‘This is sick’ - seventh-tier Swedish club cancels friendly after betting mayhem

‘It was from all around the world. They were saying things like ‘hope you lose’ or ‘good luck’

 

A friendly between two lower league sides in Sweden had to be cancelled on Monday after at least one bookmaker offered customers the opportunity to place money on the game.

In Sweden gatherings of no more than 50 people are still allowed to take place and seventh-tier Eskilstuna FC and eighth-tier Näshulta GoIF were hoping to get 90 minutes under their belts, but they were forced to postpone after “people from all over the world” started to contact players and coaching staff of the two teams.

“All day yesterday people rang our players and staff,” the Eskilstuna FC chairman, Bengin Ozeran told fotbollskanalen. “They got in contact through social media. It was people from all around the world. They were saying things like ‘hope you lose’ or ‘good luck’. There were more than 100 people doing it in under an hour. It’s been chaos. It was not a fun day.

“We decided to cancel the game for the players’ safety. You never know [what could have happened] after people started contacting the players. They even contacted a coach in the same division we play in to check how we play and how we have played in the past. People even got in contact with some of our former players and asked about our starting line-up. It was sick.”

The club got in contact with the Swedish FA, which agreed with the club that the best action was to cancel the game.

Another club in Eskilstuna, AC Primavera, who play in the sixth tier, told Eskilstuna-Kuriren that they had received hate messages on their social media channels after losing a friendly recently.

“It was after our game against BK Sport that it started to come in messages on our Facebook page,” the club’s chairman, Daniel Karlsson, told the paper. “People from abroad were abusive towards the club and, among other things, we were accused to have ‘fixed’ our own game and someone said they hoped we would die from coronavirus.”

Sweden has taken a different approach to the coronavirus outbreak than most other European countries. The country is not in lockdown and its borders remain open. Schools and gyms are also open with the prime minister, Stefan Löfven, asking the nation “to behave as adults”. – Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.