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Friday 1 August  

Applause and boos for homecoming footballers

Published on 18 June 2012 - 9:56pm
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The returning Dutch football squad were welcomed by no more than few dozen fans at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Monday. Boos mingled with the applause.

There were shouts of “money grabbers”, and one fan called Robin van Persie a “bastard”.

Most of the players kept their heads down and their faces straight as they headed for the waiting buses. Only a handful of them, including Arjen Robben, Mark van Bommel and Wesley Sneijder, took the trouble to sign autographs. Coach Bert van Marwijk made his way straight to the bus without a glance at the assembled fans.

Children were the most enthusiastic among the fans in the arrivals hall. Enthusiastic boys wearing the Dutch strip waited excitedly at the barrier for autographs.

For the rest, few fans were wearing orange. One unsuspecting English tourist in an orange sweater was mobbed by reporters. In fact there appeared to be more journalists than fans awaiting the hapless Dutch squad.

The Dutch team were knocked out of Euro2012 championship in Ukraine on Sunday having failed to win a single match in the first round.

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