Celtic ‘pigs’ coverage angers Malmo manager

Parkhead club protecting one-goal advantage in Champions League playoff

Malmo coach Age Hareide celebrates after Jo Inge Berget scored their second goal at Celtic Park. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Malmo coach Age Hareide celebrates after Jo Inge Berget scored their second goal at Celtic Park. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

 

Malmo boss Age Hareide has attacked the Scottish media amid controversy over the “pigs” jibe aimed at Celtic following the first leg of their Champions League play-off.

Malmo goalkeeper Johan Wiland branded Celtic players “grisar” – a Swedish word that directly translates as “pigs” – in an interview with Swedish journalists immediately after Celtic’s 3-2 first-leg win last week.

But an angry Hareide chastised a Scottish journalist after being asked about the furore ahead of tonight’s second leg in Sweden, claiming that the word had been taken out of context when translated into English.“If you travel abroad and you are going to write about players from Sweden or Norway or Germany or Spain or France, you have to learn the words,” he said.

Play dirty

“To play like a pig is to play dirty. It was a tough game but it was not a dirty game.”

Thumping his desk, Hareide added: “A pig is something else in English than it is in Scandinavia. You have a word that starts with f and ends in k and you say it all the time. It means something else in Scandinavia. It is not swearing in Scandinavia.

“So you have to have respect for other languages.

“That is why I am upset with the press, you just translate things and then put them in headlines.

“The only thing I want from the press is to tell the truth. You have to have respect for languages and the places you travel to, to pronounce things correctly.”

The “pigs” comment was not the only controversial utterance coming from the Malmo camp after the first leg.

Hareide had claimed that Celtic did not have the legs for 90 minutes after Jo Inge Berget netted his second goal deep in injury-time, while Wiland also accused Leigh Griffiths of acting like a child and Rasmus Bengtsson claimed Celtic had players who did too much talking on the pitch.

But Celtic manager Ronny Deila, apparently well-used to his fellow Norwegian’s confrontational style, laughed off Hareide’s post-match comments.

Celtic expect defender Virgil van Dijk to be fully focused against Malmo, according to assistant manager John Collins. Van Dijk checked in at Glasgow Airport yesterday morning for the flight to Sweden after Celtic dismissed weekend reports that he would miss the play-off second leg ahead of a move to Southampton.

Collins denied any transfer deal was in place for the 24-year-old Dutch defender to leave Parkhead before the transfer window closes.

And he is confident van Dijk will shrug off the speculation as Celtic defend a 3-2 lead in Sweden. “It’s water off a duck’s back,” Collins said. “It’s what happens when you’re a good player, there is always speculation.

“I’m 100 per cent sure Virgil will be focused on performing for us. He is 100 per cent ready to play. I thought he was terrific for us last week.”

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