Bergen’s once-mighty football club Brann suffered the humiliation on Wednesday night of dropping out of Norway’s top league, after losing a critical match to a much smaller club from Mjøndalen, not far from Drammen. The loss of top-league status was made worse by Brann’s troublesome so-called supporters, who threatened both spectators, players and Brann’s own coach.
The bad behaviour of the Brann fans led to fistfights and police intervention. “It was embarrassing to be a Brann fan when some of the supporters reacted as they did,” one upset fan told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “We could have lost league status with dignity, but what happened here tonight was not good at all.”
Other fans agreed. “It was frightening,” said one. Added another: “We lost, fully deserved, and we should have then taken our hats and headed home.” Instead there were fights and firecrackers and smoke and fear. Several Brann fans also threatened TV crews that were catching the uproar on tape.
Police had to separate angry and aggressive Brann fans from Brann’s own embattled coach, Rikard Norling. NRK reported that several families with children ran out of the stadium in Mjøndalen when a group of unruly Brann fans became violent during the final minutes of the match, which Mjøndalen won by a score of 3-0. The victory secured them a place in Norway’s “elite” league, while Brann was relegated to Norway’s first division.
Experts all claimed that Mjøndalen won fair and square, with former national football coach Egil “Drillo” Olsen saying he was “impressed” by Mjøndalen’s performance. The club enjoyed a well-deserved celebration after the match, despite the trouble caused by the rowdy fans of their opponent.