The Sweden women’s football team narrowly topped Denmark in Women’s World Cup playoff action on Saturday in Gothenburg at Gamla Ullevi, winning 2-1.
Hockey defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson of Eksjö east of Jönköping, winner of the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last season, has a taste of home at the aptly named Tre Kronor in the Windy City’s Northwest Side on Friday.
The NHL website gave a sneak peek on Wednesday of the upcoming Elitserien season, which begins this week, coming strongly in favour of defending champion HV71 from Linköping and runner-up Djurgården in the race for the 2011 title. Writer Bill Meltzer also took note of talent that has left the league to play in the NHL in the upcoming season and looked back at Swedish stars from years past.
Citigroup traders cheekily suggest that Tiger Woods’s divorce settlement could have triggered a on the krona last week, the Wall Street Journal reports.
No one can accuse the Dutch for not throwing a great party whether they win or lose. After being told at the door of the Dutch embassy that it was full on Sunday for the World Cup final against Spain, as soon as the staff of De Hollandse Club Stockholm heard about The Local, it was all smiles and a warm welcome in.
Wandering into the courtyard, a big-screen TV broadcast a live Dutch feed with the names of the evening’s sponsors spliced in was the focus of the attention of the crowd. Organisers estimated 550 people watched the game, with the event costing about 70,000 kronor ($9,300).
There was indeed orange, orange everywhere – jerseys (one curiously with “Björklund” on the back), hats, one vuvuzela, shoes, pants, suspenders, furry lobster pendants, wigs, blow-up plastic crowns. However, the face paint was clearly the red, white and blue (the stripes in that order) of the Dutch flag and the hand stamp for re-entry when leaving the premises happened to be a red, white and blue crayon. In addition to Dutch fans, there were also a number of Swedes and English speakers of all accents among the crowd among the lucky ones who arrived early enough for entry.
They also lived up to the promise of Dutch beer at Dutch prices – Grolsch at 30 kronor, as well as wine-in-a-box and soft drinks. Curiously, the bitterballen (Dutch pub snack food) were free. Only when those ran out did they starting charging minimally for the kroketten.
One does not truly feel short until he or she watches the World Cup final with a Dutch crowd – ironically forcing one to the back of the viewing area. After the crowd of Dutch fans who were denied entry finally dispersed well into the second half, seven-year-old Emilia Bouterse, a Stockholmer with a Swedish mum and Dutch dad, still lingered on at the front door, seemingly indifferent to the action on the big screen.
There were many gasps, jeers and cheers throughout the game for each of the numerous yellow cards shown depending on which team they were directed to, as well as every corner and free kick. Most audible were the shouts of relief when Nigel de Jong did not get a red card for kicking Xabi Alonso in the chest.
Interspersed throughout the game, as well as pre-match and during half-time was a DJ blasting out of the loudspeakers, as well as typical Black Eyed Peas fare in addition to classic Dutch favourites. In addition to the lone orange vuvuzela, other decible-shattering horns blew intermittently, peppered with “Holland!” clapping chants and oddly, “¡Olé Olé Olé!” once or twice.
The red card shown to Johnny Heitinga in extra time seemed to signal a turn for the worse and hinted that the game in the end might not go to penalty kicks, but there was not any excessive shouting at the screen for the decision. There were also nary but groans when Andres Iniesta finally scored four minutes before the end of the game.
As the final whistle blew, a palpable disappointed silence fell over the courtyard of the Dutch embassy as the fans streamed out to Götgatan to meet the oncoming jubilant Spain supporters, but the mood remained festive and cheerful in spite of the loss. However, there is no doubt there would have been partying all night had Oranje won – the line for beer disappeared instantly when Iniesta scored.
Sport: December 11th, 2007 by PO
The Swedish Football Federation has finally given the all-clear clubs in the country to play as many non-European players as they like. The decision was applauded by Helsingborg, a club with five African players on its books. BBC Sport has the story:
Helsingborg director Bo Nilsson told BBC Sport that the decision is a victory for his club.
“We are pleased. The decision is fair and it is a respect for international law. Before there was discrimination,” he added.
Liberia defender Jimmy Dixon who plays for Malmo FF welcomed the ruling as a one of the best things to happen to African footballers.
