Copenhagen face criticism after excluding fans with non-Danish sounding names05 September 2013

OneofthebiggestclubsinDenmarkhasbeenthesubjectofcriticismfromsupportersaftertheypulledticketsfrompurchaserswith‘foreign-sounding’names.

The ticket office at the Parken football stadium have said they withdrew the tickets for security reasons.

Atila Momeni was among those who had his purchase annulled. The 24-year-old is of Iranian descent but was born and raised in Copenhagen. “After buying tickets for all three group games, with money taken out of my bank account, I received an email telling me that for security reasons my purchase had been cancelled,” Momeni told the football website Goal.com.

Fans protest
“I then discovered that many others – none of Danish descent – had experienced the same. A wish for greater security is understandable, but it is unacceptable and discriminatory that the only fans to receive this treatment were those with foreign names. We feel incredibly discriminated. We often suffer racism in Denmark but I would never have thought that we would be treated this way when it came to football.”

“This is the most degrading thing I’ve experienced,” Masoud Barid, who is of Afghan descent, told Ekstra Bladet tabloid. “I’m a huge FCK fan and have no relation to any of the three clubs FCK is going to play. I just want to go and support my team.”

Club secretary Daniel Rommedal rejected the discrimination claims and said that they made the decision only for security reasons.

Incident in 2012
“We cancelled the tickets, when we were not sure about the affiliation of the purchase, following the episode with Hannover in the Europe League last year,” he told Ekstra Bladet tabloid.

“German fans had seats among Danish FC Copenhagen fans in Parken and we are trying to prevent that from happening again. Many of our fans felt insecure back then and it is against UEFA’s rules. That is why we were fined 100,000 kroner.”

He went to explain that the tickets are still reserved for the original buyer. Fans who had their tickets cancelled can claim them at the ticket office if they explain that they are not supporters of the away team.

“If the fans don’t feel like making that effort, we assume that they are not that interested in getting their tickets,” Rommedal said.

The Fare network has raised the issue with UEFA, the Danish FA and FC Copenhagen.

Extracts from Copenhagen Post