Wednesday, October 20

React to NFF after pyro-bot: – Absolutely awesome

On Tuesday, news came that LSK will be fined 85,000 crowns for the illegal use of pyrotechnics in the stands during the match against Bodø / Glimt. Among other things, this makes archrival Vålerenga react.

The debate about pyrotechnics has for many years created a debate in Football Norway. The re-entry of the spectators makes the discussions end up on the table again.

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– What I share now is the frustration on behalf of Football Norway. Here are some of the ones that have really been lost. I react strongly to the moment, Vålerenga marketing manager Mehran Amundsen-Asari tells VG.

Justify the frustration as follows:

– Once the pandemic is successful and we have stalls full of people, atmosphere and pyrotechnics, then you decide to impose fines. It is completely unbelievable. As a man from Vålerenga, I don’t treat LSK well, but here we are in the team.

NFF General Secretary Pål Bjerketvedt tells VG that the Football Association is not at all against the use of pyrotechnics in the stands.

– We agree that the use of pyrotechnics sets the mood in the stadium within a safe and secure framework, and NFF wants to facilitate that, he says.

NFF Secretary General Pål Bjerketvedt.

Amundsen-Asari says that Vålerenga, along with several other Eliteserien clubs, has had a dialogue with the NFF about the use of pyrotechnics during the pandemic. Now they are disappointed.

– The biggest problem with us is that the Directorate of Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB) has withdrawn the legal exemption for the use of pyrotechnics that we could use, he says, before elaborating:

– In other parts of the country this has not happened. So this means that there will also be a difference between the clubs, says Amundsen-Asari.

Bjerketvedt explains it all this way:

– Together with NTF and the fans, we have written a new set of rules where the use of fireworks by clubs will be approved by local fire and rescue, as well as the police. In practice, the provisions are therefore violated if approval is not available.

– The Directorate of Civil Protection and Emergency Planning is the professional authority and, therefore, responsible for the regulations that both the NFF and the clubs must comply with.

Expect fines

During this weekend’s match between Vålerenga and Strømsgodset, fireworks were used in the stands. The marketing manager says that Vålerenga expects fines, but that this is not something they will accept. I’d rather they cultivate the use of pyrotechnics after the positive feedback over the weekend.

– Now it’s just a matter of us getting the NFF organization involved in this, says the marketing manager, before he arrives with a clear message:

– That fines be distributed, we do not agree, if something is presented to us we will appeal.

Now he urges fans across the country to join in, but is prepared for this not to be an easy match to win.

– The use of Pyro strengthens our product. Without supporters, we can put aside all the football commitment. It may be time to realize it. Dialogue is the way to go, he says.

– Very demanding

That is an opinion shared by the NFF, emphasizes the Secretary General.

– The way regulations are designed now is very demanding. This is because NFF is not a professional authority and we must rely on authorities for safe and correct use. In the near future, NFF and NTF will bring clubs together and discuss today’s challenges. We must find solutions.

One who has really taken the lead in using pyrotechnics in Norwegian sands is Bjørnar Posse Sandboe at Stabæk Support. He believes that the imposition of fines is legally doubtful.

– No one has managed to specify what makes pyrotechnics in the form we use prohibited. I have read all the regulations to which they refer. We have legally imported 13,000 units of it. In almost two years, no one has been able to say why what we do is prohibited in the regulations. But they keep saying it’s illegal, Sandboe tells VG.

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