One of very few countries with such an understanding for fan culture. But supporters aren’t stopping with what they already have because they still see some regulations as inappropriate. And hope to make it even better next season.
It’s been a few years now since pyrotechnic displays inside Norwegian stadiums have become legal when approved by authorities. What is still discussed with much controversy in Germany, Switzerland or other European countries, is not a problem for Norwegians.
They can either go the legal way and fulfill all requirements for an accepted tifo or do it illegally. Then their club and the people directly responsible can get fined. But penalties for both the clubs and fans seem rather lenient when compared to sanctions applied in other countries.
While a club in Norway may pay a fine from €1,500 to 15,000, clubs in Poland – for example – would never pay as little as the lower amount, usually closing to the maximum one. The same goes for fans - in Norway you pay €1,000 for a first-time offense, while in some countries supporters don’t only pay more, but are also subject to stadium bans or even imprisonment, even at first time.
So what is the legal way for Norwegian fans? Arne Christian Eggen, Supporter Liaison Officer of Rosenborg Trondheim explains all necessary steps. “To burn Pyrotechnics inside on the terraces in Norway you have to get an allowance to do so from the local Fire Department and the Police in co-operation with the club. Our football federation, NFF, then has to approve it before we can do it. To get an approval there has to be secure areas where we burn the pyro, with metal buckets filled with sand and we have to notify the people on the stands that there’s pyrotechnics going to be used”.
Though it sounds bureaucratic, all the requirements are set to provide a safe solution for people involved. As Arne suggests, things should get better next season, if a new idea passes. “There will be a change, hopefully to this next season. Shortly explained, the stadium/club can apply to get an approval for one season at a time to use pyrotechnics and there has to be a certified pyrotechnician who is responsible for the events that are to take place”.
Should that become the case, clubs would be somewhat relieved from their responsibility for the behavior of individual fans and fans themselves might find it easier to organize pyrotechnics displays. At the moment most illegal displays happen in away ends and that’s where the host club doesn’t even sell tickets, so making it responsible for the away following doesn’t seem to be the answer.