August 14, 2022

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These numbers make NFF turbulent

These numbers make NFF turbulent

For two years, the Corona pandemic has put sticks in the wheels of football for children, youth and the elderly. How did Norwegian football actually perform?

TV 2 has obtained recent figures from the NFF that show the number of teams registered in 2022 compared to the number of teams registered before the arrival of the Corona virus, that is, since the beginning of 2020.

There are numbers that worry us. We were hoping we’d be better off now that the pandemic is, but we think we’ll turn it around, says NFF Director of Development and Activity, Alf Hansen.

These numbers make the National Football Association anxious

The numbers are based on a change in the number of teams from 2020 to 2022:

Children (6-12 years):

girls: 0.8% decrease

children: 5% decrease

Youth (13-19 years):

girls: 12.4% decrease

children: 5.1% decrease

grown ups:

Women: 2% decrease

men: decrease of 2.4%


Not a doomsday mood, but…

– It’s also another side of the issue: in the midst of the pandemic, we feared numbers worse than these. It’s not the doomsday mood, but the numbers that make us uncomfortable, the NFF director admits.

It is believed that the regression is not accidental:

We are very concerned that there is a pattern of withdrawing from organized football in favor of other recreational activities.

– In addition, we know that some of the decrease is due to the fact that trophies and tournaments for children and youth have been very limited due to travel restrictions. For many, traveling to the Trophy is the highlight of the season, but during the pandemic, nearly all activities took place locally.

Lack of Commodities: There have been very few major and minor football leagues in the past two years.  The Norway Cup has been canceled in both 2020 and 2021. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum

Lack of Commodities: There have been very few major and minor football leagues in the past two years. The Norway Cup has been canceled in both 2020 and 2021. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum

Hansen tells TV 2 that it was the big clubs that did the best, while the smaller clubs had more problems.

What do you fear will happen in the long run? , asks TV 2.

At worst, our smallest club can withstand it. What interests us most are the little clubs in the neighborhoods, as it’s the most I’ve stayed in.

He lost 25 percent of his members

Henrik Rønningen is the leader of IL Jotun at Sogn og Fjordane football club.

Henrik Roningen.  Photo: private

Henrik Roningen. Photo: private

Through the pandemic, the club on the football side has gone from 300 active members to 225. This equates to losing 25% of the original membership.

– We had a high drop-out rate after the pandemic. The politicians have shut down hard, and now we have to pay the price, he told TV 2.

– What do you think is the reason for the big dropout from your club?

– Basically it was so closed, it was difficult to create an attractive show especially for young people. In the youth category, ie from 13 to 19 years old, we are the most affected.

Rønningen also says he believes the club will return to the same number in the future, but that large parts of the detritus that were supposed to start with football in 2020 and 2021 may be lost.

Notice the change

In Drøbak-Frogn, which is Østfold’s largest football club, the situation is much better:

– For us, the total number of children playing football is about the same as two years ago. In fact, it is surprising that there is exactly the same number, as the club’s chairman, Vidar Vergestad, tells TV2.

All football teams in the club make up a total of about 740 members. 630 of them are soccer players, while the remaining 110 are volunteer and expert coaches.

You can smile: Vidar Færgestad and Drøbak-Frogn kept their organs through the Corona years.  Photo: private

You can smile: Vidar Færgestad and Drøbak-Frogn kept their organs through the Corona years. Photo: private

Although the club performed excellently in terms of membership, Færgestad noted a new problem:

– I noticed that you have to work harder than before to get players and parents back into the arena as it was before Corona, but by significantly increasing volunteer hours than before, we have succeeded in the long run.

– People are well laid out in the sofa. I think you have noticed a change, both in sports and in working life, where everyone is becoming more interested in themselves and not interested in contributing with others. After two years of coronavirus restrictions and a home office, we grew the nuclear family.

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NFFs . plan

Although the number of teams in both children’s, youth and senior football is declining, the NFF is optimistic about the future:

We must work hard and patiently to create more enthusiasm in the future, says NFF Director Hansen.

Among the measures:

We have to get up and do more tournaments again. Those have virtually died during the pandemic, and with more leagues, children’s and youth football will automatically become more attractive again.

It’s also about getting close to the clubs, understanding the reasons and taking action.

In addition, we are working with more traditional measures such as coach education and club development.

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