The Danish Championship is back with Aarhus vs. Randers. Interestingly, this is a postponed match. In February, the Aarhus field could not cope with the rains and did not play.
Football in Denmark resumed, as elsewhere, without spectators. “Aarhus” have installed cardboard figures of fans in the stands, but who are they to surprise now? It happened in Belarus, Germany, and South Korea.
But what “Aarhus” surprised at was the screens displayed in the stands – throughout the match they showed fans joining the club’s conference in the Zoom app. The total area of the screens was 120 sq. meters, and about 20 moderators served the conference – not bad, right?
It was not difficult to get into the conference: you just make out the purchase of a ticket for this match (don’t be alarmed, the price tag is 0 CZK). If you hit the wrong place a little, in the end you still understand the Danish language and choose a tribune. I chose C1-C2. At the same time, I had to indicate the real address – I wonder why? Maybe Aarhus will send me a paper memorial ticket? It would be nice.
An e-mail along with the ticket received a letter stating that the match would start at 19.00 Danish time, a conference at Zoom would open at 18.30, and fans were invited to sing “Malaga” at 18.50. Later, a Dane explained that it was a popular song by Thomas Helmig, a pop singer from Aarhus. Everyone knows the song.
It was offered for a reason to choose a sector when issuing a ticket. Depending on the choice, you ended up in one or another chat. Although even C1-C2 did not guarantee being in the same chat: I and my friends issued tickets to the same sector, but in the end, the insidious car threw me and Egor into one conference, and Martin – into another.
But all the Danes knew each other in the chat. The first twenty minutes they vied with each other. It seems that perennial friends in the sector, who have been buying season tickets at the same places for years, miss not only football, but also each other. So it was quite a get-together for our own people.
There were from 90 to 140 people in our chat. And there were about twenty such chats.
I was a stranger among my own. Although there were quite a lot of strangers: the chat was full of messages from people from different countries. Verona, Bologna, Los Angeles, Milan, Liverpool, Brasilia, Kiev, Barcelona, Athens, Singapore, and also Minsk and Maryina Gorka. The Italians, having met each other in a chat, immediately flooded the entire conference with Italian speech.
At 19.00 the match began and the conversations subsided. If the fans were supposed to shout and support the team through the speakers, then the idea failed – everyone watched the football intensely and did not pay attention to the conference.
By the way, about broadcasts. “Aarhus” showed the fans part of the broadcast of the match before and after the starting whistle, but football itself was not. The TV rights do not belong to the club, so the Danes could not show football in the public domain. In the letter with the ticket, “Aarhus” told where you can watch the game: on the local Canal 9, as well as on the Internet on Eurosport and Dplay.
Danish television was not connected to me, Dplay and Eurosport remained. Dplay demanded a subscription of 100 CZK per month (approximately 13 euros), while Eurosport only 5 euros. Well, the choice is obvious. Watching football is like watching!
But even with the purchased subscription, I had to watch a pirate stream from 2012 for another half hour – pixels the size of a small Polissya town and hovering like a hummingbird above a flower. The Danes stubbornly refused to show me the match “Aarhus” – “Randers” even though they had a subscription. Only from the Danish IP and that’s it! Had to hastily search for a decent VPN.
But when these ordeals were over, I gladly plunged into the world of Danish football without spectators. Just in time – I managed to see a goal against “Aarhus” from the center of the field. One of Randers’ fans took part in the Zoom conference – after the goal, the moderators brought him up on the screen at the stadium, and the TV people took this shot with pleasure.
In general, this online was fun. We talked with one of the Danes in the second half and clinked glasses with each other: he drank beer, I – tea (but he will never know about it). Christian said that he was glad at least this kind of football, but he could not wait to return to the stadium. A long and inspirational speech boiled down to a good thought: you need to lose something very valuable, but familiar and ordinary, in order to start appreciating it again. For example, our place in the stadium next to the team.
Someone brought a cat into the broadcast, and for about five minutes we watched the fluffy animal, listening to the meow. At the end of the match, a family was taken to the largest tribune-screen, where a very active dog attracted all attention – so active that it was impossible to screen it. Of course, TV people could not help but insert this moment into the broadcast.
“Aarhus” and “Randers” did not play without the center of the field – and this is the rare case when the fans were even happy with this development of events. Because they could see themselves on screens installed in the center. Sometimes people found themselves in the “stands” on the air – and they were very happy about it.
Everyone was broadcasting at different speeds. Therefore, sometimes spoilers flew to me: at the conference, people grabbed their heads, after which I began to closely follow the Aarhus attackers, who would soon miss from a vantage point. Very positive and funny girls spoiled my surprise – Aarhus goal in the 92nd minute. But it was very interesting to see the sincere and genuine reaction.
By the way, the club arranged for the fans not only online in the application – somewhere in the city they held a show of the match in a car cinema. Someone participated both there and there: I came across people in Aarhus T-shirts, broadcasting from a car.
This game ended in a 1: 1 draw, but the fans left the broadcast not particularly upset – after all, they saw a comeback in the last minutes. Although it was a little annoying that the players after the match did not come to the screens to thank them for their support. We tried!
Clubs will play without spectators for a long time. And even in this match, everything reminded us to keep a distance: the leaders are at a respectful distance from each other, and the bolboi do not come close to the players. The boys also disinfected each ball before giving it to the player.
Sometimes the thought flashed that this was some episode of the series “Black Mirror”: a football dystopia, where the fans are either made of cardboard or on the screens. Although in the current circumstances this is far from the worst that can be – and certainly clubs in Europe and North America will soon implement something similar … I’ll probably look at the stands a couple more times, it was a lot of fun. And don’t lose your subscription to Eurosport.
This match also reminded us that in Belarus we can still go to stadiums and watch football live. But it’s best to do it carefully. Fortunately, our stadiums and attendance allow you to watch the game almost alone in the whole sector.