The Norway and New Zealand women’s national soccer teams played wearing black armbands in their friendly on Saturday, honoring the victims of what Oslo police are now investigating as an act of terrorism in which a reported two people were killed and 21 injured on Friday night.
Lise Klaveness, former footballer and now president of the Football Assn. of Norway, made a statement before the match, as reported by Asif Burhan.
“I am unspeakably sad on behalf of those who have lost someone unmistakable last night, those who went from partying to having to fee for life in central Oslo, those who now have to watch over their loved ones in hospital, and everyone in the LGBTI community as today feel fear and anxiety. The entire Norwegian Football Association is with you.”
“Today, the entire federal board and large parts of the football movement were to meet in central Oslo to parade and celebrate the freedom to love whoever you want. We were to wear all the colors of the rainbow and take the trip to Ullevaal Stadium where the women’s national team plays its last home game before leaving for the European Championships. Let’s meet there, let’s put on the colors of the rainbow and gather around the girls who will represent Norway in the European Championships.”
Klaveness herself is an out lesbian, and has been outspoken in calling on FIFA to do more to protect human rights in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, questioning whether LGBTQ fans will be safe in the country.
Caroline Graham Hansen, a player on the Norwegian national team and an Oslo native, tweeted before the match on Saturday that, “Love is a human right” and “To hate another human being so much that you want them dead because they show their love scares the life out of me. It doesn’t make sense. Today is meant to be great day for love. All love.”
The first goal of Norway’s 2-0 victory was made by striker Ada Hegerberg in the 34th minute, who celebrated by raising up a rainbow armband.
️ #Love pic.twitter.com/BywpxHaF6V— Ada S Hegerberg (@AdaStolsmo) June 25, 2022
The match was played under the slogan “Be who you are, love who you want. Football for everyone.”
While there were reportedly more than 16,000 fans in the stadium, breaking the previous attendance record of 15,762, the crowd was hushed before the match began with a minute’s silence to honor the victims of Friday’s attack.
The atmosphere was similarly muted across the city of Oslo at first, where Saturday’s Pride parade was cancelled on the advice of the police. “We will soon be proud and visible again, but today we will mark Pride celebrations at home,” organizers said.
Though while the official parade was called off, later in the day countless people spontaneously gathered and marched in the streets to celebrate Pride and reaffirm their place in the city.
People lay flowers, Pride flags and can be heard chanting “we’re here, we’re queer, we won’t disappear,” near a bar, known to be popular with the LGBTQ+ community, in Oslo, Norway where two people were killed and 21 injured in a shooting on Friday. pic.twitter.com/SnRcGjktfL— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 25, 2022