• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Immigrant boy kicked out of Swedish football team
File photo of a football. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt/TT

Immigrant boy kicked out of Swedish football team

The Local · 18 Feb 2016, 16:42

Published: 18 Feb 2016 16:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Feb 2016 16:42 GMT+01:00

The schoolboy, who moved to Sweden from Latvia last summer, had been playing for a youth team in Haninge, a small town just south of Stockholm.

But while he was away on holiday, his parents were informed that he was no longer allowed to play for the club, because his Swedish was not good enough.

"We find it hard to see that [boy's name deleted] can take part in the team if he does not know the language," read the text message sent to the family and first reported by Sveriges Radio.

The boy's mother told the broadcaster that her son had "started to cry" when he had learned of the news and said he did not want to return to Sweden after their break.

"I got sad, I understood that I would have to sit at home and do nothing instead of playing football," the young player added.

IFK Haninge issued an online apology on Thursday, noting that the coach who had sent the message had resigned and confirming that the boy was welcome to return to one of its youth teams.

"It has never been the case that someone is prevented from playing with us because he or she cannot speak Swedish," said the club's sports director Omar Moggi in the statement.

"We have many children in the club who can't speak Swedish," he added.

In a text message to The Local he said he was not available for further comment during the afternoon.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile the club's president Niclas Lindberg also said sorry for the incident, describing the club as a "friendly society".

His online comment explained that the club's own constitution stated that potential members should be welcomed "regardless of their nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation or physical or mental condition".

News of the schoolboy being booted out of the club comes days after Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven suggested that sport could be a key way to integrate immigrants in the Nordic nation, which is processing record numbers of residency requests from both asylum seekers fleeing conflicts and people moving between EU member states.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Swedes discover secret 150-metre-long cave
Per Bäckström on his way into the cave. Photo: Alexander Bennerstål/TT

They are believed to be the first people to venture into this hidden cave on the Baltic island of Gotland.

No arrests after boy's death in Gothenburg grenade attack
The scene at the apartment in Biskopsgården two days after the attack.Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

UPDATED: Almost 200 people paid their respects at the funeral of an eight-year-old boy killed in a Gothenburg grenade attack. But police told The Local they have yet to make any arrests in the case.

Swedish couple banned from owning animals kept 100 cats
Not the cats mentioned in the article. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Animal protection officers seized around 100 cats from the couple in Halland.

'Unfriendly' Swedes give expats the cold shoulder
Is it difficult to make friends with Scandinavians? Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

Sweden is among the most difficult countries for foreigners to feel at home in, according to a new survey.

Is this the most Swedish wedding cake ever?
A chocolate ball enters a mouth. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

That's a lot of balls!

Sweden's most beautiful places revealed
West-coast serenity in Onsala, Halland. Photo: Mikael Tigerström

Is the west coast the best coast?

Swedish woman bumps into bear near pub
This is not the bear Valeria Möller met in Skellefteå. Photo: Bernard Boehne

If you go down to the pub tonight...

Stockholm school segregates boys and girls in gym class
A gym class for first-graders. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

"Some of our girls want to be able to take off their veils and wear shorts and T-shirts in their classes," a teacher explained.

This Brit moved to Sweden and opened his dream café
Härnösand café owner Shaun Corby. Photo: Johanna Corby

Shaun Corby tells The Local how following his Swedish wife to Härnösand turned out to be the best move he ever made.

Missing Swedish billionaire found dead
In the early 1980s, Ericsson was known as the ’Golden boy’ of the west coast. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Swedish entrepreneur and billionaire Christer Ericsson, who went missing during a fishing trip two months ago, has been found dead on the west coast.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,376
jobs available