Denmark fans have vowed to ‘come by sea like the Vikings’ as they raged at Covid rules which mean only expats living in the UK are able to attend tomorrow’s blockbuster Euro 2020 semi-final against England at Wembley.
Denmark will face Gareth Southgate‘s men in front of a 60,000-strong crowd tomorrow – though only 8,000 of their own fans will be allowed to attend.
The allocation has triggered fury among Danes, with messaging Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Instagram directly and writing: ‘Why the f*** are Danish fans not allowed at Wembley? If you don’t allow us to take a plane we will do like in the good old days and come by sea. Be ready for a Danish sausage, w*******.’
Another fan wrote in the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet: ‘They think they can walk on water. But they will end up in deep water when the Vikings come.’
One notable exception to the ban on travelling Danish fans at the match will be the country’s Royal family.
Crown Prince Frederik, his wife Crown Princess Mary and their football-mad eldest son Prince Christian, 15, will all be at Wembley.
In Copenhagen, supporters lined the streets to wave off the Denmark team ahead of the match, as England prepare for the country’s biggest football match in a generation.
Police were seen boarding up landmarks in central London ahead of the game, to prevent fans from scaling them.
Danish team heading for London and fans cheering as they wave them goodbye in Copenhagen
A worker seen boarding up the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, also known as Eros, in Piccadilly Circus ahead of the Euro 2020 semi-finals and fina
Spirits appeared to be high among the Danish players as they headed to London today
Meanwhile, touting websites are flogging top tier tickets for the semi-final clash for up to £6,500 each.
If England advance to Sunday’s final, Boris Johnson will also extend pub opening hours on Sunday night in case it goes into extra time and penalties, sources claim.
Pubs will be able to serve thirsty punters until 11.15pm – rather than the usual 10.30pm Sunday closing time – on the night of the Wembley showdown.
To help generate atmosphere despite being outnumbered, Danes living in Britain are being sent free Denmark football shirts and flags to help them cheer on their team
Lars Thuesen, the country’s ambassador in London, explained how the 30,000 or so Danes who live in the UK had been able to apply to buy each of around 5,000 tickets set aside for followers of the team.
Each fan had to produce ID showing their Danish citizenship and pay £10 to join the Danish supporters’ association which made them eligible.
He said: ‘That £10 is going to be used for flags and shirts and they are going to send them to Wembley to be ready on Wednesday evening,’ he said. ‘They are extremely excited. It is all over social media for Danes living in London. There is a huge interest.’
However, Danes remain furious at the Covid-hit arrangements for the match.
The English-language Copenhagen Post wrote: ‘The storm over petty entry requirements, which ensure no Danish fans can travel to support their team in the Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday, is quickly escalating into the biggest affront to this country since the British Navy firebombed Copenhagen in 1807.
‘Some observers might even go as far as saying it’s cheating.’
The Danish Foreign Ministry tried to gain dispensation for travelling Danish fans, but was turned down, reported Danish channel TV2.
England’s manager Gareth Southgate, left, and his assistant Steve Holland arrive for a training session at St George’s Park
England’s Harry Maguire, Harry Kane and Kieran Trippier, from left, arrive for a training session at St George’s Park
‘The Danish ambassador in London has been in contact with the British authorities, but they refused to make a deal for the semi-final like the one made for the final,’ it noted.
The Post railed: ‘Denmark’s infection rate has been very low of late – to the extent that its residents can travel to almost every country with similarly low rates in Europe.
‘But the toys the UK threw out of its pram following Brexit are still on the floor. Its list of approved countries is widely considered as a joke (mostly Commonwealth members and obscure islands – so you’re in luck British Indian Ocean Territory, whoever you might be) and only includes two EU countries: Malta and the touristy bits in Spain.
‘To obtain entry to the UK, ten days of quarantine is necessary – even if you have been fully vaccinated. ‘
But that hasn’t dampened surging optimism. One Denmark fan on Twitter joked ahead of the semi finals between Italy-Spain and England-Demark: ‘Euro gold now awaits one of three great footballing nations. But you should never underestimate England either.’
Mette Jensen, 56, a financial adviser, is Danish-born but lives in Bristol and supports Bristol City. She will be going to Wembley with her daughter, Nathalie Gordon and has bought a Viking helmet and Danish scarves to go with her reindeer skin outfit that she will wear to the stadium, The Times reported.
