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Kok, Auke

Journalist und Sportkolumnist bei NRC Handelsblad.

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NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands | 02/07/2010

Oranje mirrors closed mentality of Dutch

In the today's quarter-final match in the World Cup in South Africa the Netherlands will play against Brazil. The defensive game of the Dutch team (Oranje) displays the same mentality as the country itself has, the publicist Auke Kok writes in the daily NRC Handelsblad: "Only a few weeks after the electoral victory of the [right-wing populist] Geert Wilders Oranje is playing a game that is miles away from the progressive bravado with which whole generations grew up. ... Watching Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten made us grow a little bit too - a model country with the right moral principles, more liberal and progressive than the rest. Football intellectuals in other countries saw it the same way, as if there were a direct link between our attitude to drugs, abortion and euthanasia and the uninhibited play of Dennis Bergkamp. Apparently accounts must now be squared with all this: Just listen to the Bondscoach talking about discipline. Look at us turning away from Europe, the calls for a firm hand. Listen to Wilders. Feel our propensity to become inward-looking, to close the curtains and shut out the big bad world outside."

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