Just under 20,000 Norwegian football fans turned up for their country’s annual “cup final” that ranks as the Norwegian Championships with the monarch in attendance. It was the poorest turnout since the 1980s, blamed mostly on the late December date when many are more keen on Christmas preparations than shivering in an open stadium.
“Now is when everyone wants to be trimming their Christmas trees,” Kjetil Knutsen, coach of the losing team Bodø/Glimt, told state broadcaster NRK. He thinks football season scheduling needs to be rearranged, back to a beginning in May and an end in October.
Rival team Molde beat Bodø/Glimt by a score of just 1-0, before 19,718 fans at Norway’s national stadium Ulevaal in Oslo. It holds more than 25,000 and is normally packed for the Cup Final.
“The field was as good as can be expected at this time of year,” Molde coach Erling Moe noted, as snow and sleet kept falling after a week of extremely cold temperatures also in Southern Norway. He also favours moving the Cup Final to a more weather-friendly month.