Playing soccer on Sunday doesn’t do ‘united’ Spakenburg, not even cup final
The fishing village of Spakenburg is divided to the bone twice a year, when the footballers of the ‘blue’ Spakenburg and the ‘red’ IJsselmeervogels take on each other in the derby. After the blue’s cup stunt against FC Utrecht, the village does seem united.
“The hatred is not that deep,” says a ‘rooie’ a day after Spakenburg’s incredible performance. Another IJsselmeervogels fan also says that the rival’s success doesn’t hurt. “It’s just one village.”
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So it is not year-round hatred and envy in the village, also because the amateur clubs have at least one thing in common: they are both Saturday clubs. In fact, religion still plays a big role in the village and therefore playing soccer on Sunday is out of the question.
But should Spakenburg also stunt in the semi-finals of the KNVB Cup (the opponent is not yet known), the final will traditionally be on Sunday (April 30) in De Kuip. And that goes against the statutes of the Christian club.
“No, that is not possible,” Spakenburg chairman Marc Schoonebeek already stated to the AD.
KNVB on not playing soccer on Sunday
The KNVB is not ruling out an adjustment of the match day in advance and reports to NOS that there will be a consultation with the four clubs that are in the semifinals later.
“In this we will discuss with the four teams what they can expect around a possible cup final and it is also up to the semifinalists to bring in points. Should this point then come up for discussion, we will discuss it first in this consultation.”
Spakenburg coach Chris de Graaf does not see his club reaching the final anytime soon. He hopes Feyenoord will be the opponent in the semifinals. “De Kuip is legendary,” he said.
Should Feyenoord be the opponent in early April and a win is actually achieved in Rotterdam, the coach will quit immediately. “Then we will still play the final and then I will hand in my things after that. It’s not going to get any nicer. Winning isn’t realistic either.”
For now, the 35-year-old coach wants to enjoy the achievements so far and the accompanying celebration. “If I can wake up like this every day, then life is very beautiful,” he said.
The Spakenburg native, who has been a member of SV Spakenburg since he was five years old, especially enjoyed the way Utrecht was defeated. “The execution was so beautiful.”
Spakenburg coach now hoping for Feyenoord: ‘If we win in Kuip, I’ll hand in stuff’
De Graaf also considers the achievement more special than the result of rival IJsselmeervogels, which also reached the semifinals in 1975. “It never happened before that a club won by such figures (4-1) at a premier league club. That’s just legendary. I think we’re going to see these images again in every cup tournament.”
Jaan de Graaf was star player of the 1975 IJsselmeervogels team and thinks comparing performances is unfair, because times have changed and the “amateur clubs” have also professionalized. “We trained only once a week,” he said.
In the end, De Graaf finds Spakenburg’s performance “great for the village.” He says the average Spakenburger agrees. “Only the real fanatical gingers don’t like the fact that the blues have matched our performance.”