The Orange Men will be whistled by two Dutch referees during the match in the Pro League with Great Britain (27 and 29 October) and Belgium (4 November). Coen van Bunge and Jonas van ‘t Hek have been appointed by the FIH to supervise the duels. Unique, because it is normally impossible for – during an official tournament – the arbitral duo to have the same nationality as one of the teams.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) had actually designated a Czech and German referee on the encounter between the Orange Men and Great Britain, but the international duo decided to refuse this offer. “They have indicated that it was not profitable for them to come this way,” explains Coen van Bunge. He understands that choice. ‘It was uncertain for a long time whether the games would continue. They would also have to be quarantined for ten days on their return. ‘
In consultation with all teams, it has therefore been decided to choose referees from their own country. Since this would be the safest situation at this time, all countries agreed. A special moment for Van Bunge: he already whistled the Orange squad during an exhibition match or during the Rabo super series, but never in an official top international match.
Nothing is as beautiful as international whistling
‘I whistled my last international match in February. That was then for the Pro League in India. We are now more than eight months later, I am of course very much looking forward to it. ‘ Since then he had to wait a long time for a game at all, from September he was able to regain some rhythm during the seven rounds of the Tulp big league men. ‘There is nothing better than international whistling. These are therefore very nice competitions. That it is Orange, so be it . It is unique to be able to do this together with Jonas . ‘
We are impartial as referees. Normally you are not allowed to whistle your own country. Necessity knows no law. I am super neutral. Orange really does not have to expect presents from Jonas and me.Coen van Bunge
Although Van Bunge cannot wait for his first whistle, his choice did not happen overnight. A strict regime also applies to flutists. The Orange teams will be in a so-called ‘bubble’ from Sunday. Van ‘t Hek and Van Bunge are also in a kind of’ home bubble ‘. The Dutch duo is in home quarantine and gets a corona test every four days.
‘Orange does not have to expect presents’
After the duels with the Orange and Great Britain, Van ‘t Hek and Van Bunge also whistle the games of the English in and against Belgium (October 31 and November 1). Then accompany the game between Belgium and Orange on November 4 in Brussels. The Oranje Dames are called against Great Britain by referees with a different nationality: two Belgians. They are allowed to come to the Netherlands and do not need to be quarantined because they are present for less than 48 hours.
Van Bunge emphasizes that it does not matter to him which nationality he whistles. ‘We are impartial as referees. Normally you are not allowed to whistle your own country. Need now breaks the law. I am super neutral. Orange really does not have to expect presents from Jonas and me. ‘