Little enthusiasm among Dutch for World Cup as Oranje heads to Qatar
With the FIFA World Cup about to start in Qatar, football enthusiasm hasn’t reached the Netherlands yet. Only 14 percent of Netherlands residents are excited about the World Cup, the same amount as a month ago, EenVandaag reported on the day that the Dutch national team is heading to the Gulf State for the tournament.
EenVandaag polled over 28,000 of its Opinion Panel about the upcoming football tournament. Among Oranje fans, the enthusiasm for the World Cup is not much greater, with only 20 percent saying they’re looking forward to it. The lack of excitement seems largely rooted in Qatar’s bad reputation regarding equality and human rights.
“It’s on my mind, but mainly in a negative sense,” one respondent told EenVandaag Another said: “At this World Cup, you really realize how the football world has been hijacked by big money. Apparently, there’s nothing you can do about it now. I’d rather watch the Eredivisie.”
Of the people who said they’d be watching Oranje’s first match on Monday, a quarter said they’re a bit ashamed about it. “I won’t just skip something like the World Cup, but it feels a bit dirty. I’ll watch it at home with the shutters closed,” a respondent said. Only 11 percent said they’d like to watch the match in a bar with other people or on a big screen. 77 percent will watch at home, alone or with their housemates.
The Cabinet is sending Sports Minister Conny Helder to represent the Netherlands in Qatar during the first stage of the tournament. If Oranje progresses to the next round, Prime Minister Mark Rutte or King Willem-Alexander may still attend the World Cup.
Nearly 60 percent of EenVandaag respondents don’t want the King to go to Qatar, even if Oranje gets far into the tournament. “I the goes, it looks like he’s on the side of the Qataris and not on the side of LGBTI people and deceased workers.”
The Dutch national team and coach Louis van Gaal depart for Qatar today. Their flight from Schiphol is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Memphis Depay will be with them, despite earlier concerns that a hamstring injury would keep him out of the tournament.