Drammen celebrates football and more

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The Norwegian city of Drammen, once the target of snide remarks for its traffic congestion and pollution, has undergone a major refurbishment in recent years that’s attracted new residents and built local pride. Now the city’s football team, Strømsgodset, has sparked jubilation after it won the Norwegian top league championship for the first time in 43 years.

View of Drammen, an ever-more dynamic city which will also have a new newspaper shortly.

Drammen, about a half-hour drive southwest of Oslo, has emerged as a popular and scenic city along the Drammens River. Now it has a top-ranked football team as well. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Strømsgodset’s 4-0 victory over Haugesund left it at the top of Norway’s so-called “elite” league, pushing long-dominant Rosenborg of Trondheim down to second place. Fans packed the Marienlyst stadium in Drammen for the match on Sunday, an achievement in itself at a time when Norwegian football matches have been losing attendance as the sport falls on tough times.

“Now we’re not just the kings of Drammen,” team captain Adam Larsen Kwarasey boasted to newspaper Aftenposten. “We’re the kings of Norway! This is just so incredibly great.”

All four goals came after the break, and right when eager fans had begun to wonder whether they’d actually win the league championship. They did, and they stormed the field afterwards, while some fans simply stood in the stands and cried with joy, sang, clapped and danced.

The victory was widely viewed as well-deserved and gave Drammen patriots another reason to be proud of their city along the Drammens River that now features wild salmon instead of industrial waste, a shore promenade and pedestrian bridges to new waterfront residential and commercial developments. “This just means so much,” Kwarasey said.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund