Following the Dutch national team, the footballers of the Dutch Junior Team will also be exempted from the quarantine rules. With this, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport once again responds to a wish of the KNVB.
On Friday, the Dutch Team will play a European Championship-qualifying game in and against Belarus, an area to which the government has given code orange. Beforehand, there was a lot of hassle about the selection. Some clubs did not want to give up their player(s), because the footballers would have to be quarantined after their return.
For example, Tahith Chong van Werder Bremen still has not arrived in Zeist. “And the KNVB is working very hard on that,” said interim union coach Marcel Groninger. The KNVB is also still in discussion with Hertha BSC. The German club wants Daishwan Redan, Javairo Dilrosun and Deyovaisio Zeefuik not give up because they have to be quarantined on their return to Germany.
At the press conference on Monday, we went to visit Jong Oranje. At that time, it was not yet clear that the players would be exempted from the quarantine rules
Apart from the corona problems, Belarus is currently anything but a nice place for a football match. The protests against President Lukashenko continue four weeks after the disputed presidential elections. Thousands of demonstrators have been arrested and some have died
Still, the Dutch will go that way on Thursday, to play on Friday in the Torpedo Stadium in Zhodino (about fifty kilometers from Minsk) against their peers from Belarus.
“The KNVB has a lot of contact with the government, the Belarusian Football Federation and the embassy. All lights are on green, so you have to play soccer and that’s what we’re going to do”, says Groninger.
Political late decision to KNVB
Dutch politicians support the Belarusian demonstrators, said Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Langs de Lijn En Omstreken on NPO Radio 1. “But the consideration of whether or not to go, let’s go to a sports organization. In this case, the KNVB.”
The Football Association states that the safety of the players and staff is paramount. So the team flies on a charter flight, goes there shortly before the game and back again soon after. Interim union coach Groninger: “Should the situation on the road deteriorate unexpectedly, the plane will turn around if necessary”
After four victories in four matches, the Dutch Team is at the head of the qualification group. Belarus is the number three.