10 November 2022, by Victoria Séveno

The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, has said that there will be no big screens set up on terraces in the Dutch capital for the first stages of the World Cup in Qatar, as a result of the municipality’s rules for screens and events in the winter

No outdoor screens allowed in Amsterdam for the World Cup

With the 2022 Qatar World Cup a little over a week away, many bars and restaurants had hoped that the municipality would adjust its so-called winter policy in honour of the occasion. As Halsema explained to the city council on Wednesday, bars aren’t allowed to set up large TV screens on outdoor terraces during the winter. 

Other members of the city council had also hoped the rules would be relaxed for the World Cup, arguing that it would provide business owners with the opportunity to earn a little extra income after two years of lockdowns and restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic

Halsema, however, stated that outdoor screens weren’t appropriate during the winter, when terraces are smaller and aren’t open as late. The mayor did, however, say that if the Dutch team managed to make it past the Group Stage, then she might reconsider her decision. 

Many Dutch believe the Netherlands shouldn’t be taking part

The upcoming World Cup has been riddled with controversy, with a recent poll conducted by the Dutch TV programme EenVandaag revealing that 53 percent of respondents felt the Netherlands should “refrain from participating in the tournament.” A vast majority also agreed that it would be inappropriate for King Willem-Alexander or Prime Minister Mark Rutte to attend any matches. 

These negative feelings have already had a serious impact on preparations for the World Cup, with various bars across the Netherlands deciding that they will boycott the tournament completely by refusing to show any matches. Some business owners have also said there is little excitement or anticipation to be found among football fans – although some experts expect that this will change when the Netherlands actually starts playing. 

“Football fans are now asking themselves whether or not they are going to watch what they like best. They did not ask themselves that in 2014 or 2018…it has become a contaminated World Cup,” sports historian Jurryt van de Vooren told NOS. “[But] when the ball rolls, the bad news is immediately overshadowed. Then it is about the upcoming game, about minor injuries or about Louis van Gaal being angry or laughing at a press conference.”

Thumb: Aija Lehtonen via Shutterstock.

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