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Leicester lays on the ‘hygge’ for Copenhagen fans

Published on Friday, October 14, 2016

FANS arriving from Denmark for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match between Leicester City and FC Copenhagen can look forward to a warm welcome.

The city will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that fans of the Danish team feel at home by encouraging local bars and cafés to embrace the concept of 'hygge' – a word used by the Danes to describe an ambience that’s warm, cosy and sociable.

Après Lounge on Leicester’s High Street will provide the perfect backdrop for some pre-match hygge, with its wood-panelled walls, crackling video fire, flickering candles and mulled wine creating a cosy snug. There will also be plenty of the Danes' favourite beer in stock, just in case cocoa and candles aren’t enough to settle pre-match nerves.

And on Highcross Street, Leicester’s very own Cosy Club – with its comfy sofas, hot chocolate, cold beer and candlelight – will be happy for fans to re-name it the ‘Hygge Club’ for the day.

City centre director Sarah Harrison said: “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the FC Copenhagen fans to Leicester and we’re keen to make them feel at home.

“The Danes are amongst the happiest people in Europe, and their enthusiasm for ‘hygge’ may have something to do with it.

“While we’re not able to offer candlelight and a crackling fire in every bar, what I hope we can offer is a warm welcome to our city, and an opportunity for the fans to create their own ‘hyggelig’ moments with both local people and their fellow fans.”

FC Copenhagen fans arriving by train will be met by greeters at Leicester station with a friendly “hej!” and helped on their way with a free map and a city centre guide.

The fans will be directed to Leicester’s famous Clock Tower and then on to the city’s Jubilee Square, which will be transformed by the city council into a pre-match fanzone for fans of both teams.

Live music and a big screen showing highlights of Leicester City’s title-winning season will provide the entertainment, with food and drink available from stalls and a licensed bar. If the weather’s cold, a hog roast and heated seating areas will help create a bit of ‘hygge’ in the square. And in a nod to Diwali – the festival of light that starts in Leicester on Sunday (16 October) – Indian music and dancing will also feature in the programme.

Street artists and stilt walkers in FC Copenhagen and Leicester City kit will help create a family atmosphere – and fans will be able to get their faces painted in their team colours, before they head off to the stadium.

City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “The fanzone in Jubilee Square was a big success with the FC Porto fans last month – and local fans seemed to enjoy the sense of occasion it created too.

“This time, we’re expecting the crowds to be even bigger, as local schools will be closed for half-term and more families will be out and about enjoying the atmosphere.

“We hope that the FC Copenhagen fans, and everyone who’s here for the game, enjoy their visit to our city as much as we’re enjoying being part of the Champions League.” 

The Jubilee Square fanzone will open at 12 noon on Tuesday (18 October) to provide a pre-match meeting point for fans of both teams, but its big screen will not be showing the match. 

Fans without tickets for the game will be able to watch it live at BT Sport pubs in the city centre.