Dutch national team safeguarded from new illness heading to France

Dutch national team safeguarded from new illness heading to France
National coach Ronald Koeman with his staff ahead of France-Netherlands in Paris

NOS Football

The Dutch national team remains free of additional dropouts for now ahead of the European Championship qualifier against France due to a virus that has been circulating within the squad. On Thursday morning, five internationals dropped out because they are struggling with a viral infection.

There was a possibility that more players would fall ill, but a spokesman for the Orange announced that there are no new cases of illness.

National coach Ronald Koeman still took that into account at Thursday’s press conference. “We are not ruling anything out and I think that is wise because of what is going on. We are a bit more careful about shaking hands, but you can’t exclude everything,” he said.

Cody Gakpo, Matthijs de Ligt, Sven Botman, Joey Veerman and Bart Verbruggen were the dropouts on Thursday. Koeman called up three replacements: Stefan de Vrij, Ryan Gravenberch and goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen.

De Vrij already trained Thursday afternoon, Gravenberch and Scherpen not yet. The latter two had to leave the training camp of the Dutch national team in Spain in a hurry.

The Netherlands is thus working towards tonight’s match against World Cup finalist France at the Stade de France with 23 players.

Koeman on virus outbreak: ‘This is even more extreme, never experienced anything like this myself’

Kayleigh Williams