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Scandal erupts in Colombia around Dutch actress's offensive tweet on football

June 20, 2014, 9:58 UTC+3 CARACAS
The photomontage van Dam posted on her Twitter portrays Colombian football team players Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez drawing through little tubes in their noses the spray-can contents sprinkled in front of them by a referee
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Colombian football team

Colombian football team

© EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT

CARACAS, June 20. /ITAR-TASS/. A conspicuous scandal has erupted in Colombia around Dutch actress Nicolette van Dam, who published a questionable photomontage on her Twitter microblog about Colombian footballl players. The post sparked an outburst of indignation in social networks, followed by the Colombian authorities' official reaction.

The photomontage, captioned "Colombian wall", portrays national football team players Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez drawing through little tubes in their noses the spray-can contents sprinkled in front of them by a referee prior to a penalty kick.

The questionable joke to the effect that the football players react to the white powder sprayed on the grass as if it was cocaine, ired the Colombians who are very sensitive about their native land's international image associated with cocaine production and smuggling.

In response to a spate of indignant tweets following the publication of the photomontage, Nicolette van Dam removed it and apologized. "Dear Colombians, I had no desire to offend you. Please, accept my heart-felt apology," she wrote in on her Twitter.

However, it was too late. Roberto de Bernardi, UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Colombia, stated that he would demand that his superiors deprive Nicolette van Dam of the status of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, which she had been granted for her charity activity. Bernardi was supported by Maria Emma Mejia, Colombia's Ambassador at the UN, who stated that she would refer a similar request to UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "This madame crossed the line," Mejia said, involuntarily playing up the contents of the scandalous photomontage.

In response to a wave of indignation that swept social networks, Colombia's Foreign Ministry lodged a resolute protest with UNICEF on Thursday, expressing indignation over the Dutch actress's tweet. The Foreign Ministry announcement said that Eduardo Pizarro, the Ambassador of Colombia to the Netherlands, was taking steps towards depriving Nicolette van Dam of the status of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The diplomatic note reads, "The Government of Colombia will not allow the madame to question the names of outstanding players who proved their selfless passion for sports and who demonstrated the highest discipline".

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