Euro 2024: Why aren't the Netherlands called Holland?

Netherlands Euro 2024 squad Team Netherlands pose prior to the international friendly match between Germany and Netherlands at Deutsche Bank Park on March 26, 2024 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For those of us of a certain age, the Netherlands will always be Holland. It used to be routine for broadcasters and everyday conversation to refer to them that way – so what changed?

The simple explanation is that Holland is not the formal name of the country as we know it today, but is simply a region of the country that has for centuries been used as a shorthand for the country as a whole. More specifically, ‘Holland’ is made up of North Holland and South Holland, which are just two of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands.

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Steven Chicken

Steven Chicken has been working as a football writer since 2009, taking in stints with Football365 and the Huddersfield Examiner. Steven still covers Huddersfield Town home and away for his own publication, Steven is a two-time nominee for Regional Journalist of the Year at the prestigious British Sports Journalism Awards, making the shortlist in 2020 and 2023.