Curacao coach furious about Hiddink’s appointment: ‘Hurts so much’

Although Remko Bicentini has had great successes with Curaçao over the past four years, the national coach, despite his ongoing contract, had to learn from the media that he is to be replaced immediately by Guus Hiddink.

“I didn’t see this coming at all and I never received a signal that this could happen“, said Bicentini. “It’s like taking a child away from me that you’ll never get back.”

If Bicentini, who has a Curaçao father, talks about the national team of Curaçao, he calls it a family. His family. “That’s what they called us.”

Football country

The Caribbean Cup was won and qualification for the Gold Cup was enforced. “Then you don’t just play against other islands, but you take on World Cup participants,” Bicentini stresses.

During the last edition of that tournament, Curaçao reached the quarter-finals, in which the United States turned out to be barely too strong. But boundaries are constantly being pushed, the next mission for Bicentini was qualification for the World Championship of 2022.

“This hurts so much,” says Bicentini. “I just have a contract up to the World Cup in Qatar. I’m sure we can make it, we’ve been working towards that for three years. With great success.”

At the football association last year, a change of guard took place when Shaheen Elhage was appointed as the new chairman. “But I don’t think the results give any reason to send me away.”

“I applaud the arrival of Guus Hiddink, but in the role of advisor. It is of course fantastic for Curaçao to be able to make use of his expertise. Now, however, he is being put in my place just like that.”

Bicentini has received an email with the subject: termination of agreement.

“But that was after I had already heard the news through the media”, Bicentini emphasizes. “I was on the island three weeks ago. Even then I didn’t hear from anyone that my position as national coach would be up for discussion. There is also no reason.”

He received countless reactions to his departure. “The island is in turmoil. People thought it was a joke. Among the players was total bewilderment. That’s not true, was the general tendency. They don’t get it at all.”

Bicentini doesn’t leave it at that. “Hiddink’s at my place now, I like that. Especially considering the course of the trial. Something is being taken away from me and that’s hard to accept.”

“But I have to let it all sink in now. It’s a lot. And it touches me deeply.”

In 2015 the CCeit made a report about football on Curaçao, which at the time was led by Remko Bicentini’s predecessor Patrick Kluivert: