Danish football fans crowd together after rare championship win

Danish football fans crowd together after rare championship win
Brøndby fans celebrate after their team became Danish champions following the Superliga match against FC Nordsjælland on Monday. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix
An expert reacted with calm over the potential effect on Covid-19 infection numbers after thousands of football fans gathered near Copenhagen on Monday.

Fans of Brøndby IF gathered to celebrate in large crowds after their team won its first Danish league championship for 16 years. Pictures show people standing close together, often without face masks.

The “naturally” increases the chances of transmission of Covid-19 but should not be considered a major cause for concern, according to an expert.

“Seen in isolation with regard to infections, it is clear that this will increase the chance of infection. There’s no doubt about that,” said Søren Riis Paludan, professor of virology and immunology at Aarhus University.

“But at the same time we should remember that very many people in risk groups have been vaccinated, so even with increased infections amongst young Brøndby fans, there won’t be many who can pass the infection on and cause serious Covid-19,” Paludan continued.

The Brøndby fan club asked its supporters prior to yesterday’s decisive match to take a coronavirus test and reacquaint themselves with guidelines.

An increased risk of infection in large crowds exists despite the celebrations taking place outdoors, according to Paludan.

“It’s clear that when you are celebrating and have many people close together, there will be an increased risk of infection,” he said.

“But most people in risk groups are vaccinated, I also think that maybe they should be allowed to let loose a bit after 16 years without a championship. So I’m not offended,” the professor added.

Brøndby is located in Copenhagen’s western suburbs, where areas of increased infection rates have regularly been reported during the pandemic.

“We should also remember we have the season on our side. And we had equivalent conversations last year when there were demonstrations and other things. It won’t get out of control,” Paludan said.

Current coronavirus restrictions in Denmark limit outside public gatherings to 100 people outdoors and 50 people indoors.

But demonstrations can be allowed to exceed the outdoors limit if police are notified and approve them.

This was the case on Monday afternoon in relation to Brøndby’s celebrations, when West Copenhagen Police were notified of three such events.


Member comments

  1. How can this professor, Søren Riis Paludan, say

    “But at the same time we should remember that very many people in risk groups have been vaccinated, so even with increased infections amongst young Brøndby fans, there won’t be many who can pass the infection on and cause serious Covid-19,” Paludan continued.

    Vaccinated persons can still transmit the virus!!!!!!!!

    1. Breakthrough infections among people who are vaccinated are rare and when they occur there tends to be a much lower viral load, making transmission of the virus far less likely. So yes, vaccinated people can transmit the virus, but it is far less likely.

      That said, it is absurd to have a large event such as this in the midst of a pandemic. Young people can and do get sick with this virus. There is still much we do not understand about the long-term health implications of infection with SARS-CoV-2.

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