 2011 7:15 AM

It is so absurd that the once favorite country is now turning into a disappointment, this is total racism. If the dutch are not sure of their athletees, take them out or say Kenya don't participate.~We need equal opportunity for all.

Now if a kenyan wins, where shall the rest of the money spulated for the offer go?

Unfortunately, i live here and i have seen this happening to me too. So, i am not suprised. Shame!

By Johnson | 13 April 2011 9:32 AM

If they want a Dutch person to win, they should not organize an 'open' marathon. They should organize an all Dutch marathon and they can all have the prize for themselves.
This unequal prize opportunity scheme not only makes Utrecht look racist but also unwise in its approach to encouraging Dutch marathon runners to excel.

By Jakc | 13 April 2011 9:52 AM

My opinion: this is NOT about racism.

The organisers just behaved in a stupid way thinking that they are smarter than everybody and using these tricks: paradoxically they recognise the absolute superiority of the Kenyan racers, so, since they wanted to keep the interest for this marathon alive and always have sponsors available to pass them funds every year, they were afraid that people might loose interest into this competition if the result of the race is very well known even before the beginning!

But now their "smartness" turned against them and they will have to find a way not to pass for racists! And yes, now this is a difficult task!

By Massimo | 13 April 2011 10:35 AM

Why am I not surprised, the way this country is lurching to to the right... But as someone else pointed out they know a Dutch runner has little chance of winning, so their money is safe. So how how about donating the difference to a sports charity assuming a foriegner wins.

By @CluthaDubh | 13 April 2011 11:14 AM

well at least now this type of news is being translated directly into English - so the rest of the world can know what the Netherlands are really like. the old fantasy of a tolerant progressive place is no longer really applicable.

By Bill | 13 April 2011 1:05 PM

...this is an insult to this beautiful game.Dutch should encourage their indoor competitiveness by encouraging national championship,not by sidestepping the best in hope of crowning themselves champions...this is the weird case of owner of a yam and a knife asking a stranger if he(himself) was entitle to eat it...a real slap on the face!

By ekeno | 13 April 2011 10:40 PM

Am really disappointed with organizers of the marathon. This is an international event which of course attracts international athletes. It therefore goes without saying that all should be treated as equals. You cannot be the best if you cannot beat the best.

By Disappointed Kenyan | 14 April 2011 7:53 AM

As a Kenyan, this is absurdity of the highest order! What if UEFA applied the same rules to the massively talented Dutch footballers who marvel the world with their talent in other European leagues??
I wonder who would shout the loudest..
well goes to show people hate what they cant conquer....

By john | 14 April 2011 12:40 PM

Ooopsy...and here I am I thought the Netherlands (now Neverlands)was one of the 'leading' countries promoting equal rights issues...man was I wrong..am in Australia..at least they try to hide racism..SHAME.

By kenyanlove | 18 April 2011 7:24 AM

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