Dutch Language Blog

Euro 2020 – Dutch Referees Whistling The Finals! Posted by on Jul 13, 2021 in Culture, Dutch Vocabulary, Sports

Last week, I wrote about how the Dutch are still in the tournament in some way, as the music is made by Dutch DJ Martin Garrix. But there’s more! The splendid finale (final) on Sunday was played between Italy and England in the Wembley Stadium in London. But guess what? The scheidsrechter (referee) was Dutch! So today, let’s focus on the neutral person on the field.

All posts in this series

Euro 2020: Oranje is back!

Euro 2020: How Brussels lost their spot to host the games

Euro 2020: Oranje is Out 🙁

Euro 2020 – How The Dutch Are Still Represented

Euro 2020 – Dutch Referees Whistling The Finals!

Kuipers: World-class referee at Euro 2020 Finals

Scheidsrechter Björn Kuipers floot (whistled) the wedstrijd (game) on Sunday. His assistent-scheidsrechters are always the same – Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra.

Kuipers is from Oldenzaal, Twente, a rural area in the east of the Netherlands that borders Germany. I actually know the town quite well, as it is not far from my hometown!

He played football early on, before doing a scheidsrechterscursus (referee course). His first game as arbiter in the Dutch Eredivisie (Honour/Premier Division) was on Mach 5, 2005. A year later comes his first international wedstrijd between Bulgaria and Russia.

And his career kept going the right way from there. In 2009, he enters the highest referee class of UEFA. In 2012, he is one of the arbiters at the European Cup. He can also be see at the World Cup in 2014, the following European Cup in 2016, again in 2018 at the World Cup, and, of course, the Euro 2020.

In 2014, he is the scheidsrechter for the Champions League final between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid. A big match for himself, where he also set a record. With 12 yellow cards, he gave more admonitions than  ever before in a Champions League final!

With other finals under his belt, he is the first Dutch scheidsrechter that arbited 5 big finals.

In a short documentary released some years ago, Kuipers revealed that he had one dream left to fulfill: een EK-finale fluiten (to whistle a Eurocup final). And now that droom (dream) became a reality!

Kuipers isn’t the only Dutch referee at the Euro 2020. Danny Makkelie is another Dutch referee who whistled both the semi-finals!

Kuipers: More than a referee

Jumbo Kuipers Oldenzaal Supermarket Euro 2020

A Jumbo Supermarket (Afbeelding van Marco van Blijderveen via Pixabay)

Like many other scheidsrechters, Kuipers isn’t just a ref. By day, he owns two Jumbo supermarkets and a haarstudio (hair salon), which he has run for years now. While he makes good money as a referee, running the supermarkets is his main activity. Infamously, he’s sometimes called “world’s richest referee”, with an estimated worth in the millions.

Did you see the final? How did you think that Kuipers did his job? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.