May 18, 2005:

4000 Ireland Soccer Supporters Invade the Faroe Islands

According to Faroese television, 4000 Ireland soccer supporters are expected to travel to the Faroe Islands for the World Cup qualification match between the Faroe Islands and Ireland on June 8. The estimate comes from An Garda Síochána, Irelands National Police Service, television reported.

The match will be played in Tórsvøllur Stadium, which has a capacity of only 6000 seats. Traditionally, away supporters are given only 10 percent of the tickets, so that means that more than 3000 Irish soccer supporters will not even see the match. – At least not in the stadium.

But that has not stopped the Irish fans from travelling to away matches before. For example, around 30,000 Irish fans had travelled to Paris in October 2004 for the world cup qualifying match between France and Ireland even if a great majority of them did not have a ticket for the match.

Another problem will be accommodation in the Faroe Islands. The tourist information center in Tórshavn has said that there is only accommodation for 1500 people in total, when all hotels, bed & breakfast, youth hostels and apartments in all the islands are counted. So I guess they will just have to sleep in the open. But with a few beers that won’t be a problem for them ;-) and they usually don’t mind that beer (or those beers…)

Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, has 16,000 inhabitants, so if 4000 Irish soccer supporters invade the town, they will be very visible. But they will be welcomed. Especially if they behave well.

The biggest invasion of soccer fans in the Faroe Islands so far has been from Scotland. For the European qualification match in September 2002 between the Faroe Islands and Scotland, more than 500 Scots had made the journey to the Faroes. These Scottish supporters were very visible in the streets in Tórshavn in the days before the match, as they were partying and mingling with the locals. Especially Café Natúr has become a traditional meeting place for the Scots (they were also here in 1999, a few hundreds of them). And the behavior of the Scottish supporters has always been exemplary. We expect the same from the Irish supporters…

However, some people doubt how accurate the prediction of 4000 Irish supporters is. Most likely, there will “only” be a few hundreds. – 500 maybe…?

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