Plans to mark the Feijenoord Stadion's hosting of the UEFA Cup final will be unveiled today.
This season's UEFA Cup final, to be played on Wednesday 8 May, will be the tenth UEFA club competition final to be staged at the Feijenoord Stadion in Rotterdam, and to mark the occasion a special design concept for the match has been prepared.
It will be officially unveiled in a special ceremony in the stadium more popularly known as De Kuip today, 90 minutes before the kick-off of the UEFA Cup fourth round second-leg game between Feyenoord and Rangers FC.
'Proud and honoured'
"As president of the Royal Netherlands Football Association, I am proud and honoured that Rotterdam will be the host city for the 2002 UEFA Cup final," said Jeu Sprengers, who is also a member of UEFA's Executive Committee and treasurer of European football's governing body. "I'm sure that it will be just as spectacular an event as the fantastic EURO 2000™ final between France and Italy, which was also played in Rotterdam."
The most recent UEFA club competition final to be staged at De Kuip was the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, in which Bobby Robson's FC Barcelona beat Paris Saint-Germain FC 1-0 thanks to a penalty converted by Ronaldo.
Cup Winners' Cup finals
It was the sixth Cup Winners' Cup final to be played in Rotterdam, the first having been a spectacular 5-1 victory for Tottenham Hotspur FC over Club Atlético de Madrid on 15 May 1963. The others were in 1968, 1974, 1985 and 1991. The only one to have been played on the same date as this year's final - 8 May - produced a major surprise when Milan AC were beaten 2-0 by 1. FC Magdeburg in 1974.
Home success in UEFA Cup
Two finals of the European Champion Clubs' Cup were played at De Kuip, the first on 31 May 1972 when AFC Ajax defeated Internazionale FC 2-0, and the second on 26 May 1982 when a goal by Peter Withe gave Aston Villa FC a 1-0 win over FC Bayern München. The other final was on 29 May 1974, when Feyenoord beat Tottenham Hotspur FC 2-0 to take the UEFA Cup 4-2 on aggregate.
'A city of sport'
"The City of Rotterdam is delighted to welcome the UEFA Cup final 2002," said the Dutch city's Lord Mayor, Ivo Opstelten. "For the tenth time in history, the Feijenoord Stadion is the stage for a European club final. This proves, once again, the importance of Rotterdam as a city of sport."
Applying for tickets
Ticket allocation for the final is to be handled, on UEFA's behalf, by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), and application forms will be available on its website, knvb.nl, from next week. The exact day of the launch is to be confirmed but the closing date for applications to be returned to the KNVB is Tuesday 2 April.
Applicants will be able to request a maximum of four tickets - one for the applicant and the others for specified friends or relatives. Tickets will be non-transferable and holders may be required to provide proof of identity on entry to the stadium. Applicants who do not have internet access may request application forms from their national associations.