Irish soccer fans surged through the streets of Copenhagen this weekend for the first leg of the World Cup playoffs. And wherever Irish soccer fans go, a viral video is bound to emerge.
In this case it’s Ireland supporters outside a Victoria’s Secret store in the Danish capital. In the video, a crowd of Irishmen (and women) cheer on patrons as they exit the store.
The crowd sings, chants, and cheers as a woman comes out and proudly holds up some unmentionables that she’s just purchased.
It’s worth noting that those in the crowd didn’t just stumble across a Victoria’s Secret and decide en masse to camp outside. Directly next door to the store is the Dubliner, an Irish pub and unofficial field headquarters for visiting soccer fans from the Emerald Isle.
Video shot later that night shows fans partying and singing at the bar after the match:
Some have pointed out that the shenanigans outside of Victoria’s Secret may be considered to be in poor taste. “Well that’s creepy” writes Bryanj117 on Reddit, where the video was shared. Others are quick to defend the Irish, saying it was all in good fun — just as it may appear to be when a group of Irish football fans in similar condition were caught on video serenading an unsuspecting women last year to the tune of “Can’t Take My Eyes off You”:
“Being Irish, I know we’ll randomly cheer anything. And knowing the Danes, they are always up for the craic,” writes Packiesla in the comment thread.
The overall conduct of the Irish fans drew praise from the Copenhagen police, who thanked them on social media for their good behavior. “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,” reads a tweet translated from the metro P.D.’s official Twitter account.
Set fra et politimæssigt synspunkt er Irland velkommen igen for at spille i Parken. Ingen registrerede episoder med fodboldfans i nattelivet. Tak for det. #politidk
— Københavns Politi (@KobenhavnPoliti) November 12, 2017
For sake of contrast, one should consider the behavior of other soccer fans. In Brussels this weekend, 300 Morocco supporters set off a riot after winning their qualifying match. Fans ran through the streets smashing windows, looting stores, and lighting cars on fire. Riot police with water cannons had to be deployed to disperse the crowd. Twenty-two police officers were injured.
In an editorial in the Irish Times titled “Irish soccer fans abroad: a source of pride or embarrassment?” the disposition of the average Irish fan is explained thusly: “Irish fans abroad are usually making statements with their behaviour. Look at us, the message goes. We drink. We have fun. We had a tragic history, but we’re more or less over it now (in part thanks to EU funding) We think you’re great too. We will not wreck your town, whatever happens. We come in peace.”
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