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Defeated Dutch arrive back home

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-07-13 02:30:11

AMSTERDAM: The Dutch football team returned home Monday after their 1-0 World Cup defeat at the hands of Spain, their plane escorted by two F-16 fighter jets.

The team landed at 5.20 pm (1520 GMT) at Amsterdam`s Schiphol airport, where they were kept away from the public, an AFP journalist observed.

Their KLM passenger plane was accompanied into Dutch airspace by two F-16s, one painted in the orange colour of the team.

The players were then led to an orange-carpeted podium for an audience with about 100 journalists and photographers in a section of the airport closed off to the public.

After the press encounter, the team will be flown by military helicopter to an hotel where they will be reunited with their loved ones, airport spokeswoman Kathelijn Vermeulen told AFP.

On Tuesday, the team of coach Bert van Marwijk will be hosted in The Hague by outgoing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Queen Beatrix.

In the afternoon Tuesday, they will be honoured with a boat parade through the canals of Amsterdam and a special tribute to be attended by tens of thousands of people on a central square.

BDST: 2201hrs, July 12, 2010

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