AMSTERDAM - The Dutch are hoping to
welcome their World Cup team home with a victory canal parade
although Amsterdam houseboat owners are becoming anxious about
partygoers climbing onto their homes and sinking them.
Memories are still vivid of Netherlands' 1988 European
Championship win over the Soviet Union when scores of euphoric
flag-waving, beer-swilling fans draped in orange clambered onto
lived-in houseboats which sank under their weight.
Amsterdam authorities have confirmed the national team will
be honoured with a canal parade next week if they beat Spain in
Sunday's final at Soccer City in Johannesburg and have chosen a
route that passes as few houseboats as possible.
"We are a bit worried after seeing what happened in '88,"
said 43-year-old Danish housewife Rina Jensen, sunbathing on her
family's black holiday houseboat on the Herengracht canal,
fronted by white roses on the deck.
Having boat parades is a long tradition in Amsterdam, where
the canals criss-crossing the historic city have led to it being
dubbed "Venice of the North".
"But it's quite fun to watch," Jensen said, adding they
planned to remain on the houseboat if the parade takes place and
would be inviting a few friends over to get a front row view.
Each of the houseboats located on the planned route will be
watched by guards and protected by fences. Houseboat residents
and owners on the route had mixed reactions when they discovered
the potential victory tour could pass right by.
Neighbourhood police officer Misha Nauman, who was visiting
houseboats individually on Friday to discuss preparations with
residents, said authorities were taking several measures to
minimise damage if the parade goes ahead next Tuesday.
Hundreds of thousands of people attended the 1988
celebrations along Amsterdam's canals, when several houseboats
capsized and filled with water.
"I'm just about the only person in Netherlands that always
hopes the Oranje will lose," Irene Visser told the AD newspaper,
recalling how she came back to Amsterdam after the 1988 parade
to find her houseboat partially sunk in the Amstel river.
"It's not nice, you know, when your television, your couch
and your kitchen are floating against the ceiling."
Follow FFT.com on Twitter
Join FFT.com on Facebook
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010