Thousands celebrate the title in Zurich

FC Zurich lost the last game in the championship. But in view of the championship celebration, everything else became a minor matter.

The FC Zurich team was enthusiastically celebrated on Helvetiaplatz.

Michael Buholzer / Keystone

13 is a lucky number for FCZ. After 13 years, the club was able to secure a championship title again this spring, the 13th in the club’s history. That was already clear on May 1 after the win against FC Basel. More than 10,000 people gathered that evening on Helvetiaplatz for a spontaneous championship celebration with firecrackers, flags and champagne.

There were no incidents, only the gravel area on the adjacent chancellery area was so littered with shards that the gravel now has to be replaced for around 7,000 francs, like that Tamedia newspapers reported. Those responsible have not yet tackled the refurbishment, after all, the square was once again visited by party-goers at the official championship celebration this Sunday.

Before that, however, there was still the last game of the championship against Lucerne in the Letzigrund Stadium. The people of Zurich lost, but this did not detract from the festive mood. At around 6 p.m., fan choirs can be heard from far and wide in the district, fireworks mist drifts through Badenerstrasse, two employees from Entsorgung und Recycling Zürich try to get rid of the masses of waste at the Letzigrund tram stop with their brooms. A few scattered fans in white shirts stand in front of the stadium and look at the big screen inside. “Isn’t the second half already underway?” asks one. “Yes, yes,” replies another, narrowing his eyes and staring at the screen, “I think it’s the 65th minute”.

The game is just a minor matter, everyone is waiting for the big party. The long-awaited final whistle comes just before half past six. The doors open and those outside run in. Inside, the fans hug each other. Firecrackers explode everywhere until Captain Yanick Brecher lifts the trophy to huge cheers.

Around 7 p.m., a stream of people dressed in white follows the tram tracks to Helvetiaplatz. Public transport is at a standstill. The first fans started arriving at Helvetiaplatz around 7:30 p.m. The balcony of the People’s House is decorated with a banner: “FC Zürich – Nie usenand gah”. On the square, a few fans are waving their flags to the beat of the electro pop blasting out of the speakers. But the big crowd is still a long way off.

An hour later, the whites gradually took over the pitch. Everyone looks up at the balcony, but the team is still a long way off. Meanwhile, Elijah Salomon entertains the audience with reggae songs. Then a spokesman comforts those waiting that the team is not far away. “Are you ready?” “Yes!” chanted the fans.

Shortly before nine, the fans of the south stand march in, with loud bangs, and soon the square is shrouded in blue smoke. The peacefully celebrating audience joins in cheering choruses: “Dä FC Züri is the Swiss champion, scho-lo-lo…”

Then the team finally arrives. The fans rage. The balcony is almost impossible to see because of the smoke. The firecrackers are so loud that parents run away with their children. The announcements of the speaker can hardly be heard.

There was no stopping the fans on Sunday evening.

There was no stopping the fans on Sunday evening.

Michael Buholzer / Keystone

Coach André Breitenreiter thanks the fans: “It’s wonderful to celebrate with you.” And then Yanick Brecher brings the trophy onto the balcony and the crowd sings “We Are the Champions”.

Blessedness on Helvetiaplatz.

The celebrations will continue until after the editorial deadline. The head of the security department, city councilor Karin Rykart, has granted a free night inside catering establishments on the day of the championship celebration in the city area.

While one or the other fan is probably sleeping off his intoxication on Monday, the master players are already on the road again. In the afternoon they will dock with a ship in Wädenswil, Männedorf, Horgen and Miles and give autographs. The fans should even be able to lift the championship trophy for a photo.

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