In an extraordinary display of camaraderie, diplomats and their spouses from nine countries—Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Philippines, and Switzerland—gathered last Saturday Nov 18 for a memorable evening. The initiative, aptly named the “Guys Night Out,” brought a group of diplomats, including the Ambassador of the Philippines, Mr. Eduardo Jose Malaya, for a night filled with sports, friendship, and celebration.
The charismatic Jens-Volker Ginschel, Armament Attaché at the Embassy of Germany, took charge of leading the group through an evening that would be etched in their memories. The journey began with a lively borrel at Het Plein in Den Haag, setting the stage for an evening of laughter, bonding, and shared experiences.
The highlight of the night was the group’s journey to Amsterdam, culminating at the iconic Johan Cruyff Arena. The purpose of this adventure was to witness the Netherlands national men’s soccer team in action against Ireland in the European Qualifiers. The sold-out arena buzzed with anticipation as the two teams battled it out on the field.
The Netherlands emerged victorious with a 1-0 win, securing their second-place finish in the qualifiers, trailing only behind France and surpassing strong contenders like Greece, Ireland, and Gibraltar. This triumph earned the Dutch team direct qualification for the European Championship 2024 in Germany, a feat celebrated with jubilation and live music in the stadium after the match.
The majority of the diplomatic group, positioned in a VIP-like setting with their own bar, reveled in the joy of supporting the Netherlands. The unique experience of being surrounded by passionate Dutch supporters added an extra layer of excitement among the diplomats.
The great atmosphere in the stadium, coupled with the thrill of the match, blended seamlessly with the camaraderie that had developed during the pre-game borrel, the train journey, and the shared enthusiasm for soccer. The evening became an unforgettable opportunity of diplomatic relations, sportsmanship, and cross-cultural connections.
As the night concluded, the resounding call for a repetition echoed among the diplomats. The success of the “Guys Night Out” was not just in the victory of the Netherlands on the soccer field but in the bonds forged and memories created among diplomats from diverse corners of the globe. The Diplomat Magazine’s “Guys Night Out” proved that diplomacy extends beyond formal meetings and negotiations—it can also thrive in the camaraderie of a shared passion for sports and celebration.