Unicef ambassador Van Dam resigns

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iol pic wld van dam inicef goodwill embassador AFP Dutch Prince Willem-Alexander (left) and Dutch actress Nicolette van Dam take part in the opening of the National Career Fair in Amsterdam in 2012. File picture: Evert Elzinga, ANP

Bogota -

Dutch actress Nicolette Van Dam resigned as a Unicef goodwill ambassador on Thursday, after a scandal erupted over her tweet of a doctored photograph appearing to depict two Colombian football players snorting cocaine.

“Ms Van Dam resigned as goodwill ambassador for Unicef and regrets the message forwarded yesterday,” Unicef’s Colombia office posted on its own Twitter page.

In a statement, the organisation also offered its “most sincere apologies” to Colombian footballers Radamel Falcao Garcia and James Rodriguez, who were in the photograph, for “the shameful and offensive post” from Van Dam.

Colombia had earlier demanded Unicef sack the actress and model over the tweeted photo, in which the two players are prostrate on the football pitch and appear to snort the spray that World Cup referees are using to draw lines at free kicks, as if it were a line of cocaine.

Under the photo, in Dutch, were the words “Colombiaans Muurtje” - Colombian Wall.

“The lady has crossed the line,” Bogota's UN ambassador Maria Emma Mejia told Colombian radio.

The tweet, posted on Wednesday, has been deleted. It sparked outrage from Bogota and a torrent of indignation despite a new tweet in which Van Dam asked Colombians to accept her “sincere apologies”.

Colombia is one of the world's top producers of cocaine and coca, the leaf from which the narcotic is made. - Sapa-AFP

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