Wednesday, October 20

The phenomenon «The wave» divides the football audience: – An ugliness


Norwegian hero Mohamed Elyounoussi (27) praised the Ullevaal crowd and says the “wave” gave him more energy. But many football lovers don’t like the phenomenon very much.

HEIA NORGE: For the first time since 2019, the Norwegian men’s national team got the game for a full Ullevaal stadium. Towards the end of the match, the players were cheered with controversial crowd activity “the wave.”

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– Divert the focus from what is happening in the field. I don’t think it’s embarrassing, it’s inappropriate. There are so many other things we can do, says NRK host Tete Lidbom about the “wave,” which can be described as follows:

A crowded stadium rises and falls at a steady rate that waves around and around the stands.

The audience phenomenon supposedly emerged during the World Cup in Mexico in 1986, but where the vuvuzela or Norwegian cowbells have never taken the world by storm, the wave has refused to let go.

He most recently appeared during Norway’s 2-0 win over Montenegro at Ullevaal Stadium on Monday. Five minutes before the end, the wave started to go away, but was interrupted by wild cheers when Mohamed Elyounoussi threw the ball into the corner and punctured the match.

The jokes about “Bølgen og Moi” are winning, with the latter saying he got energy from the audience stunt:

– It was absolutely fantastic to play in front of a packed Ullevaal. I caught the wave and got goose bumps during the national anthem. It generated so much energy. This is the start of something big, and I’m already looking forward to the next meeting, “Moi” Elyounoussi said after the match.

But not everyone is as excited about the wave as Norway’s two-goal scorer. 35 years after its origins, it continues to divide the soccer audience.

Among the strongest critics is Lidbom, born the same year that both Diego Maradona and the wave shook the World Cup in Mexico.

“While my mother and father gave the world a gift in ’86, Mexico gave the world an ugliness the same year,” says half of the duo behind the “Heia Football” podcast.

He believes that those who like the wave are not interested in football and lists other characteristics of a wave fan:

  1. I am happy to look at the other rostrum
  2. I like to see if the wave comes close to where you are sitting
  3. They want to put down what they have in their hands and lift them above their heads.

– Divert the focus from what is happening in the field. I don’t think it’s embarrassing, it’s inappropriate. There are so many other things we can do, believes Lidbom.

– But isn’t it good when “Moi” gets energy from that?

– You are programmatically obliged to say so. It would have been horrible if he, who has had the current, said that it was despite the wave that he did well. Then he would have needed help, says the equal opponent of the wave.

Author Dag Solstad was one of the first to react with amazement to the behavior of the audience.

“When the game was at its most exciting, for example, the public didn’t give a damn, eager to entertain themselves by taking the Wave,” he and Jon Michelet wrote in their book on the World Cup 86.

Solstad believed that the wave drew attention away from football and, over the years, a seemingly growing mass of critical voices was formed.

Also on social media, the wave has again become a hot topic of discussion after the international match. Words like “embarrassing” and “small” are repeated, while others think that those who criticize the wave are simply doing it to be good.

Former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik (KrF) is among supporters who see no problem with the audience’s activity.

– Yesterday I was in Ullevaal and it was a real football party. I think he’s nice with the “wave” sometimes, and I participated, Bondevik tells VG.

The chairman of the Oljeberget fan group, Lars Olav Karlsen, says there are divided opinions about the wave among them.

– We never start the wave, but most people join when it happens to us. Regardless, it’s incredibly fun that the audience is so engaged, that they get carried away, and that’s something we really like, he says, and it gives yesterday’s mood a roll of the five.

Comedian Jonis Josef was also in the stands against Montenegro and was concerned about the somewhat complacent attitude of the Norwegian public.

– I think it was superfluous in the third wave. We only lead with one goal. If Montenegro scored the 1-1 goal while all of Norway is in the middle of the wave, we probably would all have committed a huge collective suicide, he tells VG.

Lidbom asks rhetorically if the wave is ever seen on the biggest stages and in the biggest fights in other parts of the world. It is close to the culture of the Norwegian followers.

– It suits a Norwegian hobbyist very well, because it is active enough for you to participate. If the whole stadium had jumped up and sung, it would have been so much better. But it will be too much for a furnished Norwegian, he says.


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