The flight ban from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands was extended this week until April 1. Orange’s first international matches in 2021 are also included. Will KNVB get international players from English clubs to Zest for matches against Turkey, Latvia and Gibraltar?
Written by Martin Wigfels
On March 24, the Dutch national team kicked off the new international year with a match against Turkey. That match will be the first group duel in the 2022 World Cup qualifying round. Earlier that week, the Dutch team will meet in Zeist, usually also featuring players such as Jorginho Wijnaldum, Donnie van de Beek, Tim Kroll, Joel Veltman and Stephen Bergoyen. All of them are under contract with English first and second division clubs.
KNVB is currently looking at travel options from England to the Netherlands and it does not appear to be an issue at the moment. A flight ban differs from a travel ban. In addition, it is possible to travel from England to countries such as Belgium and France.
Wijnaldum and others, for example, can take a private flight from Liverpool, Manchester, or London to Brussels, and then on to Amsterdam after a short stopover. An alternative might be to take the train through the canal tunnel. KNVB recently implemented the latter’s choice on international English players for the Dutch women’s team. Train travel can be difficult if clubs take action late on a Sunday evening and international players have to notify Zeist on Monday morning.
The Netherlands will play its first World Cup qualifying match against Turkey on Wednesday 24 March in Istanbul. On March 27th, the second match will be at Johan Cruyff Stadium in Amsterdam against Latvia. The international match period ends in the spring on Tuesday 30 March with Gibraltar – Netherlands.
Top athletes were allowed to travel abroad anyway without having to stay in quarantine for fourteen days upon their return. They are subject to a special arrangement.
With the ban on passenger flights from the UK, the Dutch government wants to prevent the spread of coronavirus mutations. The flight ban also applies to countries in South America and South Africa.
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