OH, YES, IT’S LADIES’ NIGHT
Whichever stadium FC Bayern Women are playing in, the Red Ladies München ’22 are there. At the Champions League game against Barcelona, the fan group faced their biggest challenge to date: a tifo at the Allianz Arena.
A hundred minutes before kick-off, Hanna is in full flow. With red cheeks, she walks up the rows of the Südkurve, counting the white foils that have been spread over the backs of the seats. “Someone’s laid that one out wrong,” she says, pointing to a row. The words fume towards the roof of the Arena. It’s a cold December night, but they don’t notice that in the Südkurve. The “Red Ladies“ are probably the biggest fans of FC Bayern Women – certainly the loudest. For the Champions League home match against Barcelona, they’ve planned something special: a tifo inside the Allianz Arena. It’s a first for FC Bayern Women. Hanna makes the final adjustments, and then cries out: “Pack it up, guys!” Everything’s ready.
It’s a big day for the Red Ladies, the biggest in their short history. The fan group of around 20 people has only existed for a few months. It was probably fate that they found each other. It happened on 12 September at the Audi Sportpark in Ingolstadt, where the Bayern Women were playing in the DFB Cup. The 7-0 success on the pitch was a side issue on this sunny late summer’s afternoon, though. The most important thing happened in the stands, where people who belonged together were brought together. A handful of Bayern fans who already knew each other from last season, including Hanna and Dominik, sat together. Thomas was also there – the Women’s EURO had made him interested in what FCB Women had to offer. So he made his way to Ingolstadt for the first match of the season and sat with the group wearing Bayern shirts. “But three seats apart to start with. You don’t know what they’re like,” explains Thomas and grins. That initial distance soon melted away, though. With every goal celebration they got closer. And when one of the fans (Dominik) asked him to watch his bag briefly, their restraint was abandoned for good. “We swapped numbers after the game and set up a WhatsApp group,” says Thomas. “It just clicked,“ recalls Hanna. “We got on straight away.”
Singing themselves hoarse
The big day. Everything’s prepared in the Südkurve of the Allianz Arena. “I don’t think the girls will be expecting a tifo. We want to push them,” says an excited Lucas. Just one question remains: will the spectators join in? Five minutes before kick-off, Hanna climbs onto the railings. “Everybody lift them up! Everybody up!” she shouts into a megaphone as the teams walk out. And indeed, white foils are held up. “And hold!” demands Hanna while the Champions League anthem is played. After two minutes it’s all over. It worked. The Red Ladies shift seamlessly into cheering on. Hanna drums, the others chant: “Bayern! Bayern!” It turns out to be a memorable evening, with a tifo, record attendance for FCB Women of 24,000 and a 3-1 win over the favourites from Barcelona. At the final whistle, the whole group is hanging on the fence. “Lina, on the railings!” they demand. And she does: Lina Magull comes over and climbs onto the railings. Hanna places the megaphone in her hands and the FCB captain strikes up a “Humba”.
Tickets for the UWCL quarter-final: