Thousands of fans backing Bergen’s football club Brann gathered for an enormous rally on Sunday afternoon to welcome the team home, after they’d won Norway’s Cup for the first time in 16 years.
The annual Cup Final, equivalent to the Norwegian Championship in football, always plays out at the national football stadium Ullevaal in Oslo. Brann was up against Lillestrøm, just northeast of the capital, but ended up beating them by a score of 2-0.
Both clubs are viewed as pillars of Norwegian football and competition was fierce as around 25,000 fans cheered and roared in the packed stadium, even during the singing of the national anthem. That caused some finger-pointing at the red-clad Brann fans, whose players had also caught criticism for opting to march in Bergen’s huge 17th of May festivities just a few days before the Cup final. The critics worried that would tap the players’ energy.
It didn’t, with Brann scoring early and dominating the match. The only disapppointment for Brann and their fans was the absence of King Harald V, who traditionally attends and hands over the winners’ cup at the festive final. His son Prince Haakon was also otherwise engaged on Saturday, so Brann received the cup from Agriculture Minister Sandra Borch and the president of Norway’s football federation, Lise Klaveness.