- Dutch squad hit by apparent virus
- Five players sent home
- Van Dijk unsure of cause of illness
WHAT HAPPENED? The Oranje's preparations for the start of Euro 2024 qualifying have been hit after five players were forced to depart the set-up due to illness. Cody Gakpo, Sven Botman, Matthijs de Ligt, Joey Veerman and Bart Verbrugge have all departed the camp amid claims a chicken curry is to blame for the virus outbreak. Van Dijk says the departures are a blow but isn't convinced the curry is at fault.
🏆 TOP STORY: Ronaldo reflects on his Man Utd misery
📣 HAVE YOUR SAY: Will Pep Guardiola leave Man City?
🚨 MUST READ: Inside the mind of Emi Martinez
WHAT THEY SAID: "I don't know where that story comes from. I also ate chicken curry myself and it was delicious. Whether that is the cause? No idea. No one has an idea. I can't imagine," he told NOS. "It was very strange. In our group app, messages suddenly came through that some boys were going home, that they were ill. That was a bit of a shock."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronald Koeman is also without key midfielder Frenkie de Jong due to injury for the games against France and Gibraltar, but Van Dijk is confident his team can still get something out of the ties despite the absence of several key men.
"It is certainly a huge blow, but the guys who are there now have to show it and they will. I have confidence in that," he added.
IN THREE PHOTOS:GettyGettyGetty
DID YOU KNOW? Before the current international break, absentee Matthijs de Ligt started in each of the 20 matches during Ronald Koeman's previous term with the Netherlands.
WHAT NEXT? Koeman's men begin qualifying on Friday against France in Paris and then host Gibraltar on Monday.