With the World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign fast approaching, the Belgian FA have decided to enlist the help of their fans in order to create as fervant and lively an atmosphere as possible. They outlined the details of this initiative in an open letter to the fans, in both Dutch and French. For people outside of Belgium, I decided to give a rough translation in English:
Dear Red Devils supporters,
You mostly hear from us through the media but today we are addressing you directly. On the eve of the World Cup qualifying campaign, we are aware that we can be part of a quite unique story.
Over the past two years, we have formed a bond between us. Match after match, we have succeeded in convincing you that we take our sporting duties very seriously and that we stand for attractive football. For your part, you have begun to support us with even greater fervour. In June, 10,000 of you gave us goosebumps throughout the entire 90 minutes, despite us losing 1-0 against England. Everyone always talks about the Dutch supporters but in our opinion, you surpass them.
You expect a great deal from this generation of Red Devils. And believe us when we say that we will not shirk our responsibilities. We want to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, period. For you, for our staff and for all the other people who support us around the clock. And we will do our utmost to ensure that we give you what you deserve.
It is even more important, however, that we travel together along the way because you are an integral part of the national team; even more important that we make a mutual agreement: we compete like devils on the pitch and you support us in good times and in bad.
That is why we call upon you to take part in this unique initiative, the Red Devils Challenges. The idea? We will ask you to help us for every qualification match. If you succeed, we will offer you something in return. No other country has ever done this before us – it is a real first.
The dress rehearsal will take place on 15 August. Belgium – Netherlands. We challenge you to do the following: paint the whole country red for this occasion. The border towns, the roads leading to the stadium…everywhere where the Dutch supporters tread must be painted bright red. Red balloons, red flags and if needs be, pigs painted all red. If you pull it off, then we will literally dye three players red.
We hope that you will all join in en masse in taking part and writing a unique chapter in Belgian football history. It will only be possible if we all get together. Take part at facebook.com/belgianreddevils
The Red Devils