Denmark v Sweden (UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying)

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2008 UEFA Qualifier fan attack
Location Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
Date 2 June 2007
21:50 (CEST)
Target Herbert Fandel
Attack type
Perpetrators Ronni Nörvig[1][2][3][4]

A fan attack occurred at the Euro 2008 qualifying match between the national football teams of Sweden and Denmark, at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on 2 June 2007. A Danish supporter ran onto the pitch and attacked referee Herbert Fandel, after the referee had awarded Sweden a penalty in the 89th minute of the match and sent off Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen for punching Swedish striker Markus Rosenberg in the stomach.

The match was subsequently abandoned, and on 8 June 2007, UEFA held a hearing, awarding Sweden the match 3–0 and banning Poulsen for three competitive matches, and giving other punishments relating to Denmark international matches. The decision was appealed by the Danish Football Association[5] and reduced on 5 July 2007. A CHF 100,000 (€66,000) fine was lowered to CHF 50,000; also, Denmark's two subsequent matches needed to be played at least 140 kilometres (87 mi) from Copenhagen.[6]

The match was the first ever UEFA qualifying fixture between Sweden and Denmark,[7] and the first time a UEFA championship qualifier was abandoned due to spectator interference.[citation needed]


Sweden led 3–0 after 26 minutes of the Group F game, but Denmark bounced back and made the score 3–3 going into the final stages.[8]

Poulsen-Rosenberg incident[edit]

Christian Poulsen

In the 89th minute, Denmark's Christian Poulsen and Sweden's Markus Rosenberg engaged in a tussle in the Danish penalty area; Rosenberg struck Poulsen, who in turn punched Rosenberg in the stomach.[9] After conferring with his assistant referee, referee Fandel sent off Poulsen and awarded Sweden a penalty, which was never taken.[10]

Fan attack[edit]

Seconds later, a Danish fan rushed onto the field and attacked the referee, grabbed his neck,[11] but was intercepted by the Danish defender Michael Gravgaard shortly after this. The officials - Fandel, assistant referees and the fourth official - walked off the field, and Danish Football Association spokesman Lars Berendt within minutes announced Sweden was awarded a 3–0 victory. After the both teams left the pitch a second Danish fan took the ball from the penalty spot and ran across the stadium before scoring in Sweden's empty net. Shortly before the announcement a third fan ran across the pitch.


Immediately after the incident, some Danish news media launched unprecedented rewards petitions for information about the perpetrator. Screenshot from online. It reads: "Do you know the crook? This man is responsible for Denmark's loss against Sweden. If you know who he is, please write Ekstra Bladet".

The attacker was identified as a 29-year-old Dane named Ronni Nörvig in German media[1] living and working in Gothenburg, Sweden,[12] publication of his name in Denmark was censored,[13] due to a Danish court order.[14] Prior to that, his full name and residential status was published in online edition of the Danish tabloid B.T.,[citation needed] which, among other newspapers, ran an unprecedented petition asking the public for assistance to identify him. The Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet has identified him by the initial "R", while other news media decided not to publish his name citing "the serious threat" against him.[citation needed]


UEFA action against Danish FA[edit]

Map with approximate 140 and 250 km (87 and 155 mi) radii from Copenhagen, with relevant stadiums shown:
Parken, Copenhagen – the site of the incident
Fionia Park, Odense (141 km or 88 mi from Parken) – site of a 2006 Denmark friendly match against Poland
NRGi Park, Aarhus (147 km or 91 mi from Parken) – site of a 2006 Denmark friendly match against Paraguay; chosen as the site for the two matches
Aalborg Stadion, Aalborg (224 km or 139 mi from Parken) – mentioned as an alternative
Blue Water Arena, Esbjerg (261 km or 162 mi from Parken) – mentioned as the only real option within Denmark and outside the 250 km (160 mi) perimeter
AOL Arena, Hamburg (288 km or 179 mi from Parken) – mentioned as an alternative outside Denmark

