The FIFA World Cup is also the “flying World Cup” for the orange: would 42 hours of flight count? | FIFA World Cup 2023
In one month, Orange spent 43 hours on a plane before and during the World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand. Will the “Flying World Cup” affect the quarter-final against Spain? “It shouldn’t be an excuse.”
In één zin vat Jackie Groenen het schema van Oranje tijdens dit WK samen. “Het is wedstrijd, reizen, trainen, reizen, wedstrijd.” En dat doen de voetbalsters inmiddels al drie weken lang in Australië en Nieuw-Zeeland.
Bondscoach Andries Jonker kreeg bij de loting in oktober al “een vaag gevoel dat dit niet alleen het WK voetbal, maar ook het ‘WK vliegen’ gaat worden”. Zijn voorgevoel blijkt te kloppen. “Soms kijken de jongere speelsters met grote ogen: moeten we nou weer vliegen?”
Ontvang meldingen bij belangrijke ontwikkelingen rondom de Oranjevrouwen
Orange’s flight numbers are staggering. Jonker’s team left Amsterdam on 7 July, now 33 days in, for practical training in Sydney. Twelve flights have been made so far. The players have been on board for at least 43 hours and have traveled about 29,000 km.
At the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, it was a source of misery for the guys. The Dutch national team stayed in Krakow in Poland, but played in Kharkiv, Ukraine, about an hour and a half away by plane. Players sometimes did not return to the hotel until 4:00 am. The defeats to Germany, Denmark and Portugal were not accidental.
The Orange Woman has already reached the quarterfinals. But wouldn’t the travel schedule have a negative impact on the quarter-final against Spain? The Spaniards stayed in the host city of Wellington for 12 days and did not have to travel to Australia for the Final Eight against South Africa as the Orangemen.
Vliegschema Oranje voor en tijdens WK
The team is lowered onto the plane
When Juncker received travel schedules from team principal Sonja van Gerenstein at the end of last year, he was reeling. So many air miles, so many airports, so many flights, so many hotels and so many fields grace his figure. Never experienced that before either.
It begs the big question: What can we do as a crew to burden players with as little flying as possible? “We used to be absolutely broke for two days when we had to take such long trips,” Groenen recalls.
The upshot was simple: players shouldn’t carry their bags, because it only costs them energy. That is why foreigners often hand their bags over to the men the night before.
FIFA did the rest for the World Cup: players do not have to go through checks at the airport, but are dropped off in front of the stairs leading to the charter plane with the players’ bus. They just need to get in.
Groenen: “We arrive, drop our bags, get on the plane, fly for two hours and go through everything. And that saves energy. If you have to stand in line for three hours again, you have three days of struggling.”