The High Court of Eastern Denmark increases judgment given by the City Court: The football fan who ran onto the pitch is ordered to pay damages of DKK 1,870,000.

Attorney Mikael Rosenmejer and Attorney Charlotte Hasseriis Iversen of Plesner represented the Danish Football Association in the case against the football fan ("the fan") who ran onto the pitch at the Parken Stadium, causing the match against Sweden to be abandoned. In 2009 the City Court found damages of DKK 900,000 to be appropriate, but the High Court has doubled the amount of the damages.

Higher damages to the Danish Football Association

The fan is to pay damages of DKK 1,870,000 to the Danish Football Association and legal costs in the amount of DKK 250,000. The High Court's judgment is an increase of the judgment given by the City Court in November 2009 which awarded the Danish Football Association damages of DKK 900,000. At the time, the judgment was appealed by the fan who claimed dismissal of the claim for damages.

In separate criminal proceedings instituted by the police the fan was previously given an unconditional sentence of 20 days for trespassing and attempted violence.

The 2007 football match

Due to the fan's attack on the referee during the final minutes of the Euro qualification match between Denmark and Sweden at the Parken Stadium in 2007 the match was abandoned at the score 3-3 and Sweden was awarded the match as a 3-0 win. The Danish Football Association lost the right to play the following two qualifying matches at the Parken Stadium and the matches against Spain and Lichtenstein were played at Aarhus Stadium which only has room for 20,000 spectators. Due to this, the Danish Football Association lost income and was furthermore ordered to pay a fine of CHF 50,000 for strict organiser's liability for the match. The Danish Football Association calculated the loss to a total of approximately DKK 2.1m.

The judgment

The High Court of Eastern Denmark found that the fan's behaviour gave rise to liability and was the cause of the UEFA sanctions, and that the sanctions were foreseeable for the fan. At the same time, the High Court found that security at the match was satisfactory and that the Danish Football Association was therefore not guilty of neglect.

The Danish Football Association had claimed DKK 2.1m, but the High Court did not find that it had been rendered sufficiently probable that the match against Lichtenstein which was attended by 20,000 spectators in Aarhus would have been able to attract 30,000 spectators at the Parken Stadium, as claimed by the Danish Football Association. On this background, the High Court of Eastern Denmark reduced the Danish Football Association's claim by approximately DKK 250,000.

A case of general public importance

The Copenhagen City Court has previously established the question of guilt in relation to breach of the rules of conduct at international matches. The case against the fan is, however, the first case that concerns a violent act by a spectator which has consequences for the matches of national teams. The case is of general public importance because the High Court has established that disrupting a football match and inflicting a loss of income on the organiser involve a significant liability for damages.

For further information, please contact attorney-at-law Charlotte Hasseriis Iversen.

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