The result was not confirmed until an investigation by UEFA's disciplinary committee was carried out. The hearing took place on 8 June 2007 to officially confirm whether the match should be forfeited 3-0 to Sweden.[15] The Danish Football Association (DBU) suspended ticket sales for its next two European qualifiers at Parken Stadium pending UEFA's decision. It had already sold 18,200 tickets for the 12 September match against Liechtenstein, but said it would reimburse fans if UEFA changed the venue.[16]

On 8 June 2007 the hearing was held, awarding Sweden the match 3–0, fining Denmark CHF 100,000 (€66,000), plus the punishment that Denmark should play their next four home qualification matches (effectively the rest of the competition) at least 250 kilometres (160 mi) away from Copenhagen, with the next match against Liechtenstein behind closed doors. Poulsen was banned for three competitive matches.[17]

The president of the Swedish Football Association, Lars-Åke Lagrell expressed his satisfaction with the ruling calling it "a clear decision", adding that "there were no alternatives".[18] The Danish FA immediately announced its intention to appeal.[19] Jim Stjerne Hansen, secretary general of the DBU, said he was "shocked by the scope of the rulings", and that "It seems that they didn't look at the geography when they made their decision. Denmark is a small country."[19]

Two of the three members of UEFA's disciplinary committee gave press interviews following the decision. Joël Wollf, General Secretary of the Luxembourg Football Federation and committee member, said:

"The 250 kilometres were just to make sure that they would play away from Copenhagen. [...] My opinion is that it should be made possible for these matches to be played in Denmark. I have not seen the ruling in writing, so I don't know what it says."[20]

Rainer Koch, German member of UEFA's disciplinary committee:

"Denmark can just play in Aalborg. They have a race track (sic) up there, don't they? [...] Well I don't know the distances in Denmark. This will be a matter of a discussion."[20]

The distance between Aalborg and Copenhagen is 224 kilometres (139 mi), thus it was not a viable option at the time.[21] Aalborg Stadium does not feature a race track.[22][23]

Final UEFA ruling[edit]

On 5 July 2007 UEFA released the following statement:

The Appeals Body replaced the original verdict of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body and its decision is final: Sweden have been awarded a 3-0 win by default; the DBU has been fined CHF50,000 (€30,222); and the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen will be closed for four official competition matches involving the senior national team. From this third sanction, two games are deferred for a probationary period of two years. The world governing body FIFA will be notified about the deferred sanction and the period of probation.


To the match in general[edit]

Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, criticized the behaviour of both Christian Poulsen and the fan who attacked the referee: "It was terrible and a very embarrassing behavior on the Danish side."[24]

To Christian Poulsen's behaviour[edit]

Copenhagen police spokesperson chief inspector [25] Flemming Steen Munch gave the following comment:

"It is about time to set an example ... It has almost become acceptable to be violent on the pitch, but violence should not be accepted on the pitch or in society. The TV images clearly show how the Swede is punched in the stomach. My immediate opinion is that according to the penal code the act will lead to a 30 day imprisonment".[26]

Copenhagen police chief superintendent[27] Per Larsen later said that all comments of possible charges were premature. "Football is a contact sport, so the starting point is that the sport's own courts should handle this," Larsen told Danish news agency Ritzau. Munch noted that it was "unusual" for violence on the field or hockey rink to be tried in a court of law.[28] See violence in ice hockey for some exceptions.

The Danish Justice Minister, Lene Espersen, called for an involuntary national team-hiatus to be given to Christian Poulsen.[29]

To security at the Parken Stadium[edit]

The Parken Stadium was included in UEFA's list of 4-star stadiums in 1993, making it eligible for hosting UEFA Cup finals.[30]

After the fan attack, the level of security at the stadium was questioned, and considered further by the UEFA disciplinary committee. An editorial in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten criticized the safety arrangements at Parken, saying it could have serious consequences for Denmark, but praised referee Fandel's decision to abandon the match.[31]

To the perpetrator[edit]

The attacker stated in court that he was intoxicated by the consumption of alcohol, to a degree that he could not recall attacking the referee. The criminal court dealt out a suspended sentence of 30 days in prison. The prosecution appealed to the High Court of Eastern Denmark, which changed the sentence to 20 days, which had to be served.[32]

The Danish Football Association first decided to sue the man for the commercial damage should Danish disqualification be confirmed.[33]

Parken Sport & Entertainment first announced it decision to sue the man for DKK 7,000,000 (€940,000) for loss of ticket sales, and the Danish FA will sue the 29-year-old for DKK 1,900,000 (€255,000).[34] That decision was later reverted on the advice of counsel. However, following the outcome of the criminal trial against the culprit, both Parken and Danish FA did go through with a law suit against him with those amounts.

