Organisers predict a record home attendance for Norway’s friendly international against New Zealand’s Football Ferns to be played at Oslo’s Ullevaal Stadium (kick-off 3am Sunday NZT).
With a day to go to the match, the Norway Football Federation had sold 15,000 tickets and they were keenly expecting to break the crowd record of 15,762.
The record dates from July 30, 2000, when Norway beat the United States at Ullevaal Stadium ahead of the Summer Olympics in Sydney.
Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen (27), who recently played before 91,000 spectators at Camp Nou in Barcelona, says playing in front of a record home crowd would be special.
“I grew up right across the street here and have dreamed of playing for a full Ullevaal,” she says.
Face paint, a pop star and 6,000 ice creams
The Norwegian organisers have pulled out all the promotional stops in an effort to foster support for their national team ahead of the upcoming European Championships in which Norway meet Northern Ireland (July 7), England (July 11) and Austria (July 15)
Spectators are being urged to make the stadium a sea of red shirts, with face-painted national flags.
Before the match, pop singer Alexander Rotan will go on stage to sing her version of a Norwegian football anthem, Everything for Norway, which was originally recorded for the men’s World Cup campaign in 1994.
The lyrics have been re-worked so the song can be used for Norway’s men’s and women’s national teams.
And to further encourage the crowd to get to the game early, the first 6,000 through the turnstiles will get free ice creams.
Women’s football continues to grow in popularity in Norway, and a survey taken last month shows unprecedented interest in the national team.
The survey showed 44% of those interested in football were also interested in seeing the national women’s team — this was up from 41% when a similar survey was carried out in 2019.
The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 1 (2.50am NZT).
Norway v New Zealand
Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo, Norway
Sunday June 26 (3am NZT)
Ford Football Ferns squad
Lily Alfeld; A-League Off Season Programme, NZ (0/0)
Elizabeth Anton; A-League Off Season Programme, NZ (8/0)
Mackenzie Barry; A-League Off Season Programme, NZ (0/0)*
Katie Bowen; North Carolina Courage, USA (82/3)
Claudia Bunge; Melbourne Victory FC, Australia (9/0)
Olivia Chance; Celtic FC, Scotland (30/1)
Daisy Cleverley; HB Køge, Denmark (21/2)
Victoria Esson; Unattached (6/0)
Ally Green; Vålerenga, Norway (0/0)*
Jacqui Hand; Åland United, Finland (6/1)
Betsy Hassett; Stjarnan, Iceland (130/14)
Grace Jale; Heidelberg United FC, Australia (6/2)
Annalie Longo; Christchurch United, NZ (124/15)
Meikayla Moore; Unattached (53/3)
Erin Nayler; Umeå IK, Sweden (77/0)
Gabi Rennie; Arizona State University, USA (12/2)
Ali Riley; Angel City FC, USA (145/1)
Emma Rolston; Avaldsnes IL, Norway (11/6)
Paige Satchell; Unattached (28/2)
Malia Steinmetz; Unattached (7/0)
Rebekah Stott; FC Bulleen Lions, Australia (85/4)
Kate Taylor; A-League Off Season Programme, NZ (0/0)*
Ashleigh Ward; Actonians LFC, England (2/0)
Hannah Wilkinson; Melbourne City FC, Australia (105/27)
* First Ford Football Ferns call up
Head coach: Jitka Klimková.
Assistant coaches: Natalie Lawrence (women’s U-20s assistant coach) and Michael Mayne (women’s U-17s assistant coach).