Fingerprint Scan with Parken Stadion in the Background

Brondby fans stop introduction of fingerprint ticketing system

This is what can be achieved if fans unite: through a very impressive and massively successful boycott of the derby match against Copenhagen FC on 20 March 2011 and accompanying actions, the fans of Brøndby IF in Denmark have prevented the introduction of a fingerprint ticketing system for their games.

 

On 15 February 2011, Brøndby IF announced that supporters would have to leave their fingerprint if they intended to buy a ticket and enter the away section at the upcoming derby match against FC Copenhagen away at Parken Stadium. The supporters’ response to the announcement was prompt: on the same day, fans groups at Brøndby announced that they would boycott the match in protest against the introduction of this new system which they said would go too far and needs to be considered a collective stigmatisation of all Brøndby supporters as a problem which needs to be dealt with via the usage of classical crime investigation methodology.

 

As part of their protest activities, the Brøndby supporters organised a programme of social events for the derby weekend, to create worthwhile alternatives for everyone willing to participate in the match boycott. On top of that, the fans’ group Alpha started a huge media campaign, so that up until matchday, the boycott had very positive media coverage in all major newspapers and via the three major national tv-stations and regional media in the capital region of Copenhagen.

The first signs of success came earlier than expected... a few days before the game already, Brøndby IF officially declared that they would renounce the need for fingerprints at future games. The reason for the change of course was obvious: they had sold only 150 tickets for the away sector instead of the normal 3200 at the time.

Up until and during the ticket sale period, the online fanzine of Brøndby had published various interviews with politicians, scientists on the topic. AftBrondby Fans celebrating at the last training sessioner the ticket sales had closed, the fans’ group Alpha still offered to all those who had bought tickets to take them back in exchange for 5 pints of beer at the training ground on the day before the match.

And the protest strategy paid off: on Saturday 19 March, more than 1000 Brøndby supporters finally showed up for the final training session of their team, singing and celebrating for 2 hours as if the derby match was already on, and on matchday one day later, even 1500 Brøndby fans showed up at Brøndby stadium once again to celebrate and cheer for their team and to give them support just before they left to Parken Stadium for the match.

Parken Stadion during the derby match - the away fans' sectorOne member of Alpha told us: “After the team had left Brøndby Stadium, the whole crowd of fans marched to the local station and took the train to Copenhagen to watch the match in 4 bars in Central Copenhagen together. Inside these bars, we met another 500 fans who had been waiting for us already! And when we were even leading 0-1 at the end of the first half, the weekend was almost perfect. Typical for Brøndby though, we lost 3-1 in the end, of course… But at the same time, we had won our battle for fan rights!”

And even better: although a lot of flares were used and 2000 Brøndby fans gathered in the streets, there was no reports of incidents or arrests in relation with the fans’ protest.

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