As excitement builds ahead of tomorrow’s must-win World Cup play-off, Danish police have praised the good behaviour of the 8,000 Irish supporters who travelled to Copenhagen for the scoreless first-leg.
The Scandinavian officers had a particular word of thanks for the 3,000 Ireland fans who had to masquerade as Danes to get into the Parken Stadium.
A message on their Twitter, @kobenhavnpoliti, was translated and shared by a proud Irish embassy in Denmark. It said: “Well done to all 8,000 of you, especially the 3,000 who had to wear Danish jerseys to get into the stadium. From a police point of view, Ireland is welcome again to play in the park. No recorded episodes of football fans in the nightlife. Thank you for that. #Politidk.”
Alan O’Neill, Newbridge, Co Kildare and Barra de Roiste from Tallaght, Dublin, went to particular lengths to effect their disguise.
‘Danish fans’ James Murphy, Cork, Barra de Roiste, from Tallaght, and Alan O’Neill, from Newbridge, Co Kildare, inside Telia Parken Stadium on Saturday night.
Dressed head to toe in red and white and with faces painted in the same colour scheme, the pair felt they did a pretty good job blending in.
“We dressed ourselves up, as you can see from the paraphernalia,” said Mr de Roiste. “I had to take my child’s red and white paint to paint our faces in the park — behind a park bench.”
Mr O’Neill added: “We disposed of our Ireland gear behind a well-guarded tree.”
Their backstory, he explained, was they were two fans from Birmingham who belonged to a fanclub dedicated to former Aston Villa and Denmark centre half Martin Laursen. And their tickets were a prize won through said fanclub.
“We are huge Martin Laursen fans,” Mr O’Neill joked, pointing to a crumpled piece of paper purporting to be proof of the victory.
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