World Cup 2010 Comment: Why Cote d'Ivoire Rooted For The Netherlands

Ivory Coast was a graveyard last night after the Netherlands’ loss to Spain, but why the strong sympathy for the Oranje?

You would wonder why millions of Ivoirian soccer fans strongly supported the Netherlands during Sunday’s final, and many South Africans did too. Nothing visibly connects Ivory Coast to the Netherlands, aside from the orange colours both countries have in their flags.’s research produced some amusing reasons that altogether define the attitude of the fans.

1) Orange colour: Ivory Coast as well as Netherlands have the orange colour as part of their national identification. And so naturally, among two unknown competitors, a stranger leans towards he who shares some similarities with them. Do we say colour brings unity?

2) Support the killer of my enemy: Do you remember how Brazil squashed Cote d'Ivoire’s hopes of progressing to the second round with a 3-1 success? And then do you remember how Netherlands stunningly stopped Brazil’s leap into the semi-finals with a 2-1 win? Ivoirians celebrated, not the victory of Netherlands but the defeat of the Selecao. This was how the love for the Oranje began here in Ivory Coast.

3) No to Barcelona: You will agree with me that in all their matches throughout the World Cup, Spain displayed a game pattern that closely resembles that of Barcelona, thanks largely to the presence of Xavi, Anders Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol. Many Ivoirian fans don’t support Barcelona because of Chelsea’s Didier Drogba, whose fans here had their hearts broken after Barca’s semi-final win over the Blues at Stamford Bridge in the 2008-09 Champions League. You can see why many don’t want to smell anything Barcelona here.

How funny fans can be!