Joint Irish-Danish Football Team takes on FC Bundestag
To mark 50 years of EU membership for their respective countries, the Embassy of Ireland and the Royal Danish Embassy in Berlin came together to form a joint Irish-Danish football teamNovember 29th, 2023
This year, 2023, Ireland celebrates 50 years of membership in the European Union. EU membership has been instrumental in Ireland’s rapid economic rise and societal transformation, and the facilitation of peace on our island. We share this landmark anniversary with our friends from Denmark, which also joined the then European Economic Community on 1 January 1973.
To mark our shared 50 years of EU membership, the Embassy of Ireland and the Royal Danish Embassy in Berlin came together to form a joint Irish-Danish football team to take on FC Bundestag, the official football club of the German parliament. ‘Team EU50’ donned jerseys in the blue and yellow of Europe designed specifically for the occasion.
Initially planned for the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in Mauerpark, the wintry conditions that befell Berlin on the day meant the eagerly anticipated contest was moved indoors to a sports hall in the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus in the Bundestag complex.
An exciting and, at times, feisty affair provided plenty of displays of superb teamwork and individual skill, yet in the end experience told and FC Bundestag ran out 20-10 winners of the 90-minute contest. In other words, a tight 2-1 defeat for the visiting team.
Ambassador Dr. Nicholas O’Brien and Denmark’s Ambassador to Germany Susanne Hyldelund were among the spectators and spoke to journalists to reflect on the benefits EU membership has brought to the two countries (here and here).
The EU50 football match brings to an end the Embassy’s busy EU50 programme for 2023; a year which saw a variety of events take place across Germany. The Embassy itself played host to numerous events from an EU50-themed table quiz in March, an exhibition of portraits of Irish in Germany by photographer Neil Hoare in May to an EU Day of Languages event in September.
In addition, Ambassador O’Brien addressed the European Academy Berlin in June, followed by a panel of experts, to examine the question of Ireland as a European champion (Excerpts from the discussion available on RBB24 Inforadio here). The Embassy also looked back at Ireland’s humanitarian assistance to Germany and across the Iron Curtain following WWII and looked forward to Ireland, Germany and Europe’s role in bringing food systems into the heart of discussions at COP28.
A series of exhibitions brought Ireland’s EU50 celebrations to a wider German audience with the “Into Europe” and “The Birth of Europe” exhibitions documenting Ireland’s journey to, and experience of, EU membership visiting towns and cities across the map of Germany such as Bad Lippspringe, Würzburg, Wuppertal, Flensburg and Tübingen.