Gais Football Match

The excitement of the fans was palpable as I entered the stadium.  I was on the lookout for the woman and her daughter who I came in with.  The ticket I bought was standing room in the top tier directly behind the goal.  The other side of the field held 50-100 fans from the other team, which had come from Stockholm on a Monday night.  Our side in the green and black, I have been recruited as a Gais fan, had a few thousand.  The opponents side of the field

I found out the the reason for the cops was because this particular match-up had a history of fights.  Part of the tension comes from both teams being at the bottom of their league.  This was a VERY important game for both of them.  The winner would have a better chance of staying in the league.  In Sweden, the team at the bottom drops down to the next lowest league based on performance.  Also Göteborg is know as the second city in Sweden to Stockholm…

Goalie down!  and the crowd chants 'You're sexy in pink!' to show their support
Goalie down! and the crowd chants 'You're sexy in pink!' to show their support

Göteborg has four football teams at this particular level.  Gais is currently ranked lowest, but I can attest has some passionate fans.  The stand roared with coached cheers, chants, and song even before the team came onto the field.  I am not sure that that passion let up for more than a few moments at any time during the 94 minute game.

The game started and I hadn’t found the people I came with so I found a spot to stand in the bleachers and watched the game, chatting with the woman next to me.  Goal! Gais scored first in the game.

I took a break just before halftime and when I came back found my standing place taken.  So I had to move on to find a new one.  Still no sign of my new friends.  I found a spot at the very top row, got to talking with the people around me and got a great education about the details of the rivalry between these two teams and Swedish soccer details.  The other team scored.  Boo!The Game

Finally, just before the end of the game I ran into the women I had come with.  The game ended tied 1-1.  But I ended the night with new friends and having had a great experience.

First night in Göteborg

Welcome to Sweden.

I had little trouble finding my hotel and getting checked in although the pouring rain made me walk in to front door looking like I had taken a shower in my clothing.  After I settled in I went for a walk to check out the nearby area and sniff out dinner.

I made my way down the street and noticed a something I had also seen and heard in Norway.  Football (soccer) fans pre-game.  Now while I had avoided the pub in Oslo I decided this time to go in. Why not?  The place looked like it had food, and maybe watching the game in the pub would be fun.  I might even get a chance to meet some locals.

So I walked in to the Gamle Port and squeezed my way up to the bar.  What am I thinking?  I should just go to some quiet restaurant and have a relaxing evening back at the hotel.  But, I’ve gotten this far and am not going back now.  One beer and some football and then I can move on if I still feel this way.  I was still unsure at this time about tipping.   The guidebook said not to leave a tip, but I saw other patrons doing so.  I turned and asked the guy crammed up to the bar next to me what I should leave.  Once that was taken care of I decided to go outside and get some air, the place was hot.

European football

Outside I asked a nice woman why there were so many cops around.  She explained to me that everyone there was getting ready to go to the Gais game and that the place would be empty in 5 minutes.  We got to talking and she asked if I wanted to come to the game, which was only a few blocks from my hotel and where we were standing.

Knowing the reputation of European football fans, I figured it would be an experience if nothing else…

The lovely weather.
The lovely weather.