Netherlands officials and players expressed their delight at being named 2017 finals with their plans praised by Karen Espelund, UEFA Executive Committee member.
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A memorable year for Dutch women's football has been capped by the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB)'s appointment as hosts for UEFA Women's EURO 2017, the first 16-team final tournament.
After winning the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in the summer and then qualifying for their maiden FIFA Women's World Cup next year in Canada, the Dutch female game has another first to look forward to. We round up the reaction from both the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Nyon, where the decision was taken, and the Netherlands itself.
Karen Espelund, UEFA Executive Committee member & UEFA Women's Football Committee chairwoman
We are happy that the Netherlands have come up with a very, very good bid. We are very confident that they will host an excellent tournament in 2017, in all aspects: it's about the stadiums, about the logistics, about the total legacy they want to leave from the tournament.
[Sweden 2013 – they have a big act to follow] They do. What we achieved also outside the stadiums too, the fan parks in Sweden and also the spectator numbers were excellent. But I'm quite sure the Netherlands association is aware of this. They will work very well with this type of concept. One boost is also the team qualifying for the World Cup next year, that is also an achievement because it also keeps the team high up in media attention for the next year. I think this will be a good follow-up to Sweden, they are aware of that and they look forward to trying to compete with that.
[When we consider a bid we look at] the basic sporting things – the stadiums, the capacity, quality, hotels, logistics, what the distances are – things like that. Of course in the Netherlands it will be compact, a small country, but they have a good structure for that. The other things are: what they see as the legacy, all the safety and security things – which are not dramatic but they still have to agree, they have to have all the agreements in place.
The one very good thing we learnt in Sweden was the bottom-up perspective – involvement of the local municipalities, the local clubs. And they also have this already started [in the Netherlands], I know that all the host cities already have joined and made a group, which is a very good start.
Bert van Oostveen, tournament director
That our team will shine on home ground at the EURO tournament is something great to look forward to. Organising the 2017 EURO tournament underlines our ambitions within women's football. Through the qualification for the 2015 World Cup and EURO 2017 in our own nation, Dutch women's football will have some nice years ahead of us.
Anouk Dekker, Netherlands & FC Twente forward
It is fantastic that EURO 2017 will be held in the Netherlands with a semi-final and the final being played in our stadium. During the EURO the Netherlands will be able to see the best of women's football. Women's football as a sport will certainly get a boost from this in the country.
Ed Engelkes, AFC Ajax coach
Wilco van Schaik, FC Utrecht CEO
It's nice for the club FC Utrecht and the city of Utrecht. In 2005, the [FIFA] U-20 World Cup was here. Utrecht played a key role, including a semi-final, the third-place play-offf and the final in which Lionel Messi scored twice. If the attention the Dutch women's team got after qualifying for the World Cup is a harbinger for the popularity of women's football in the Netherlands, I am hopeful that we will have a nice EURO all together in 2017.
Sherida Spitse, Netherlands & LSK Kvinner FK midfielder
We have been trying for a couple of years already to get the tournament in the Netherlands and now that has been succeeded, so that obviously is great. I also think this is good for women's football in the Netherlands. It means we keep on developing. We can show ourselves on the highest stage at the EURO tournament. We really are ready to experience a tournament like this.