May 9, 2019

Dutch footballer calls in sick to watch football, gets fired

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 5:29 pm

Dutch football striker Jordie van der Laan of Telstar has been sacked for calling in sick to watch Amsterdam Ajax play against Tottenham Spurs on 30 April instead of, well, playing football. Apparently, his dismissal was by ‘mutual agreement’, which is the sports equivalent of the film industry’s ‘creative differences’ when directors and studio claim to have parted company.

Van der Laan had hoped that his employer would not check up on him, but during the game in which Tottenham lost 0-1, he showed up no less than three times on screen at the game. According to Van der Laan, Telstar’s WhatsApp group blew up and they laughed their asses off.

The team’s management was not amused and fired him immediately. This was Van der Laan’s first year in professional football and was injured quite a lot. Despite his actions, the former Telstar striker is being headhunted by many clubs, and has an interest in playing abroad. “If Tottenham needs a striker, I’m available”, he said, “as long as I get time off to watch Ajax play.”

Someone needs to explain to this guy what ‘having your cake and eating it too’ actually means.

(Link:, Photo of flag by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)

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November 29, 2017

Rotterdam café to make Ajax toilet seats

Filed under: Design,Sports,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:48 am


For Rotterdam Feyernoord football fans, there were Feyernoord stickers to ‘rebrand’ all those Ajax brand fire extinguishers in 2015 reminding them of the rival Amsterdam Ajax football club. Now, the owner of Sijf in Rotterdam has gone one step further: he plans to make toilet seats out of Ajax arena seats for his Feyernoord-leaning patrons.

The initial plan was to buy the written off arena seats and make terrace furniture out of it, but that didn’t pan out. However, to make the toilet seats, owner Herman Hell still needs someone to design them.

(Link and photo:

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June 6, 2017

Ajax women’s team petitions for their own party

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 9:52 pm

On 24 May 2017, Amsterdam’s men’s football team Ajax didn’t get a party on the Museumplein downtown, as Manchester United took the win 2-0 in the Europa League, and it was business as usual the next day.

However, on 26 May 2017, Ajax’s women’s team won the Dutch championship (Eredivisie) by winning against Eindhoven’s PSV. And even though they’ve won the national title and the cup, they don’t get anything because, well, sexism.

Ajax Women have decided enough with this unequal nonsense and have started a petition to get their own public honouring when then they win major titles instead of having a small party in their locker room. And they’re fine with having it somewhere smaller.

Here are some game highlights:

(Links:,, Photo by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)

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November 6, 2016

Ajax FC send 27 crates of beer to Scots

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sports by Orangemaster @ 11:55 am

Amsterdam’s football club Ajax has sent 27 crates of beer to Scottish club East Kilbride FC of South Lanarkshire to congratulate them for breaking Ajax’s world record of most games won in a row last Saturday by winning against BSC Glasgow FC.

Former goalkeeper and now Ajax’s general manager Edwin van der Sar recorded a video message to congratulate the Scots telling them to ‘have some beer on us’.

A truck full of beer, Belgian Jupiler beer, basically Stella’s big brother, was driven right onto a dark and cold pitch with patches of snow.

Enjoy this classy football moment in English:

(Link:, Photo by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)

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September 27, 2016

World’s first official video refereeing, a Dutch affair

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 10:24 pm


September 21 saw the official world debut of a video assistant referee (VAR) in a competitive football game, starring Amsterdam Ajax vs Willem II of Tilburg (Ajax won 5-0). As well, Willem II midfielder Anouar Kali became the first player in the country to get a red card recommended by a VAR, after his yellow card in a Dutch Cup tie against Ajax was turned into a red one.

Staring at six video screens in a van, the VAR can review an incident when asked by the match referee as well as advise officials about incidents they may have missed. The International Football Association Board will probably decide in 2018 whether to authorise the use of video technology and incorporate it within the laws of the game.

The intervention confused fans of the Amsterdam-Tilburg game, as the change from yellow to red was not communicated to them, something that would have to be remedied. Other sports like rugby and hockey have been using VAR for a while, but football has been slow to join in. Video refereeing was tested again on September 22 with Rotterdam Feyenoord vs. FC Oss (Feyenoord won 4-1) , while I was in the pub for a quick visit.

The video referee communicates with the referee on the pitch within a few seconds of any incident. As well as advising on penalty and card decisions, they can help clear up cases of mistaken identity or infringements in the lead-up to a goal such as offside or foul play. If the on-pitch referee wants, they can also review the video footage themselves before making a final decision.

(Links:,, Photo of Football by Bramus, some rights reserved)

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November 26, 2015

‘No more Ajax fire extinguishers in Rotterdam’

Filed under: Design,Weird by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am


Are you a serious Feyernoord football fan from Rotterdam and can’t stand another day of staring at all those Ajax brand fire extinguishers hanging all over the place, taunting you and reminding you of the rival Amsterdam football club? Two Rotterdam cousins have the solution for you: Feyernoord stickers.

Yes, the guys at Firenoord have designed a Feyernoord sticker that looks just like the Ajax one so you can stick it over that reminder of the other football club at 3 euro a pop. They are currently sold out, but they’ll surely be more for all the people that just cannot live with those distasteful Ajax fire extinguishers.

Just like the website says, ‘no more Ajax in Rotterdam’.

