The Copenhagen Derby: Brøndby IF and FC København are by far biggest clubs in Denmark and once again their rivalry will come to a test, as the two clubs will play out one league match and two semi-finals in the cup during April 2016.
The Copenhagen Derby always provides drama, great atmosphere and high tension as the players and fans contend to be the dominant force of the Danish capital. April is the best time for any football fan to head to Copenhagen.
The match is dubbed “The New Firm”, mainly by the clubs and some media in an attempt to hype the derbies. But for any fan, it’s simply the Copenhagen Derby. On the pitch you will see some average players in the third or fourth level of Europe, but on the stands lies the real experience of the Copenhagen Derby. Both sets of supporters create an amazing atmosphere around the matches, with well-organised choreographies (tifos), banners, flags, flares and the odd tension between fans that goes with any true football derby.
The Copenhagen derbies for April 2016
6 April: FC København – Brøndby IF (cup semi-final first leg)
17 April: FC København – Brøndby IF (league match)
20 April: Brøndby IF – FC København (cup semi-final second leg)
Brøndby IF (colours: blue and yellow) was founded in 1964 as a merger between two smaller local clubs Brøndbyøster and Brøndbyvester, and though the 1980s and 1990s the club was the major force in Danish football. The club’s best result in Europe was reaching the semi-final of the UEFA Cup in 1991 and the group stage of the Champions League in 1998. It won its last Danish championship in 2005 with Michael Laudrup as manager, since then the club has been through many years of crises and poor results. [Continues…]
FC København (colours: white and blue) was established in 1992 as merger of the two old clubs, KB and B1903. The club was instantly successful, winning the Danish championship in 1993 and has been the dominant force of Danish football for the last 10-15 years. In Europe the club qualified for the round of 16 in Champions League against Chelsea after a successful group stage campaign 2010/11. The club last won the Danish championship in 2013. [Continues…]
FC København is based in the Danish national stadium Parken, now known by its sponsor’s name, Telia Parken. The capacity has recently been reduced to 38,000 spectators the stadium is located in the eastern neighbourhood of Copenhagen called Østerbro. From central Copenhagen use any northbound S-train lines and get off at Østerport st. og Nordhavn st., from both stations it’s a 15-minute walk to Parken.
Brøndby Stadium is the home of Brøndby IF. The stadium is located in the western suburbs of Copenhagen called Vestegnen and holds the capacity of 29,000 fans. From central Copenhagen use S-train line B to Brøndbyøster st. or Glostrup st. and from there it’s a 15-20 minute walk to the stadium.
The rivalry in Copenhagen between the two sets of fans is fierce and intense. Throughout many years the two clubs competed in the Danish championship in addition for who was the kings of Copenhagen. Even though FC København is a relatively young club, the Brøndby fans continued their old rivalry with the B1903 club in particular to the new club and with even more passion, some would argue.
The Brøndby fans consider themselves as true supporters of the game and argue that Brøndby IF is a real football club and FC København is just a new club built as a company to make money. Traditionally, Brøndby IF is based in a working class area and a lot of supporters would consider themselves to be working class. The fans of FC København would argue that they are the real Copenhagen club and the because of their recent years of success is the number one club in Denmark. And so the never-ending discussion continues.
Both clubs has a large following of supporters and the stands of their home grounds brings to live a great atmosphere and colourful support especially at the derby matches. In Parken the B-stand behind the goal is the home of FC Københavns hardcore fans, the stand is named ‘Sektion 12’ and a number of fan groups occupies the stand. The main group is Urban Crew, which is a ultra-group established in 2003.
In Brøndby Stadium the south stand called Sydsiden is the home of the hardcore fans. Maybe the most famous stand in Denmark because the supporters in the ‘90s where some of the first to adopt vocal and visual support with inspiration from both the southern European and the British style. A mix that has changed throughout the years in both clubs, but today the European neo-ultra movement has its hold on both set of fans. In Brøndby the main group is Alpha Brøndby, a ultra group founded in 2006.
During the week before a derby tension start rising between the fans and no love is lost. Recent years the wars between the ultra-groups has spilt into violent encounters, often days before the matches. Usually the matches are very safe due to the high numbers of police and regular fans can easily go to the matches. It is advised not to wear any away colours neither outside or inside the stadium as the hate runs deep and some fans would use any excuse to settle the old score a bit (note that Copenhagen is not Warsaw, but is not Barcelona either).
Usually the derbies are sold out or very close to. It’s best to purchase tickets online in advance either from brondby.com or fck.dk. Ticket prices are usually between 150-300 DKK. (£15-30). For a complete and behind the scenes derby experience, check out the upcoming travel packages at www.copenhagenderby.com.
This article was produced in collaboration with our local Danish friends from VisitFootball.dk.