News of: Tuesday, June 10 2008,
The 3-0 victory of Holland against Italy, yesterday in Bern (Switzerland) in the European Soccer Championship tournament sent a wave of nationalism through the country.
Many streets were already coloured orange, the national colour (based on the House of Orange, the royal family of the Netherlands) before the match started.
In the past decades, especially since the victory of Holland in the 1988 European Championship the 'orange madness' has taken root. Throughout the country, entire streets are decorated with orange flags and other decorations, with red, white and blue of the national flag as supporting colours. Many people watch the soccer matches in cafes, where large tv screens are placed. People dress up in orange clothes and other parafernalia, and even paint themselves orange.
Yesterdays victory was more or less unexpected, as the Dutch team was not considered to be very strong, and Italy is the reigning world champion.
After the match, many took to the streets to celebrate. In Amsterdam, especially the famous squares were busy with partying soccer fans (Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein).
The police has not reported any serious problems. In Bern too, no soccer hooliganism was reported, although some 30,000 orange fans had invaded the Swiss city.
Seven million people watched the match on tv (on a total population of 16 million). Now that the Dutch team won the first match, this figure is expected to rise dramatically for the next match.
The next match for Holland is against France, on Friday June 13, starting at 8.45 pm.
Orange and red/white/blue