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World Cup 2014
 

Dutch team checks into Sao Paulo early as they prepare to face Argentina

Published on Jul 8, 2014 7:11 AM
 

The Netherlands checked into their Sao Paulo hotel a day ahead of schedule after a scheduling mix-up forced them to leave their Rio di Janeiro base on Monday.

The Dutch, who meet Argentina in the World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, had been staying at the Caesar Park hotel on Rio's world-famous Ipanema beach since the start of the Brazil World Cup.

But the team were apparently booked to stay at the five-star hotel only until the quarter-finals, with their rooms after that given out to new guests.

Football's governing body Fifa on Monday denied that Louis van Gaal and his men were thrown out of their team hotel to make way for dignitaries and sponsors.

“The situation is not... that we’re throwing them out of the hotel,” Fifa spokesman Delia Fischer told reporters. “It was a decision in which they defined the date when they will end their team base camp.”

They will stay in a Fifa-designated hotel if they qualify for the final in Rio, Ms Fischer added.

But Dutch federation president Bert van Oostveen complained that his team were being forced to move elsewhere.

“It’s just a shame that this should happen,” he told Dutch media earlier on Monday. “The players are used to the hotel and then they might have to make way for the biggest game of their careers.

“I think it is not in the interests of football that athletes must give way.”

Still the players checked in with little fuss at the Pullman Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo. Television crews and residents in the area were on hand to welcome the team as they arrived just before 2pm.

marclim@sph.com.sg

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