Wednesday, September 4, 2013

FC Copenhagen to bar fans with 'non-Danish' sounding names from home games

A professional soccer team in Denmark has opened up a a discriminatory can of herring by implementing a controversial plan to bar fans with "non-Danish" sounding names from their home stadium.

FC Copenhagen are refusing to sell tickets for their upcoming Champions League home games to fans whose surnames most likely don't end in sen or gaard.

The controversial system is designed to stop trouble caused by away fans buying tickets and sitting in the home stands of Parken Stadium.

Copenhagen face Real Madrid, Juventus and Galatasaray in Group B and club officials are concerned that the limited away allocation will result in opposition fans attempting to sit in among the home crowd Danes.

Some home fans applying to attend the three matches have already been told that they cannot purchase tickets because of "security reasons" and others have had ticket purchases cancelled outright.

This has left loyal fans upset with the club's decision and facing the prospect of missing out on arguably their three biggest games of the season.

One Copenhagen fan of Afghan descent, Masoud Barid, had his ticket cancelled because of his name. He told Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet, "This is the most degrading thing I have ever experienced.

"I have no relationship to any of the three teams Copenhagen are due to play. I just want to go in and support my team."

However club secretary Daniel Rommedahl denies that Copenhagen are discriminating against their own supporters.

"Safety is always our main concern when it comes to events at Parken.," he said.

"Therefore we make every effort to ensure that fans of our guests only have access to the away section.
'We were fully aware that our decision would cause a reaction, but it was he best solution. We are aware that everyone will not agree, but discrimination it is not."

Copenhagen hosts Italian club Juventus in their first game of this season's competition on September 17, and Rommedahl insists that honest fans will still be able to attend, even if their name doesn't sound Danish.

"If a dialogue with the customer shows otherwise, the purchase will be approved," said Rommedahl.

Is prune Danish-sounding enough?

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