The 125th men’s cup final since its inception in 1902 was also the first to be played in the spring.
It’s all primarily due to our old enemy covid-19.
After the Norwegian championship in 2020 was canceled, the 2021 season was so condensed that the decisive cup rounds had to be moved to late winter and spring.
Finally, the final was moved one more day – from Saturday 30 April to Sunday 1 May.
The workers can definitely have their holiday in peace from football in the future.
There was little to suggest that this match was anything other than any showdown between Norway’s two best teams in recent years.
A cup final should have something more – and at least not the thousands of empty seats that did not allow themselves to be camouflaged on Ullevaal this first day of May.
Is the cup final ripe for a permanent change?
Trouble for the spectators
It was not the teams ‘own supporters’ fault. The two turns were covered in blue, yellow and intense sound, as one hopes it will be.
But even there it was not full. Moldefans had had their stay in Oslo extended after their tickets to the final on Saturday ended in waiting time for Sunday. They probably think it was worth it anyway – this time.
For Bodø / Glimt fans, there were simply problems with getting flights to and from Oslo. The capacity of the grid after the pandemic is not yet at a level adapted to an audience that wants to see their champion team win the cup.
In addition, there have been considerably more attractive long trips to away games for Glimt fans in the last six months than most travel budgets were prepared for.
But it was most of all all the others, the spectators who first and foremost want the cup final who now did not find the match between Norway’s two best teams in recent years interesting enough, or for that matter knew it was played, that was the problem.
It was symbolic in Bodø / Glimt’s extremely skilled coach Kjetil Knutsen’s analysis during the break:
“I think we have to wait more for a cup final”.
He talked about the game the two teams had shown. But it could just as easily have been the whole frame.
This was not worthy of a final Norwegian football’s finest tradition.
The power of traditions
For it is more than nostalgia that indicates that the tradition of cup finals in late autumn will continue even after 2023. What we experienced this Sunday will be repeated next year anyway.
It is also not enough to play the finished NM in 2022 during the calendar year.
So while the 2021 Cup was decided in May 2022, the 2022 Cup will be decided at about the same time in 2023.
There are strong forces that want this well-confused series to continue even then, so that it does not take attention from more lucrative tournaments.
So it should not. One should not underestimate the power of traditions.
You therefore do not move on 17 May. Or Stiklestad. Or the Castle. Or the cup final.
Or for that matter NRK, maybe someone would think of adding, without it being particularly relevant here.
In any case, Statskanalen could only refer to 281,000 viewers at this year’s largest Norwegian football match. It is close to halving only from 2018.
Traditions and cultural institutions have intrinsic value, in a people, in a society and in sports.
And now the weather
Still – in a year where a misplaced World Cup could have stood in the way of a cup final in November in December, one can of course allow oneself to think anew.
Been has been put forward as an argument for a permanent move to the spring, not entirely surprising.
The hazy frost smoke has traditionally been the cup final Sundays’ own blaze of mist over the stands at Ullevaal.
Finals as late as December are just late and it’s cold.
But this is also part of the tradition. The tension has been built up over a long season, from the first round matches between local wide clubs and elite teams in the spring and early summer, to increasingly condensed settlements throughout the autumn, in parallel with the league game approaching its climax.
The cup final has been Norwegian football’s biggest club match every single year since the start. And Norway is one of the few countries, together with, for example, England, where the cup has long managed to keep its glorious aura. With moving to spring. this status will soon disappear.
Belongs to autumn
Satisfaction has been expressed with starting the season with counting matches, as the quarterfinals and the rest of the playoffs this year have meant for the teams that have still participated.
But this spring has also clearly revealed the fall in the cup’s status when it is to be decided at this time.
The Norwegian Football Association’s famous move of the quarter-final settlement between Aalesund and Bodø / Glimt ended in cancellation and walkover. And the end of the Sunnmøringen dream of experiencing a little adventure again. All in an attempt to optimize the league champions from Bodø’s opportunities in the European Cup called the league league.
Only with the result that the cup was ridiculed as a tournament.
And it could be that againif Glimt or other Norwegian teams repeat the adventurous European success, as one always hopes on behalf of Norwegian football.
Ideally, the cup final should return to a fixed weekend in the autumn. Preferably after the end of the series. But it will hardly Norsk Toppfotball and licensee TV 2, without it changing much.
Then you also get time for the cup final banquet. Typically, the players did not even get to enjoy the glory of the trophy in the capital the extra hours they usually do this time. Instead, there was celebration and disappointment on the bus and plane home to Molde and Bodø to catch up on Monday’s everyday life and training.
With them are the memories of one of the goals of 19-year-old Sivert Mannsverk.
And a champion team from Bodø that never seemed like they got started with the game that has made them so dominant here at home in recent years.
But not by a handshake from him the trophy bears the name. For the first time in this millennium, no one from the royal family competed in the cup final, much to the disappointment of many around the two final teams. It is possible it was a random royal absence. Or maybe not. The king is a man of traditions more than anyone else. But we will never know.
Jonas Gahr Støre also missed his first cup final as prime minister, but was excused on the workers’ own day, which brought him to Drammen, Sandefjord, Larvik and Asker. Nor could the sport’s own minister Anette Trettebergstuen participate. She was long ago promised to Hammerfest to give a speech.
Like the Prime Minister, Lise Klaveness did not reach the first cup final of her presidency. She had to go to the United States for a mandatory UEFA course.
There she will study the North American model for professional sports, which she herself writes on Instagram.
Moving the Super Bowl is hardly part of the curriculum. But that is the closest we come to a parallel.
With the long series of absences in the grandstand, the King’s own trophy was handed out by NFF’s vice president Arne Larsen Økland and Minister of Agriculture and Food Sandra Borch.
Borch is from Lavangen in Troms and smiled throughout the session.
Naturally, Bodø / Glimt’s mentioned coach Kjetil Knutsen did not.
“Something was lame”was Knutsen’s final analysis – particularly apt for a cup final played on a Sunday in May.