Ms Jensen said ‘We are very excited. I have lived here for 33 years. We are very settled here and love England but still carry Danish passports and are still Vikings at heart.’
And fans back home in Denmark have been offering to teach expats the best songs to cheer the team on at Wembley, with supporters unable to travel from Denmark in time to complete quarantine.
Ambassador Thuesen, who will be at Wembley himself, said: ‘These offers have been all over social media, asking if fans needed to know more about the songs, but they are quite simple. Even I know them all by heart.’
There are 30,000 Danes living in the UK and those unable to get a ticket will pack into Danish and Scandinavian bars around the country.
Gunnar Larsen, director of the Danish-UK Association told MailOnline that his countrymen would gather in several bars and restaurants around the capital to watch the match if they were not lucky enough to get tickets.
‘The Danes usually don’t congregate together in big numbers, we prefer to blend in,’ he said. ‘But this is different and we’ll be making as much noise as possible tomorrow night.
‘There is frustration about the restrictions on travel, and the process has not been very user-friendly, but that’s more down to UEFA’s handling of the whole situation.
‘But I do think it would have been fair to give the Danish fans a much bigger allocation of the Wembley tickets than 8,000 or so – we have around 40,000 Danes in the UK, and most are in London.’
‘Roligan’ [Danish fans] leader Claus Amondsen feared that support for Denmark will suffer , according to Danish news wire Ritzau.
‘Not to brag, but the ones we are talking about are the most hardcore fans that the Danes have,’ said Amondsen.
‘They are the ones who travel around and then they do not come in. I am glad that the Danes who live in England get the chance. And they should enjoy it. But I’m curious if they can make the sound pressure that the regular hardcore fans can make. I doubt it, but I could be impressed.’
A Facebook group for Danish fans also saw a lot of angry posts from its members at being prevented from travelling to London.
‘If you want to reduce the risk of infection in connection with the finals, you should move the matches to places with less infection,’ said one.
‘We find it unfortunate that a solution has not been found.’
Another sarcastically observed: ‘Congratulations to sponsors and others who are free to travel in and out of England without quarantine requirements.
‘We wish the same could be done for the Danish fans who have travelled around Europe to support the players.
Gavin Jones, a manager at central London’s Nordic Bar, said he is expecting about 90 fans to watch the semi-final on Wednesday on four 75-inch screens, with a policy that only those supporting Denmark are allowed.
‘The atmosphere has been really good. Most people have been proactive and booked well in advance in expectation [of Denmark reaching the semi-final] and we are already fully booked for the final.
‘There is a very good Scandinavian community in London and they all support each other, so we’ll have a fair few Swedes and Norwegians in as well [cheering for Denmark].’
The Danish ambassador said he believed that Christian Eriksen, the Danish player who suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s opening game, was on holiday in the north of Zealand in Denmark and would watch the game there.
A huge crowd of fans today waited outside the Danish team’s camp in Elsinore, where Shakespeare’s Hamlet was set, to see them off as they travelled to London for the big match.
Meanwhile at Tivoli Gardens in the Danish capital, chaos broke out as thousands of fans waiting to pick up free tickets to a huge fanzone for tomorrow night were kept waiting for hours.
The Times noted that the Danes have drawn much inspiration from their surprise Euros win in 1992, with many references to ‘a 1992 feeling’ on Danish social media and in the press.
In that year Denmark turned up at the European Championships as last-minute substitutes for Yugoslavia, who were banned because of the Bosnian war.
The 1992 win is the greatest moment in Danish sporting history, and their only footballing success of note, but since their win over Russia in the final group stage match, their confidence has grown with every performance.
Others hoped that the so-called ‘curse of ITV’ would prove to be the Danes’ lucky charm.
Ekstra Bladet wrote: ‘If you are superstitious there is good news for Denmark. There is a curse on England when ITV broadcasts the match:
England has won only five out of 25 matches on ITV against 17 out of 24 on BBC. The last two final round exits were on ITV, and red cards for Beckham and Rooney were on ITV. Before the Czech Republic there were 10 final found matches in a row on ITV without victory, and the only match without a victory at these Euros (against Scotland) was shown on ITV>
Plus, according to the paper, the England team didn’t won when matches were televised on ITV at the World Cups in 2018, 2010, 2002 or 1998, or the Euros in 2016.
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