Ultimately, only the FA sued for just over DKK 1.6 million (€215,000). The verdict was given on November 18, 2009, in favour of the FA, but only gave them DKK 900,000 (€120,000), because of the inadequate security at Parken.[35] The FA said it was "very satisfied" with the verdict,[36] while it reportedly "shocked" the perpetrator.[37] Following the conviction, the perpetrator and FA reached an agreement in which the fine was lowered to DKK 250,000 (€35,000).[38]

Match details (before abandoning)[edit]

2 June 2007
20:00 CEST
Denmark 3 – 3 Sweden
Agger Goal 34'
Tomasson Goal 62'
Andreasen Goal 75'
Elmander Goal 7'26'
Hansson Goal 23'
Parken Stadium, Copenhagen
Attendance: 42,083
Referee: Herbert Fandel (Germany)
GK 1 Thomas Sørensen
CM 2 Christian Poulsen Red card 89'
CB 3 Michael Gravgaard
CB 4 Daniel Agger
LB 5 Jan Kristiansen Substituted off 35'
RB 6 Lars Jacobsen
CM 7 Daniel Jensen Substituted off 63'
AM 8 Thomas Kahlenberg Substituted off 46'
CF 9 Jon Dahl Tomasson (c)
LW 10 Martin Jørgensen
RW 11 Dennis Rommedahl
GK 16 Jesper Christiansen
DF 12 Leon Andreasen Booked 77' Substituted in 35'
DF 13 Martin Laursen
MF 14 Michael Silberbauer
FW 15 Jesper Grønkjær Substituted in 63'
FW 17 Dennis Sørensen
DF 18 Kasper Bøgelund
FW 19 Nicklas Bendtner Substituted in 46'
Denmark Morten Olsen
GK 1 Andreas Isaksson
LB 2 Mikael Nilsson
CB 3 Olof Mellberg
CB 4 Petter Hansson
RB 5 Niclas Alexandersson Booked 44'
DM 6 Tobias Linderoth Booked 84'
RM 7 Christian Wilhelmsson
AM 8 Anders Svensson
LM 9 Fredrik Ljungberg (c)
CF 10 Marcus Allbäck Substituted off 80'
CF 11 Johan Elmander Booked 38' Substituted off 74'
GK 12 Rami Shaaban
DF 13 Max von Schlebrügge
DF 14 Daniel Majstorović
MF 15 Daniel Andersson
MF 16 Kennedy Bakircioglü Substituted in 80'
FW 17 Zlatan Ibrahimović
FW 18 Markus Rosenberg Substituted in 74'
DF 19 Behrang Safari
Sweden Lars Lagerbäck

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fan stürmte Fußball-Spielfeld: 120.000 Euro Strafe «
  2. ^ Izbruh jeze Danca hudo udaril po žepu :: Prvi interaktivni multimedijski portal, MMC RTV Slovenija
  3. ^ Interview with Danish hooligan (Denmark-Sweden) - YouTube
  4. ^ Félbeszakadt miatta a meccs, 32 milliót fizet - NSO
  5. ^ "Denmark appeal UEFA verdicts". UEFA. 2007-06-11. Archived from the original on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  6. ^ "UEFA mildner Danmarks straf". TV2 website (in Danish). 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  7. ^ "Nordic neighbors resume rivalry". UEFA. 2007-06-02. Archived from the original on 2007-06-03. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  8. ^ "UEFA official match report (minute by minute)". UEFA. 2007-06-02. Archived from the original on 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  9. ^
    • Rosenberg: "We are in a tussle inside the [Danish penalty] area, pulling and pushing each other. I am not completely innocent in the situation, because I also hit him a bit, but not as hard as he hits me. And what the referees see, is when he hits me"; Source: Helmer, Jesper (2007-06-02). "Rosenberg: Jeg slog også Poulsen". Nyhedsavisen (in Danish). Retrieved 2007-06-06. 
    • Poulsen: "I was involved in a tussle with the Swedish player, who I felt had provoked me twice. I saw red and I hit him"; Source: "Denmark-Sweden Euro tie abandoned". BBC Sport. 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
    • Copenhagen Post: "Denmark's Christian Poulsen started the fiasco in the match's final minutes when he punched Sweden's Markus Rosenberg in the stomach after Rosenberg apparently struck him in the face. The line judge saw only Poulsen's retaliation,"; Source: "The comeback that never was". Copenhagen Post. 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2007-06-09. [dead link]
    Burlund, Martin (2007-06-02). "UEFA to decide on Denmark-Sweden abandonment". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  10. ^ Copenhagen contest called off[dead link] UEFA official match report.
  11. ^ Nu berättar skandalsupportern The Expressen, June 3, 2007
  12. ^ "Förlåt, Sverige" The Expressen, 3 June 2007.
  13. ^ Dam, Camilla (2007-06-04). "Nu siger han undskyld". Danmarks Radio (in Danish). Retrieved 2007-06-06. 
  14. ^ Rosenberg: Jeg provokerede Poulsen The Politiken, 4 June 2007.
  15. ^ Press release The Danish Football Association, 4 June 2007.
  16. ^ "Copenhagen contest goes to Sweden". UEFA. 2007-06-08. Archived from the original on 2007-06-10. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  17. ^ AFP (2007-06-08). "Danes unhappy with UEFA ruling". Independent Online. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  18. ^ a b The Associated Press; Jan M. Olsen (2007-06-08). "UEFA awards Sweden 3-0 win over Denmark after Danish fan attack on referee". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  19. ^ a b "UEFA-folk trækker i land". TV 2 (in Danish). 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  20. ^ "Distance between Copenhagen and Aalborg". Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  21. ^ "Aalborg Stadion". The Stadium Guide. Retrieved 2007-06-11. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Aalborg Stadion". World Stadiums. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  23. ^ Christensen, Mia (2007-06-08). "Kronprins Frederik raser over skandalekamp". Nyhedsavisen (in Danish). Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  24. ^ Flemming Steen Munch's Danish rank is Vicepolitiinspektør.
  25. ^ "Politikommissær: Christian Poulsen bør sigtes for vold". 24timer (in Danish). 2007-06-04. Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  26. ^ Per Larsen's Danish rank is Chefpolitiinspektør. That is the highest rank below Chief Officer levels, which all require law degrees. Per Larsen does not hold a law degree but is a graduate of the Danish police academy and startet his career as a police constable in 1965.
  27. ^ Poulsen faces possible charges over punch, apologizes[dead link] DPA, 5 June 2007
  28. ^ "Justitsminister: Poulsen skal af landsholdet". Politiken (in Danish). 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  29. ^ Welcome to Parken (about the stadium)[dead link] Parken Stadium, official website.
  30. ^ Set fra sidelinien: Den sorteste dag Christian Thye-Petersen, The Jyllands-Posten, 2 June 2007.
  31. ^ "Fodboldtossen skal i fængsel", Danmarks Radio, 11-12-2007. Retrieved on 03-07-2008.
  32. ^ Tilskueren fra Parken er løsladt[dead link] Ekstrabladet June 3, 2007.
  33. ^ "DBU kræver 1,9 mio. fra "fan"", Danmarks Radio, 2007-08-31. Retrieved on 2007-08-31.
  34. ^ Baneløber skal betale 900.000 kr, TV 2/Nyhederne, 2009-11-18. Retrieved on 2009-11-21.
  35. ^ Vigtig dom for dansk fodbold, Danish FA, 2009-11-20. Retrieved on 2009-11-21.
  36. ^ Baneløber: Jeg har ikke pengene[dead link], TV 2/Nyhederne, 2009-11-18. Retrieved on 2009-11-21.
  37. ^ Baneløber slipper med 250.000 kr., TV2/Nyhederne, 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2012-03-30.