• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Larsson: 'It should not be a death sentence to go to a game'

Henrik Larsson made an emotional plea to Swedish football fans on Sunday and beseeched them to put an end to the episodes of violence which resulted in the death of a fan at the weekend.

A 43-year-old Djurgarden supporter was attacked and killed by thugs in Helsingborg just 30 minutes before his club kicked off in their opening fixture of the season.

It is understood that the fan, a father of four, was targeted by rival supporters in a park in Helsingborg - the city where Larsson grew up and still lives - just half a mile away from the Olympia Stadium. When news of the incident was passed around the stands it provoked Djurgarden fans to storm the pitch, with referee Martin Hansson abandoning the game before the break.

Larsson would learn of the attack not long after he had taken charge of his first match as Falkenberg manager. His side lost in Malmo but Larsson's thoughts were only on events in Helsingborg, just a few hours away. He was on the verge of tears as he spoke, the reality of the incident made that much harder to bear since the manager had collected his teenage son from football training in the city centre earlier in the day.

He criticised the hooligan culture which continues to pervade his country's domestic game and called on football fans to take their eyes to the horror that has appeared in front of them. "What the hell are we doing? I mean, we're supposed to be going to football," said Larsson, whose side suffered a 3-0 defeat. "Now there is a mother and a father sitting at home, crying their eyes out. It's awful.

"We need to get rid of it from Swedish football. It's time for the supporters to take their responsibility too. They're happy to blame others, but take some of your own damn responsibility. It's time for someone to start waking up because I don't want it in Swedish football, or in any football.

"I found out quite late. I spoke with Daniel [Andersson, the Malmo manager], he told me. I think it's f***** up. I think it's time that we do something about this. It should not be a death sentence for someone to go to a game."

The attack was preceded by violence between rivals supporters the night before but Djurgarden were adamant that the fans who was killed had no connection to hooliganism. "He was a regular supporter," said sporting director Bo Andersson.

Contextual targeting label: 
Football

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

223434