“In these times of war, football unites”

“In these times of war, football unites”

Students about the European Championship

11-06-2024 · Background

From June 14th to July 14th, the European Football Championship will take place in Germany. In 51 matches, 24 national teams will compete against each other. Are UM-students in football fever?

To be expected: some people have nothing to do at all with football or the European Championships. "It’s not a topic among my friends," a student says. Or: "Of course it's nice when the Dutch team wins the championship, but I'm just not interested in the sport." Lasse Bock however, a first-year International Business student, can hardly contain himself as soon as he hears the word ‘football’. "I am a loyal fan of Roda JC [club from Kerkrade, South Limburg], I have had a season ticket since I was a child. I think football is great. And of course I watch the European Championship – even if there is unfortunately no Roda player in the Dutch team," the 18-year-old from Vaals laughs. Students are in their exam weeks, does a championship and exams go together? "Yes, absolutely. It's nice to watch a game with friends in a bar after studying all day."

EK betting pool

Third-year student of Econometrics Kees (“no surname please’’) will be watching the games in a fraternity house of Hyperion, together with his fellow members. Of course the interior will be decorated in orange. They also have a betting pool: each member has put in 10 euros. Whoever has made the best prediction, wins everything. "In total probably around 200 euros," he says. Is he also betting on the Netherlands to win? No. "It will be England against France in the final. I hope England wins, they haven't won in a long time." Nevertheless, he supports his home country. "I will sing the anthem, the Wilhelmus. With my hand on my heart."
Bas Ooijman, master student at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, on the other hand, says that he will “absolutely not" sing the anthem. "I'm not that nationalistic." But like Kees, he also takes part in a bet. Instead of playing for money, he and his friends however choose for more creativity: "A few years ago, the loser on holiday had to wear a suit with a picture of a naked man on it all day."


What about international students? Rebekka Wernicke, a master’s student at Law, was born in Switzerland, grew up in England and Canada, while her parents are from Germany. Who is she supporting then? "I'm for Switzerland, even though I only lived there for a short time. My parents are ruling for Germany, my brother for England. I think it's great to have all the countries we have a connection with are represented." For Tristan Balakrishnan football has a special meaning. The first-year student in the bachelor’s European Law School, who also plays himself as goalkeeper in a Belgian amateur club, loves the sports, but especially values the worldwide message of football: "At a local level, football strengthens the sense of community, at an international level it brings different countries and cultures together. Especially in these times of war, football unites."

Lotte van de Loo and Simon Wirtz

Author: Redactie

Illustration: Simone Golob

Tags: football, football championship, students, sports, ek

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