Unfortunate Dutch to cheer on Belgium at the World Cup

Sadly, the Netherlands failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.  It's not something we like to remind our neighbours of, but for the next four weeks the people of the Netherlands will miss out on the experience of cheering on their football team at what is arguably the greatest sports event of the year.  Will the Dutch be twiddling their thumbs for the next four weeks or decide to put age old rivalries aside and adopt a second country as their temporary homeland for the duration of the football extravaganza?

You may be surprised to hear that nearly a third of Dutch men and women indicated that they were prepared to switch allegiance and back the Red Devils, the Belgian national squad, as they progress towards World Cup glory or not as the case may be.

It was the Dutch broadcaster NOS that sought the opinions of 18,000 of their fellow countrymen and women, though far more men were consulted. 

The Norwegians have the Swedes, the Portuguese the Spaniards and the Belgians the Dutch.  Rivalry in sports and other fields is unrelenting, but Flemings and the Dutch do share a common language - to a degree - as well as a culture and part of their history.  Old rivalries are being set aside North of the border as 30.4% of Dutch respondents say they will now cheer on BELGIUM.

A far lower number of Dutch people, 18.6%, will back Germany's Mannschaft.  Morocco can count on 4.3% support, while England picks up 4% of support in the Netherlands.

Top stories