Whilst there isn’t a single person born in Friesland in the Dutch squad for the Euros, three Frisians will be attending as match officials
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Friesland, whilst not having anyone playing for the Dutch national football team at the European Championships, has produced some of the highest-regarded officials in the competition. Three Frisian assistant referees; Erwin Zeinstra, Hessel Steegstra, and Jan de Vries will all officiate at the tournament, having already worked in the Champions and Europa League finals. The three will join Björn Kuipers (the referee of the group, who is from Twente) at the Euros. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
Erwin Zeinstra, from Dronrijp, is making his third appearance at a Euros, having also been part of the officials cohort in 2012 and 2016. Though his colleague Kuipers has already said that this will be his last major tournament, Zeinstra is less certain: “I shall see how it goes, but it is also dependent on Björn’s decision.”
This evening, Steegstra (from Sneek), and De Vries (from Gytsjerk) will be running the lines at the opening fixture, Turkey vs Italy, in Rome. It will be their first appearance at a major tournament. The pressure isn’t likely to affect them: Steegstra has previously been part of the refereeing teams at the Europa League final, Champions league semi-final, and Club World Cup final.
It has not yet been announced who will referee the Euros final in July, but all of the Frisian officials are rooting for each other: a team for the final will be announced during the course of the tournament.