Dutch make 'bald' statement
India, August 12, 2005 - The Brazilian team had a few close
shaves on their way to winning Pool B with a 5-0 record. But
not as close as the Dutch.
Most of the players and the technical staff, including head
coach Gido Vermeulen, have shaved their heads to make a bold
statement. Or maybe a bald statement.
"I didn't know anything about it," Vermeulen said, after
Friday's training session. "The players just came out of
their rooms looking like that. I think they want to make a
So why did the head coach join them? "Well, the opening
ceremony was so beautiful, and I said that if I can
come back to this gym for the semi-finals I will shave my
"My wife's a bit upset about it back home!"
The opening ceremony was held at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor
Stadium on the eve of the Men's U21 World Championship, but
the Dutch then moved to the second stadium, Swarna Bharathi,
for their Pool B campaign.
They finished second in the six-team group, behind Brazil,
to qualify for the semi-finals, and will meet European rival
Russia on Saturday afternoon at the main venue.
Any Russian scouts would have been confused at the sight of
the Dutch team on Friday afternoon, as they all looked alike:
tall, skinny and bald.
Only the number on the shorts gave observers the opportunity
to distinguish them.