Ministers have doubts about Zandvoort Formula 1 racing plan

DutchNews podcast: The What Is Taking Them So Long Edition

Last week's report about the possibility of bringing Formula 1 racing back to the Zandvoort race track contains 'too many uncertainties', sports minister Bruno Bruins told parliament in a briefing on Thursday. The report, commissioned by the town council and track organisers, said there are no insurmountable organisational, technical or logistical reasons why Formula 1 racing could not return to Zandvoort. The last Grand Prix was held at the track, in the heart of the coastal dunes, in 1985 and was won by Niki Lauda. The town council voted in 2015 to try to bring the race back to the Netherlands. Bruins described the report as an 'initial exploration' of the issues and said that he would not yet ask the Dutch sports council for its advice. The town council and track owners first plan to talk to the Formula 1 organisation and the international motor sports association FIA before taking any further steps. 'I will wait for that to happen,' Bruins said.  More >



35,000 football players end up in hospital

Sport can be a dangerous thing: 121,000 people ended up in hospital last year Last year, 121,000 people ended up visiting a hospital accident and emergency department because of an injury sustained while taking part in sport. The cost of treating injured sports enthusiasts reached €150m last year, plus an additional €190m in lost working days, according to a new report by safety body VeiligheidNL. Some 35,000 were injured while playing football and 11,000 primary and secondary school pupils were taken to hospital after a gym lesson, the report shows. In fact, the under-18s account for half of all sports-related injuries, the organisation said. Falling is the most important cause of injury and accounted for 60% of all injuries involving the under-18s. Doctors Nevertheless, the overall trend is downwards, because more people are going to their family doctor rather than straight to hospital after an accident, VeiligheidNL said. There have been some increases. The number of speed cyclists breaking bones has gone up four-fold since 2000 while the number of mountain bikers, runners and fitness enthusiasts with broken bones has risen by one third. In total, 20 people, mainly swimmers and speed cyclists, died while practising their hobby in the Netherlands last year and 15 people, mostly climbers and divers, died abroad.  More >


Zandvoort F1 campaign gets a boost

No real reason why Formula One racing can’t return to Zandvoort: report There are no insurmountable organisational, technical or logistical reasons why Formula 1 racing could not return to the Zandvoort race track, according to research carried out on behalf of the town council and the track owners. The last Grand Prix was held at the track, in the heart of the coastal dunes, in 1985 and was won by Niki Lauda. The town council voted in 2015 to try to bring the race back to the Netherlands. Research bureau Decisio says in its report that work will have to be done to improve accessibility but that should not be a problem. 'You have to be able to deal with it if more than 100,000 people come, but it is doable,' spokesman Menno de Pater said. 'You get that many people on a summer's day already.' Zaandvoort council alderman Gerard Kuipers says the Formula One races can be budget neutral if properly organised. At the same time, local businesses, cafes and bars will earn millions from a weekend's racing, he said. The council and track owners now plan to form a consortium to build support and look for investors but admit it will be years before Formula One racing returns to the Netherlands. 'The adaptations and the infrastructure can be dealt with within a year, but we still have to form a consortium and get on the racing calendar,' said prince Bernhard, who is one of the owners of Circuit Zandvoort. 'So I'm not going to make any predictions.' Among the events currently staged on the circuit, which was first built after World War II, is Formula Three racing.  More >


Gullit 'will follow Advocaat if he quits'

DutchNews podcast: The What Is Taking Them So Long Edition Ruud Gullit has said he will step down as assistant coach of the Dutch national football team if Dick Advocaat decides not to carry on next year. Advocaat's contract ends after two friendly matches later this year, but the 70-year-old has not said if he plans to continue. Advocaat told reporters that he saw Gullit as an ideal successor, but the 55-year-old former national team captain said he was not interested in working under another coach such as Frank de Boer or Ronald Koeman. 'If the KNVB [Dutch football association] decide to continue with Advocaat that would be great,' he told Ziggo Sport programme Rondo. 'We were on the brink of qualifying for the World Cup, but our run of results gave us the feeling that we Oranje could win again, even if we weren't playing well. 'I've enjoyed working with Dick. He has a lot of experience and being national team manager is very different from managing a club. I admire the way Dick does his job.' Gullit was widely criticised in the wake of September's 3-1 home win over Bulgaria when he posted a video of the players in the dressing room after what he called a 'fantastic game'. Commentators called for him to resign and in a live TV interview, a bristling Advocaat described his assistant's behaviour as 'very strange'. Gullit also said the KNVB should avoid trying to fix the national team's recent woes by hiring a foreign coach. 'We know very well what needs to happen,' he said.  More >


Dutch teams struggle in Europe

DutchNews podcast: The What Is Taking Them So Long Edition This week's losses in the Champions League and Europa League by Feyenoord and Vitesse have made it more unlikely that the Dutch league winner will automatically qualify for European competition in the 2019/20 season, website Nu.nl said on Friday. The losses mean the Netherlands has fallen to 12th place in the Uefa ranking which is based on club results in Europe in the previous five seasons. That ranking determines how many clubs get a ticket to European competition and at what stage of the tournament they join in. Austria is now ahead of the Netherlands in the ranking in 11th place, which gives the national league winner automatic entry to the Champions League. This means the Dutch Eredivise winner is likely to have to play in one of more qualification rounds to reach the flagship competition in the 2019. Last year, the Netherlands ended the ranking in 13th place, which means the Dutch league winner this season will also have to play qualification rounds for next year's competition. Neither Ajax or PSV made it into Europe this year and both Vitesse (as cup winner in the Europa League) and Feyenoord as Eredivisie winner have failed to score a point in Europe.  More >