September 21, 2021

Footballer faces allegation of sexual assault after players ‘have orgy with seven women on pitch’ in scandal that has shamed club

A football club has limited how long its players are allowed at its stadium for and changed the alarm codes as bosses work with police over a litany of explosive allegations about an early-hours party.

Three-time Norwegian champions Brann have been rocked by a major investigation into an unauthorized event – described by manager Erik Horneland as “disgusting” – that reportedly involved 12 players and seven women having sex in the locker rooms and on the pitch.

An unnamed member of the squad is said to have denied an allegation of sexual assault after being questioned by officers about the culmination of a night out.

“We are in the middle of a deeply tragic and sad case for the club and everyone involved,” rued Vibeke Johannesen, the general manager of the club based in Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen.

“We will limit how long the players have access to the stadium in the evening and make changes to the alarm code.

“We are also aware that there are rumors of the use of illegal drugs, so we will do tests of both areas of the stadium and players. We must emphasize that these are just rumors, but we do it to clean up [the situation].

“We naturally have a close dialogue with those who participated in the party and, as always, there are many interests and considerations to take in an unacceptable and sad case like this.

“Externally, we have clearly stated what we think about the fact that a party was arranged at the stadium in violation of our internal guidelines.

“We have also provided the information we can afford to provide in a case like this. Now we are also doing what we can to help the police in the further investigation.

“We have encouraged and again encourage any offended party who considers themselves exposed to possible criminal acts to report this to the police.”

Fans at the club’s 102-year-old Brann Stadion home protested over the scandal at Sandefjord, with their most vocal support faction staying silent for the first 19 minutes and eight seconds in a reflection of the year in which Brann were founded.

That meant one of the home team’s goals, scored in the 18th minute, received a distinctly muted reaction.

Banners condemning the club’s “shame” and telling the players to “show respect” are also said to have been on display, reportedly moving some players to tears at the final whistle of a rare win.

“We fully understand that there are many – supporters, partners and people from Bergen – who are disappointed and angry,” acknowledged Johannesen.

“So are we. We will not stop working on this case until we have all the facts on the table, and then we will work to regain trust.

“Regarding the police case, we will contribute everything we can, but the details involved must be taken care of by the police.

“We continue to work on the case internally, and both the management and the board are doing what they can to get all the information.”

Johannesen said that he had personally been at the police station to help. None of the players involved in the allegations have been named publicly.

“It is important for us to emphasize that the case was never closed by the club, as has been claimed in the media,” he added.

“What has ended is the public discussion about possible sanctions for those who were at the party.

“Details of possible penalties and other measures are discussed with players and employees internally, as is the case at all workplaces. The board will make a final decision on what those may be.

“We understand that the club’s members, supporters and partners want more information, but this is a complex matter.”

Brann are two points adrift at the bottom of the table in Norwegian top flight the Eliteserien after only their second victory in 15 league games during a miserable season so far.




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