testIn 2012, there had been some pretty nasty scenes involving football fans going crazy and together with populist politicians all of this made big headlines in the news.

The Minister of Justice at the time, Morten Bødskov, facilitated meetings and received feedback from several stakeholders – fans, police, ministry of justice and the League. An action plan “Gode Fodboldoplevelser for Alle” (Great Football experiences for All) was created. The main parts of the action plan put a focus on the need to introduce socio-preventive measures like dialogue with fans, event policing, good hosting principles, a plan to improve the training of security staff, and similar initiatives. However, one of the points in the plan also talks about the clubs “looking into the possibility of creating a joint access system”. Now, the Danish League read this as “we have to implement mandatory ID cards for away fans” - and this is where the story begins…

Since the more wide-spread introduction of event policing, using dialogue with fans as key tool of prevention, and more proper Supporter Liaison Officers (SLOs) starting to work for the clubs, the official statistics of arrests in connection of football matches have shown a clear pattern: dialogue works - the numbers of incidents and arrests have been going down rapidly since (just 19 arrests at the stadia during season 2013/14 with more than 1,5 million visitors attending 198 matches in total).

By the end of 2014 though, the federation of Danish Football Fan Clubs (DFF) became aware of the plan of the Danish Professional League who wanted to introduce a mandatory away card from season 2015/16. Subsequently, DFF members decided to dedicate a big part of their main annual meeting to the topic – they discussed the away card and potential consequences. Soon after that, Danish fan clubs together with fan representatives from all sorts of backgrounds beyond that launched a campaign against the away card: #NejtilAwaykort (No to away cards).

Even though the away card is only supposed to be introduced in the Super League (merely as a first step maybe…), there was great support from fans from all levels of Danish football for the campaign from the start. Fans created banners, got active on social media and took part in public debates. Furthermore, upon initiative from several supporters, thousands of fans across the league abandoned all chanting and tifo actitivies for 15 minutes during several matches, to show how empty and dull it will be without fans – we wanted the clubs to realize that we really mean it, when we say that we will not come to the matches, if the card should be introduced.

Also, several politicians from most political parties in Denmark have been contacted by the fans. Not one – not even the former Minister of Justice – could confirm or recognize a need to implement the away card. But this still doesn’t seem to impress the representatives of the Danish Leauge.

At this moment, the situation is more or less on hold. The League invited the fans to talks. A small group of representatives from DFF, the ultras, and the campaign group (which also includes FSE Committee member Tine Hundahl) subsequently went to one meeting. As a result, the away card is now on standby, whilst we look into alternative solutions together with the League. However, the League has said that if we don’t reach any consensus, they will introduce the away card after the winter break of this season anway – we have promised in return that if the League doesn’t drop the idea completely, it will be a farewell to away fans, choreos and atmosphere, as then a total match boycott will begin…

Contact

Football Supporters Europe eV

Koordinationsbüro

Postfach 30 62 18
20328 Hamburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 40 370 877 51
Fax: +49 40 370 877 50
Email: info@fanseurope.org

Imprint