25 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — Euro 2004 finals fever propelled hundreds of Dutch football fans on Friday to line up for tickets for the quarter-final duel between the Netherlands and Sweden on Saturday night. At home, supermarkets also started rubbing their hands together.
There were about a thousand people queuing outside the Algarve stadium in the Portuguese city Faro on Friday morning, 90 percent of whom were Dutch. Many of the fans had spent the night outside the stadium, Radio Netherlands reported.
After a thrilling end to the Group D round of matches on Wednesday night, the Dutch national soccer team progressed to the European Championship finals courtesy of the Czech Republic, which defeated Germany 2-1.
The Dutch held up their end of the bargain by toppling Latvia 3-0 as the nation’s hopes of football glory were resurrected. Orange fever has since erupted again.
Research institute GFK claims that Dutch supermarkets can expect an extra EUR 15 million in turnover this week. Football fans are expected to mainly stock up on orange tompouces (cream cakes), chips (crisps) and beer.
Sales of Oranjevla (orange custard) are at an unprecedented high. Sales topped those recorded around Queen’s Day and are approaching the levels reported at the Euro 2000, when the championship was held in the Netherlands.
Dutch Airline Transavia said it is adding five extra flights to Faro in Portugal for fans who wish to make a last-minute flight to the quarter-final. The flights are departing from Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Maastricht.
The Dutch football association KNVB said it had no tickets left to sell, but Euro 2004 organisers said they still had 2,000 tickets available. Radio 1 confirmed on Friday that there were already long lines of Dutch people queuing for the chance to attend the match.
The Sweden v the Netherlands match start on Saturday will start at 8.45pm and will be televised live on Nederland 2.
Sweden defeated the Dutch in their most recent encounter, winning 3-0 on 27 April 1983 in Utrecht. Their last previous meeting in a major tournament ended 0-0 at the World Cup in Dortmund, Germany, in 1974.
[Copyright Expatica News + Novum 2004]
Subject: Dutch news