(Link:, Screenshot:

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August 2, 2014

Louis van Gaal makes club owners richer already

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 3:22 pm

louis-van-gaal-paul-blankThe football season has yet to start, but new Manchester United head coach Louis van Gaal is already giving the club’s owners plenty to be happy about.

The six children of late American entrepreneur Malcolm Glazer are about to make a load of money by selling 5% of their shares in British football club Manchester United, Yahoo! writes. The share price rose steeply after the announcements of both Louis van Gaal as head coach and Adidas as main sponsor, going from 14 USD to 19.31 USD last Wednesday, raising the value of the club to to approximately 3.2 billion USD.

The Glazer family will make an estimated 155 million USD on the sale and will hold on to the majority of shares. In order to underline their intentions, the shares they are selling have reduced voting rights.

Earlier in his career Van Gaal won major awards with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern München. In his previous job as coach of the Dutch national team, he managed to reach third place at this summer’s World Cup, the more impressive considering that most his players came from lesser leagues such as the Dutch Eredivisie.

Manchester United’s prospectus warns buyers that the club’s worth largely depends on successes in the European campaign, according to The Independent.

Photo by Paul Blank, some rights reserved.

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January 6, 2012

Women, children and gay men first at football match

Filed under: Sports,Weird by Orangemaster @ 4:52 pm

Back in September 2011, Turkish football club Fenerbahçe made an international, historical statement against supporter violence by only allowing women and children into the stadium for a match, for free I might add.

Upcoming Dutch cup competition AZ (Alkmaar) against Ajax (Amsterdam) has to be replayed due to a violent incident in December 2011 involving a supporter. With Ajax leading 1-0, an Ajax supporter ran onto the field and attacked the AZ goalkeeper. Yes, his team was winning. Problem is, the goalkeeper defended himself by hitting the supporter, which sounds like a normal response to being attacked. The goalkeeper was then dealt a red card and the whole thing led to the AZ players leaving the field in protest and the game being abandoned.

True, players are not supposed to hit supporters, but then supporters are not supposed to attack players on the field. This wonderful display of what pathetic looks like is still a good conversation starter at the local Dutch cafe.

According to Editor-in-chief Kristiaan Schimmel of, gay men should also be able to enjoy a day at the stadium. The obvious objection to this is that straight men will do their utmost to get into the game and will succeed. It just takes one fake gay guy to ruin the whole idea of punishing what is predominately if not exclusively male supporters’ bad behaviour.

How’s this for an idea: if supporters stopped acting like cocks this wouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

(Link:, Photo by Wikimedia user Carolus Ludovicus, some rights reserved)

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December 17, 2011

Ruud van Nistelrooy most efficient striker of the decade

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 2:18 pm

Football player Ruud van Nistelrooy was recently declared the most efficient striker in the world for the first decade of this century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).

The player from Noord Brabant finished just ahead of Thierry Henry of France and Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast, Volkskrant reports. The IFFHS looked only at goals scored in international competitions to arrive at its ranking. In his career Van Nistelrooy has done relatively poorly when playing for the Dutch national team, not helped by injuries and a lack of confidence by successive national managers. His strike rate in the most prestigious club tournament of the world, the UEFA Champions League, is exemplary though. With 56 goals he occupies the second place on the all-time top scorers list.

Van Nistelrooy’s last name was originally spelled Van Nistelrooij, but the player had it changed according to Wikipedia so that it would become easier to read and pronounce by foreign fans. The name means ‘from Nistelrode’, and refers to a place in Noord Brabant just South of Van Nistelrooy’s birth town of Oss.

Although popular all over the planet—Ruud scored a whopping 150 goals during his five year stay at Manchester United, itself a favourite of international football fans—the Dutch have traditionally been wary of Van Nistelrooy’s contribution to the world of football. The government sponsored tourist board rates former Ajax strikers Van Basten and Bergkamp higher, even though their goal tallies do not even come near that of the player from Brabant. Van Nistelrooy may not have helped his cause by almost single handedly humiliating press darling Ajax during several matches.

Van Nistelrooy (35) is currently plying his trade for Málaga in the Spanish competition (La Liga), though he is struggling to find the form of his younger years.

(Photo by Florian K., some rights reserved)

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June 12, 2010

How to create a football star

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 4:23 pm

That was only one game, of course, but it seemed to bring into focus what I had been observing at the Ajax youth academy, as well as learning about American soccer. How the US develops its most promising young players is not just different from what the Netherlands and most elite soccer nations do — on fundamental levels, it is diametrically opposed.

Americans like to put together teams, even at Pee Wee level, that are meant to win. The best soccer-playing nations build individual players, ones with superior technical skills who later come together on teams the US struggles to beat. In a way, it is a reversal of type. Americans tend to think of Europeans as collectivists and themselves as individualists. But in sports, it is the opposite. The Europeans build up the assets of individual players. Americans underdevelop the individual, although most of the volunteers who coach at the youngest level would not be cognizant of that.

Michael Sokolove (what’s in a name?) takes a long hard look at what makes the youth academy of Amsterdam’s professional football club Ajax tick, and how this contrasts with the system in the USA.

A very interesting read, even though (or perhaps because of) the author at times keeps a lot of distance from what he essentially describes as something close to modern slavery.

(Photo by Patrick de Laive, some rights reserved. Shown here are Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart in national garb. Both players rose through the ranks of the Ajax youth academy to become world stars. Link:

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