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|Event||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|Match abandoned at 3–3 after 89 minutes|
Sweden awarded 3–0 victory[note 1]
|Date||2 June 2007|
|Venue||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen|
|Referee||Herbert Fandel (Germany)|
15 °C (59 °F)
A fan attack occurred at the Euro 2008 qualifying Group F 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 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.
The match was the first ever UEFA qualifying fixture between rivals Sweden and Denmark, and the first time a UEFA championship qualifier was abandoned due to spectator interference.
|2008 UEFA qualifier fan attack|
|Location||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Date||2 June 2007 |
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. After conferring with his assistant referee, referee Fandel sent off Poulsen and awarded Sweden a penalty, which was never taken.
Seconds later, a Danish fan rushed onto the field and attacked the referee, grabbed his neck, but was intercepted by the Danish defender Michael Gravgaard shortly after. Immediately following this, Fandel and his officiating crew 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.
The attacker was identified as a 29-year-old Dane named Ronni Nörvig in German media (a transcription of his actual name, Ronni Nørvig), living and working in Gothenburg, Sweden. Publication of his name in Denmark was censored, due to a Danish court order. Prior to that, his full name and residential status was published in online edition of the Danish tabloid B.T., 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.
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. 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 12 September match against Liechtenstein, but said it would reimburse fans if UEFA changed the venue.
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.
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". The Danish FA immediately announced its intention to appeal. 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."
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.
Rainer Koch, German member of UEFA's disciplinary committee:
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.
Copenhagen police spokesperson chief inspector 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.
Copenhagen police chief superintendent 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. See violence in ice hockey for some exceptions.
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.
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.
The DBU first decided to sue the man for the commercial damage should Danish disqualification be confirmed.
Parken Sport & Entertainment first announced its 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). 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 DBU sued for just over DKK 1.6 million (€215,000). The verdict was given on 18 November 2009 in favour of the DBU, but only gave them DKK 900,000 (€120,000), because of the inadequate security at Parken. The FA said it was "very satisfied" with the verdict, while it reportedly "shocked" the perpetrator. Following the conviction, the perpetrator and the DBU reached an agreement in which the fine was lowered to DKK 250,000 (€35,000).
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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.
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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.
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