Dutch Sunday workers hope to catch glimpses of World Cup final
Dutch police, pilots, patients, the homeless and prostitutes hope to catch glimpses of the World Cup final clash against Spain on SundayAs millions make plans to watch the big game at home, in bars or fan parks, television and beer sales have soared and big-screen rental companies have run out of stock.
But for some, watching the Netherlands' first World Cup final in 32 years is not a given.
Detectives on shift in The Hague, for example, hope that revellers will behave long enough for them to be able to watch the game on television sets at their police stations.
"But if you are a policeman/woman who responds to the 112 (emergency) calls, I don't think they will be able to see the game," police spokesman Tessel Horsman told AFP.
"Police work in itself is an around-the-clock business that doesn't stop, not even for a once in a lifetime event such as a World Cup final!"
Andre van Dorst, a spokesman for the Netherlands' VER sex industry association, said it would be business as usual at strip clubs, escort agencies and brothels, "but sex workers will be able to follow the match" on screens in their establishments if work allowed.
It would not necessarily be less busy, said Van Dorst, as "not everybody likes football".
"I will definitely be watching the game," prostitute Josje told AFP, predicting it would be quiet in Amsterdam's famous red-light district for the duration of the match.
"Maybe afterwards it will be busy. If we win, there will be many people in Amsterdam celebrating and drinking. There might be a lot of work."
Dutch airline KLM said air controllers would update its pilots of "all the crucial moments" of the match.
"Our pilots will be kept updated. It will be up to them to decide whether they want to share it with the passengers," said KLM spokeswoman Ingrid Klein.
And at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, two big screens were erected: one for employees in a conference hall to watch "if work allows", and another outside the terminal building for travellers.
Arrangements are also being made for the homeless in some places.
Pieter Puijk, coordinator of a shelter for homeless alcoholics in Amersfoort in the central Netherlands, said he would put up a big screen in the common room, already decorated with orange flags.
"There will be French fries and snacks, I expect quite a few people to show up," he told AFP.
At the Bronovo hospital in The Hague, the match will be broadcast in the ground-floor restaurant, said a spokeswoman, while the Haga Hospital elsewhere in town will allow able-bodied patients to watch the game in their rooms or in the visitors' waiting areas.
"The nursing staff will be allowed to watch in bits and pieces, but only if there are no patients requiring care," said spokesman Marnix Beekmans.
In the town of Urk in the orthodox protestant "Bible Belt" that runs through the middle of the Netherlands, football fans face an obstacle of a different kind: finding an open bar in a place where the Christian Sabbath is faithfully observed.
"It is just a usual Sunday," Urk safety coordinator Guido Kersjes told AFP, adding there were no special festivities planned.
Were any bars to open for the event, "then it can only be with a few people, inside the building, without making noise," he added.
"We won't open on Sunday because it is the day of rest," said Meindert Visser, a worker at the Ommelebommelestien bar.
AFP/ Mariette le Roux/ Expatica