OK, OK….I’m interrupting my own Singapore travel-log again… this really IS my last World Cup post ( …well for the next 4 years at least LOL).
Spain might have taken the trophy home, but the Dutch are famous for cheering on their team, for being the “Orange Army” and following the team at all National matches, at home or abroad.
Many people travel to support the team during away matches… but the show of support is also massive with those who have commitments at home.
In recent weeks as the Dutch team have progressed upwards thorough the levels of the tournament, more and more people have crowded around televisions to watch… even people who didn’t usually care for football wanted to watch the Sunday Final, even if to just “catch a bit of history”.
An estimated 11 million out of 16 million people watched the Final here in the Netherlands.
Usually the winners of Silver medals are not celebrated the same as the ones who win Gold…
In this case it was decided that many many people wanted to show their team that they were proud of them getting as far as the Final, so the canal boat parade went ahead today (Tuesday 13th) even though they didn’t win.
For me work commitments called so I didn’t make it to Amsterdam, so you will have to make do with rather less than prefect photos of my ancient and tiny TV… still hopefully it conveys that are are not sore losers and that the Dutch enjoy their football in spite of not winning.
Note: if this is the welcome home that they get as runners-up, just imagine what reception they would have gotten had they won!
It was also a moment for football fans to let out the emotions of the last weeks as they willed the team on but then had everything fall apart at the final hurdle.
The general consensus is that on the Day, the best team won… no-one is saying “we was robbed” … but rather “fair’s fair, we were out footballed… and we are at least happy that the team made it to the Final”
Most people here also readily admit that it wasn’t a particularly pleasant game to watch, that the fouls and heavy tackles on the pitch were far from brilliant example of a match at the highest level of a sport who’s nickname is “the Beautiful Game”.
Sigh, Sunday’s World Cup Final was many things but “Beautiful” sadly, wasn’t one of them… Still, that too was a two-way street and I can only hope that FIFA are not as slow to tackle the problem of lack of sportsmanship of players on the pitch as they are to introduce technology that would greatly limit some of the biggest refereeing blunders seen to date.
It’s not just the rough tackles that need addressing, in my opinion it’s also the theatrics of players who with the slightest of touches (and in some cases, no touch at all) are apt to fall down in with great drama particularly in the Penalty area, so that fairly or not, their team might gain a highly unfair penalty kick. (Certain Nationalities have a long history of this, you know who you are and you should hang your heads in shame!!!). I don’t call that Football, I call it cheating.
If I was a top brass in FIFA, then not only would technology be introduced that would track the ball (via GPS with the alarm that goes off in the Ref’s ear-piece if the ball crosses the goal line) and also the allowances of video replays…
…and I would even go a step further: if i were in charge at FIFA, I’d have ALL matches watched a FIFA committee Live as it happened, and any player deemed by that committee to be faking falls, making tackles at are clearly illegal or any other show of blatantly bad sportsmanship, would get:
a) A post-match Fine, consistent with the offense.
b) A Yellow or Red card, so that this player was banned from taking part in the next matches. (if they already had a Red Card, then they could miss more than one match)
c) Goals could be awarded to the opposing team and even Trophies would be handed back if player indiscretions lead to an unfair win.
they would have the video evidence after all.
After all, if you win by cheating or by creating or by gaining any unfair advantage in other sports, you get disqualified… so why not in Football?
It’s called “misappropriation” or “fraud” in other jobs, and is a criminal offense… so why can’t FIFA have the guts to call it as it is and deal with it accordingly?
Yeah, yeah, I know … wishing is free.
Of course it’s clear that I’ve been following the World Cup with great pleasure…
I can but hope that some disciplinary action takes place so that ordinary fans who work hard, save hard, use their holidays and hard earned cash to travel to support teams, as well as the millions around the world who love the game actually get to see a Beautiful Game and not one where the ones with the sneakiest tactics win.
But I digress.. we have a party here that you need to join…
The sign says “2nd Place with a golden edge Thanks Hero’s“
This one says ” Welcome Home Hero’s”
Helicopter shot of the boats on the canal and the people watching…
I have a little collection of quotes that people have made in forums, in response to news articles etc… some of them I thought were wonderful gems;
World Cup football match on the opening Day June 11th in South Africa …
France are playing Uruguay… we happen to watching this game on the BBC so have the English commentary on…
A French player comes off the pitch and another comes on in a substitution and the commentator says “ youth replaced by experience”
( err….now..was that an insult or not?)
Commentator, same game, a little later:
“both sides are trying to win the game .. it just took the French and awful long time to realise it…”
Friday 18th June World Cup Football match between Germany and Serbia (Germany eventually lost 0-1, the first time they have ever lost a match in a world cup group round since 1960′s)
The Dutch commentary (translated)…
Oh ya, the Germans are now looking like the Dutch… (other commentators gives him an puzzled look…) Howso?
“well, they are starting to play in the style of the Dutch… they missed a penalty, .. that’s VERY Dutch…”
( he’s serious and it’s true, the Dutch ARE famous for missing penalty shots on goal, but the other commentators are now laughing at this so much it becomes hard to focus on commenting on the match)
(on the England v Slovenia (lackluster) match were the winner would go though to meet Germany…) Turned out to be more than a little prophetic…
Dev, Delhi: “With this level of play it doesn’t matter which team wins, they would be put
to the sword by Germans. Another 4-0 for them I reckon.”
Owain from Birmingham: “I feel a bit embarrassed that teams like South Africa, New Zealand and Japan – hardly footballing powerhouses – can put in 100% effort and give an inspired performance, even if they don’t win. England, France and Italy were boring to watch, gave zero effort and don’t deserve to be at a World Cup on this showing. Country before club, always.“
Rob: “If ENGLAND had an ENGLISH manager we could have avoided this humiliation by not qualifying in the first place.”
and the one that gave me the biggest giggle comes from a BBC website:
‘Next time round ? Just put all the qualifiers in a hat and get an octopus to work it all out‘