Nine players for the Bergen football club Brann were urged by their coach to finally apologize for late-night partying inside the club’s stadium two weeks ago. The party set off a scandal that already has led to the firing of one player and contract termination agreements for two others.
All 12 players involved have been shamed by club leaders and fans since the impromptu party known as a nachspiel that followed Brann’s 3-1 victory in a training match against Fyllingsdalen on August 9. After a victory dinner followed by more celebrating in downtown Bergen, the players continued the evening inside the stadium along with seven young women.
That in turn unleashed rumours, allegations of sexual assault and disciplinary action by club management. Kristoffer Barmen, who has played for Brann’s various clubs since he was 12, was fired, while Mikkel Andersen asked that his contract be terminated. Vegard Forren agreed to end his contract, too, but reportedly for family reasons.
On Monday night, the nine others involved in the party publicly apologized but also defended themselves. They admitted to “poor judgment” and that they drank alcohol, but claimed no drugs were involved. They also distanced themselves from various accusations made against them on social media, adding, however, that they “fully understood” that their actions had “sparked reaction. We apologize to all those who love Brann and Norwegian football.”
The formal written apology was signed by Daniel Pedersen, Sivert Heltne Nilsen, Markus Olsen Pettersen, Mathias Rasmussen, David Møller Wolfe, Ole Martin Kolskogen, Thomas Grøgaard, Eirik Holmen Johansen and Lars Krogh Gerson. Brann manager Vibeke Johannesen welcomed the apology and hoped the club, currently ranked at the bottom of its league, could now concentrate on the game, win needed points and restore fans’ confidence.