‘Don't be blue, be orange’: England football fans ‘go Dutch’ at Euro 2008

London, Monday: European affairs minister Frans Timmermans launched the ‘ Just Go Dutch’ campaign. Its goal: to get England football fans supporting Holland at Euro 2008.

Since England failed to qualify for the Euro 2008 football championship being held in Switzerland and Austria this summer, the Just Go Dutch campaign is offering England fans an equally thrilling alternative: support Holland. Those who do so in Euro 2008 may call themselves honorary Dutch citizens, and under the motto ‘A free Van for every fan!’, they may put the Dutch prefix ‘Van’ in front of their surnames.

Mr Timmermans launched the campaign by presenting its initiator, Jon Gledstone, with a certificate and a special T-shirt bearing his Holland supporter’s name, ‘Van Gledstone’. Mr Gledstone thereby became the first England football fan to officially support Holland. Mr Timmermans congratulated Mr Gledstone on his new honorary status and praised the creativity of the campaign ’s initiators.

The ‘Just Go Dutch’ campaign is an initiative of the British creative design consultancy 5th of November and is backed by the Dutch embassy in London. Its purpose is to draw attention in an original way to the Netherlands during the championship.