As the Netherlands gears up for Sunday’s World Cup final between Oranje and Spain, plans are already under way to welcome back the Dutch team – with or without the cup.
According to the Telegraaf, some 15 private jets are heading from the Netherlands to South Africa carrying millionaires who have paid up to €20,000 each to attend the final.
Two Pathé cinemas in Rotterdam and Amsterdam are to show the match in 3D – with an English-language commentary.
And at the monkey refuge AAP in Almere, eleven newly arrived white-eared marmosets are to be named after the eleven players of the winning team, Nos tv reports.
Sunday’s match will also be a battle of the sponsors, the Volkskrant points out. The Dutch football shirts are sponsored by Nike, the Spanish by Adidas. Players are free to pick their own boot sponsor.
And, the Telegraaf says, the skimpy orange dresses produced as a marketing stunt for beer brand Bavaria, are now changing hands for up to €60 each. The dresses were given away free with cans of beer.
Up to 80,000 people are expected to follow the game on big screens on Amsterdam’s Museumplein and at least 70 foreign camera crews will be in town to follow the crowds.
If the Netherlands wins, on Tuesday the players will be given a triumphant return with a boat trip through the Amsterdam canals where up to one million people are expected to turn out to welcome them home.
‘The phones have not stopped ringing with people trying to book a boat to follow the procession,’ said Alec Behrens of rental agency Amsterdam Boats.
The capital has already announced public transport will be free that day, to cope with the flood of visitors. But trams and buses will not run in the city centre because of the forecast crowds.
And Dutch Rail (NS) has banned drinking on all trains and stations to reduce the risk of alcohol-related violence.
If Oranje does not win, the boat trip will not go ahead but the team will still be welcomed back by a rally on Museumplein.
Meanwhile, commercial tv station SBS6 has snapped up the exclusive rights to follow the Dutch team during the celebrations, much to the fury of public broadcaster Nos. SBS is the only broadcaster to be allowed backstage and on board the boat to interview players.
‘The celebrations are of national importance, not an event which can be given away as an exclusive,’ said Nos director Jan de Jong.
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