Moving the border posts: Dutch pub is now in Belgium for the football championships


The Netherlands’ failure to qualify for football’s European championships, which start in France on Friday, has led to some Oranje fan soul-searching about which team to support.

One pub owner in Maastricht has taken matters into his own hands and temporarily moved the Dutch border 200 metres, so that Café de Pepel is technically in Belgium – and he now plans to go flat out supporting the Red Devils.

‘By moving the border we’ve become Belgian so we are at the championships,’ Smits told the Telegraaf. The placing of the two symbolic border posts was even supervised by the mayor of Riemst in Belgium, the town which the pub is now temporarily part of, the Telegraaf says.

Smits came up with the idea after reminiscing with customers about earlier tournaments when the whole bar turned orange. The café will now be decorated in Belgium’s black, yellow and red flags, the beer is Belgian and so are the pub snacks.

Relations with Belgium have always been good in the area, Smits said. ‘My neighbour even asked if we could move the post a little further, so that he is in Belgium too,’ broadcaster NOS quotes him as saying.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation