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Handball body fires referee for blogging
Action from Swedish handball final in May, Alingsås (blue) defeat Guif

Handball body fires referee for blogging

Published: 05 Aug 2009 08:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Aug 2009 08:16 GMT+02:00

One of the referees claims he was dismissed because he was gay, although handball officials say it was due to his personal blog.

SvD reported that Mattias Jansson and Christian Sandblom are suing the federation after being fired in the spring during the Swedish handball championships.

Jansson and Sandblom are together seeking a total of 2.6 million kronor in damages for three counts of violating the law on job security and one count of lost income.

Jansson has also submitted a complaint against the federation to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

SvD reported that the official reason that Jansson was fired was that he wrote about the harassment he faced due to his sexual orientation. His colleague Sandblom was given notice at the same time.

"We have tried to communicate with the federation, without result. That's why we are now taking this to court. It is awful that the federation's actions have also affected my colleague. He isn't gay, but he has had the courage to take my side. And those who have done so aren't popular within the federation," Jansson told SvD.

Christer Thelin, head of the handball federation, told SvD that Jansson's dismissal had nothing to do with his sexual orientation, but rather his blogging. He added that Sandblom was let go because he no longer had a referee partner.

Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

07:55 August 6, 2009 by Harding00
I wonder what exactly he wrote in his blog that got him fired. If he didn't write about doing anything illegal, even if he did something that others thought was immoral, then it should be illegal to fire someone based upon what they do in their own free time. The article says that the "SvD reported that the official reason that Jansson was fired was that he wrote about the harassment he faced due to his sexual orientation." How in the world can complaining that people harass you about your sexual orientation be grounds to get you fired? I really hope there is more to this story.
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