Thursday 09 December 2021

Van Gaal to watch World Cup qualifier from director’s box after breaking hip

Van Gaal is conducting training sessions from an electric cart. Photo: ANP/Koen van Weel

Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal will lead the team during Tuesday night’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Norway from a director’s box after breaking his hip during training.

The 70-year-old suffered the injury when he fell while parking his bike after a training session on Sunday. On Monday he conducted training from an electric cart driven by his assistant, Henk Fraser.

Van Gaal had hoped to be on the touchline in De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam on Tuesday, but the KNVB said it was impossible to transport him to and from the dugout during the game.

‘There is not enough time to cross the pitch twice during the half-time interval,’ a spokesperson said. ‘The national team coach will follow the match from a director’s box on the same side as the changing rooms.’

Oranje need to avoid defeat to secure first place in Group G and qualify directly for next year’s tournament in Qatar, while the Norwegians have to win to be sure of a top two finish. The Dutch missed a chance to seal qualification on Saturday when they surrendered a 2-0 lead against Montenegro in the last 10 minutes to draw 2-2.

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