City centre brawl outside screening of hooligan film – The Post

City centre brawl outside screening of hooligan film

Clash between supporters of FC Copenhagen and Brøndby brings Strøget to a standstill

February 2nd, 2012 1:51 pm| by admin

A mass brawl broke out yesterday evening between supporters of FC Copenhagen and Brøndby outside The Irish Rover on Strøget in central Copenhagen, sparked off by the pub’s denial of certain fans to the screening of a film made by a revered former hooligan.

Even though the event on the first floor of the pub was sold out, a group of FCK fans tried to enter the pub without having tickets. When a group of Brøndby fans attending the screening became aware of this, they went outside – which resulted in a violent clash between both sets of supporters.

An eyewitness who was upstairs heard the argument on the door followed by the sound of smashing glass as disgruntled fans threw chairs through the pubÂ’s windows. A mass brawl involving an estimated 40 hooligans then broke out. Chairs were thrown as men punched each other in front of up to 100 shocked onlookers. Shops in the area closed their doors in order to keep the hooligans out.

According to the eyewitness in the pub, the police arrived “pretty quick – about five to ten minutes”, at which point most of the hooligans ran away, down Jorck’s Passage towards Fiolstræde. “At one point all of the hooligans ran towards us, which was the moment we started panicking as well,” recalled Veera Elina Ala-Vähälä, a Finnish eyewitness outside the pub. “The public started to run away.”

“And just like that, all the hooligans were gone,” said another eyewitness, Bodil Jane from the Netherlands. “We walked passed the bar and saw that all the windows had been smashed and that furniture had been thrown around.” 

The screening of ‘Casuals’, a documentary about British hooligan fashion in the 1980s, meanwhile went ahead as planned. It included an introduction by its maker, Cass Pennant. The former West Ham hooligan, now an author and ‘hooliologist’, was himself the subject of a 2008 feature film, ‘Cass’, about his life as an adopted black child growing up in London’s East End who went to become one of the country’s most feared hooligans.

The New Firm, the football rivalry between FCK and Brøndby, often results in violent clashes when the clubs meet, but rarely outside the football season, which is currently on a winter break until the start of March.