With the World Cup on the other side of the world, the Orange Lions have less support in New Zealand than they did in France four years ago, but the fans there are the real adventurers. Superfan Peter Hauer (61) is willing to pay around €15,000 to see coach Andries Jonger’s team up close. Portugal was my 144th international!
,, I was on the road for about 37 hours”, says Peter. The Netherlands will play their first World Cup match against Portugal on Sunday. ,, I don’t like long flights, but necessity trumps the law, doesn’t it? As a true supporter, it doesn’t matter where they play. That will get you somewhere.
Ticket Sales for World Cup Matches Orange (Until July 22):
Netherlands – Portugal: 10,482 (728 Dutch) – Capacity: 25,947
USA – Netherlands: 31,925 (1,174 Dutch) – Capacity: 34,500
Vietnam – Netherlands: 3,948 (245 Dutch) – Capacity: 25,947
Peter is a superfan with a capital S. The 61-year-old forklift driver from Bolsward has been with the Orange Lions since 2008 and the clash with Portugal will be his 144th international at the venue. ,, The former goalkeeper Loz Gertz is from our local club RES, when I stopped playing football myself, I thought: ‘Let me go and see Loz’. It was then that the Orange qualified for the European Championship in Finland. Since then, I’ve watched all the finals except the Tokyo Olympics, of course, because of the coronavirus. Games are my biggest dream, but that shouldn’t spoil the fun. Now I’m here!”
“Yeah, I’m a loyal fan,” Peter understates. ,, I sometimes see the same faces, but I dare say I am leading the women’s competitions. 143 matches, nobody has it!
He has been everywhere: World Cups in Canada (2015) and European Championships in France (2019), Finland (2009), Sweden (2013), Netherlands (2017), England (2022). ,, I was with the men at the European Championship ’88 and the World Cup ’74, and I was at the World Cup in Qatar last year, but I was never as mad as the women. I think the women’s game is more pure. Money and interests are coming in more and more now, but the atmosphere at the stadiums is very pleasant. No thugs, no rot.
Through crowdfunding, half of which goes to a good cause, Peter saved the precious trip together. ,, I already did it before the Olympics, but since it didn’t happen, I already had a good step. The trip cost about 15,000 euros, which is a lot of money and I’m only a forklift driver. All my money and holidays go into this. Colleagues sometimes say: Do you want to go after those girls again? But this is just my vacation. And no, I don’t have more days off than others, but my job also thinks along. They knew it was my choice. “I’m back in the League of Nations,” says Peter happily.
Many say, “I am happy.” Then I say: ‘Luckily I’m not’.
Or is there someone waiting for him at home? ,, No I am alone. Many say, “I am happily married.” Then I say: ‘Luckily I’m not’. Otherwise you can’t”, laughs Peter, who naturally expects Orange to make it to the finals. So he will be in Sydney on August 20th. “Imagine they reach the final and I’m already at home: I won’t forgive myself for that. I believe in one anniversary: 150 matches. That’s the final, only then will my dream come true!
Amber Mulder (26) can’t wait for her first international match
While Peter prepares for international competition number 144, 26-year-old Amber Mulder from Brabant is preparing for her first international competition. He travels with his partner for a year and with a group of five Dutch people he goes to the match against Portugal. “The World Cup really brought us together. We didn’t know each other until recently and now the five of us are staying at a hostel to encourage girls. It is very good.
The Dutch always bring a lot of atmosphere. Women will notice that we are there and they will feel that we support them
When Amber moved to New Zealand, she immediately knew she wanted to go to Dunedin to cheer on the Orange Lions. “You never get the chance to be on the other side of the world with so many Dutch people. In recent months, I haven’t seen or spoken to many Dutch people during my travels, and you realize that the Dutch on the other side of the world are very nice and very nice.
Amber will be going to the NAC Breda matches and she can’t wait to see the Orange Lions shine. “It doesn’t matter to the Dutch whether we have a lot or a little less. The Dutch always bring a lot of atmosphere. Women will notice that we are there and they will feel that we support them. It will be very special for all the Dutch far away from home.
World Cup match
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