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Sweden footballers in 'naked' training outrage

Sweden footballers in 'naked' training outrage

Published: 13 Jun 2012 17:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Jun 2012 17:05 GMT+02:00

Sweden's national football club has sparked controversy, including biting comments from Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, after a player was forced to bare his behind during a training session on Tuesday.

"They have shown unbelievably poor judgment," Lars Arrhenius, head of anti-bullying group Friends told the Expressen newspaper.

The comments come in reaction to a drill carried out during Tuesday's training session referred to as "the pig" (grisen), a game lost by reserve goalkeeper Johan Wiland.

As "punishment" for losing, Wiland was made to get down on all fours near a wall and pull his pants down, at which point other players fired footballs at the back-up keeper in an attempt to strike his bare bottom (scroll to 1m30s mark of the video below).

While team spokesperson Hans Hultman downplayed the stunt as "no big deal", others were less forgiving in their assessment of scenes featuring players shooting footballs at Wiland's rear end.

"They are heroes for thousands of boys and girls across Sweden and I don't think they should send signals that this is okay," said Arrhenius, whose anti-bullying group's name is set to adorn Sweden's new national arena.

"This is what happens in schools and at sports clubs; that people engage in these sorts of 'games', but there are also children who end up vulnerable in these situations."

A number of politicians also criticized the national team for engaging in what some considered to be "immature" bullying.

"It's tasteless. They're not being good role models," Centre Party leader Annie Lööf told Expressen on Wednesday.

Göran Hägglund, leader of the Christian Democrats said the incidents was "not good".

"Football shouldn't bother with such things. I don't think they should engage in these types of games," he told the paper.

Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) leader Jan Björklund slammed the game as "immature", while Left Party head Jonas Sjöstedt complained that the naked game was "out of place" in 2012.

"It's really sad to see," he told Expressen.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt also expressed his concern.

"People who carry expectations should be aware of that and act accordingly," he said.

"It's important to reflect on how what one does in order to meet expectations."

However, Reinfeldt went on to bring the focus back on Sweden's next match in the Euro 2012 football tournament.

"The most important thing for the Swedish people is that we win against England," he told Expressen.

Video footage of the incident from Expressen (in Swedish)

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Your comments about this article

18:16 June 13, 2012 by kirub
And yet no goals scoring!
19:32 June 13, 2012 by samspur1
lots of skills with the juggling there...
20:36 June 13, 2012 by samspur1
against england, every player should walk out and do this, will be less shame after all ;)
20:37 June 13, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
#3: hazing and bullying are worldwide phenomena omg!
22:22 June 13, 2012 by jack sprat
Are they just total R-soles or is this simply some cunning new stunt to distract the opposition whilst they pop one in ?

.....Oh in the net of course.
10:25 June 14, 2012 by bonbon29
Naked Swedish footballers?! No complaints from me! :-)
15:40 June 14, 2012 by euro2012tickets
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12:47 June 15, 2012 by euro_tix
Tickets to give:

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18:45 June 15, 2012 by awash
boys will always be boys:))
11:31 June 17, 2012 by Domhangairt
I think this is great. I've always had a thing for Scandinavian men. I don't see much bullying going on- he is wiggling his arse at them- he's enjoying it as much as the other boys are. Swedish politicians need a good blowjob. Sweden must be the most politically correct country in Europe.

Go for it boys- do it again. They should drop their pants if they beat England. That would be priceless.
15:44 June 17, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
Now we know why we could not win a game. We were fielding the Swedish schoolboy team.
21:04 June 20, 2012 by shamann
all of ya who thinks that ova there is about bullying i guess u haven't got any friends or u haven't played football or silly games such as that one. suck me
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