England to support the Dutch at the EC


This weekend, the second most important sporting event in the world, the European Football Championship, will start in Switzerland and Austria. For the first time in more than 20 years, no team from the British isles have qualified, and as a result, the English press have gotten antsy for another team to get behind. Readers and writers of both the Daily Mail and The Guardian, two newspapers otherwise far apart, have picked the Netherlands as the team to support. The former selected 10 reasons why they would support ‘Oranje’, with “they like darts too” topping the list. The Guardian let its readers decide in what looks like a completely above-board and impartial Internet poll.

Via De Telegravin (Dutch). Souce image: The Guardian. The question was: “Who should we back in Euro 2008?”

Update 20:15: Arnoud Engelfriet spoils, er, spills the beans. Apparently the Guardian’s voting process was helped along by what the newspaper called “a triumphant piece of hacking” by the Geen Stijl-blog.


  1. Please be aware that England is a country within Britain and the name England should not be used interchangeably with Britain. It’s a much worse offence than calling The Netherlands Holland! The Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish (and possibly even Eire too) will also be supporting Oranje!

    You heading should be UK or British Isles to support the Dutch at the EC!

    Comment by Lesley — June 4, 2008 @ 11:14 am

  2. Point well taken, but the Dutch still scream Hup! Holland, Hup! at footie events :)

    Comment by Orangemaster — June 4, 2008 @ 11:34 am

  3. In my experience the press and the fans consider themselves to be English, not British, which is why wrote “English.”

    And no, calling Scots and so on “English” is not a much worse offense than calling a Limburger like me a Hollander. (OK, so I live among them now, I don’t use the word as a swear word as much now.)

    Comment by Branko Collin — June 4, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  4. Ehm, you did notice how Holland managed to get so high up in these polls, right?

    Comment by Arnoud Engelfriet — June 4, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

  5. No, I’m sure that half a million votes is perfectly normal for a well-read English paper like the Guardian, and anyway, I don’t want to know. (Was it Retecool?)

    Comment by Branko Collin — June 4, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

  6. I’m sorry, I have No Style, I mean Clue.

    Comment by Arnoud Engelfriet — June 4, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

  7. I have updated the entry to reflect this new information. The Guardian writes that the Netherlands would have won anyway, which is why they left the poll results the way they were.

    Comment by Branko Collin — June 4, 2008 @ 7:25 pm

  8. Branko – Since the Scots were oppressed by the English, and many still believe are, I think your understanding of the issue is woefully inadequate to comment the way you did. The Scots in general, do not like the English and HATE it when Britain is called England, as do the Welsh and the Northern Irish – and why shouldn’t they? It is wrong in every way. If you are content to remain ignorant of the fact that Britain IS NOT England and that there is no love lost between England and the other home countries, and you wish to perpetuate this ignorance, by all means stick to your guns.

    Especially since the fans of the football teams of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Eire call themselves English, according to you.

    I live in Holland for 6 months or more every year and have a Dutch partner there so I know a bit about Dutch culture and history, which is why I know what I’m talking about. You know precisely nothing about British history and culture and yet you refuse to be educated about it. Nice.

    Comment by Lesley — June 5, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

  9. By the way….. your response to this issue it has pissed me off so much that I won’t be reading the site anymore.

    I know it isn’t meant to be entirely serious but I had expected it to be factual…..It clearly is not and now I see why!

    Comment by Lesley — June 5, 2008 @ 9:16 pm

  10. The Scots in general, do not like the English and HATE it when Britain is called England, as do the Welsh and the Northern Irish – and why shouldn’t they?

    I believe that’s more or less what I am saying. The press and the fans of each nation within the UK identify themselves with that nation, not with Britain.

    Comment by Branko Collin — June 5, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

  11. Branko – I agree with Lesley – you don’t know what you are talking about.

    (Please know that we Dutch are not all as arrogant as Mr Branko!)

    The fans of each FOOTBALL team identify with their individual football teams but the situation with regard to the countries is different and this is what you don’t seem to understand. The quote you use to support your view in your last post is obviously about the countries, not the football teams! Oppression is about people, not footballers. Honestly, it’s only a game, even for us!

    Comment by Tineke — June 18, 2008 @ 8:01 am

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