“It will give more opportunities to African footballers in Sweden. Before it was hard to make it,” Dixon said.
Actually, ‘multi-coloured’ is a bit of an exaggeration. Simon Mills is fascinated by the dandy of Torsby and his wondrous wardrobe consisting largely of identical suits:
Sven-Goran Eriksson is looking for a new house. It has to be near the City of Manchester stadium and have a walk-in wardrobe the size of a goalie’s 10-yard box. Not for Nancy’s collection of provocative catsuits, mind. Sven needs the space because he is reported to have amassed a collection of some 150 suits.
The Guardian has more on the “Beau Brummel of the light blues”.
Did you know that the Sami have their own national football team? Steve Menary visited the Sami Cup, this year being held in the Norwegian town of Karasjok, and wrote an enlightening report for The Guardian.
The Sami have played as a national team since 1985 against the likes of Greenland, East Germany and Estonia and beat the Baltic nation 2-1 in Karasjok in 1991. Sami sports were organised by an umbrella organisation until 2003. A separate FA was then set up with funding from tribal parliaments set up by the governments of Norway, Sweden and Finland to give the tribe some autonomy.
Two thirds of the 70,000 Sami live in Norway, another 20,000 in Sweden, with 5,000 or so in Finland and the rest on the Kola Peninsula in Russia. The Sami Cup was set up to help reunite this disparate northern people with teams made up of relatives, local associations and reindeer herders getting together to play football. More than a dozen Sami football tournaments will be staged this summer but the Sami Cup, rotating annually between Norway, Sweden and Finland, is the big one.
Could another Swede be about to join Sven-Göran Eriksson at Manchester City? The football rumour mill is certainly grinding a story to that effect and the cereal in question is Toulouse forward Johan Elmander. But the price tag is a tidy €25 million.
Sport: July 6th, 2007 by PO
Could Rafael Nadal be the new Björn Borg? Tom Perrotta at the New York Sun certainly hopes so:
Wimbledon desperately needs another Borg, someone to inject some life into a tournament that’s become every bit as predictable as England’s wretched weather. It needs a champion who, like Borg, doesn’t belong.
Sport: July 6th, 2007 by PO
Jonas Björkman left nobody in any doubt as to his feelings towards the umpire during Thursday’s fourth round clash with Tomas Berdych.
“That’s why you suck. That’s why you shouldn’t be having matches like this. You are absolutely useless.”
And that was just what he said in English. This is London had a translator at hand to explain some of the Swede’s choice phraseology.
Sport: July 6th, 2007 by PO
Denmark has been let halfway off the hook by UEFA following a fan’s attack on the referee during a Euro 2008 qualifying match against Sweden on June 2nd. The International Herald Tribune reports:
European soccer’s governing body ruled that Denmark will only be banned from playing home games at its national stadium in Copenhagen for the next two games, not four as previously decided.
In a lengthy interview with fifa.com, Sweden’s coach Lars Lagerbäck gives hisview of the controversy in Copenhagen:
It was very sad because, for me, it spoiled a real football party. It had been a fantastic football match that had everything: excitement, quality, goals and a great atmosphere.
Sport: June 26th, 2007 by PO
The BBC goes ringside to observe the initial effects of the removal of Sweden’s ban on pro-boxing:
Jenni [Johannsen] scoffs at the concerns for boxers’ health. “Speedway racing is much more dangerous than boxing,” she laughs.
Sport: June 21st, 2007 by PO
The Swedish women’s football team has now scored 14 goals in its last two games. Seven of the goals have been scored by top striker Victoria Svensson.
Home coach Thomas Dennerby said: “We promised ourselves we would go out there and do a good job straight from the start and that was exactly what we did. It looks good after three games played!”
UEFA has a match report from the demolition of Hungary.
Sweden’s King Karl XVI Gustav was in Moscow to meet President Putin on Thursday.
The King is reported to have been somewhat taken aback when Putin invited him to attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, mainly because Russia hasn’t yet won the right to host the event:
“Well, that’s a long way off,” the king mumbled. “It is hard to get the Olympics. Sweden has tried for a long time to receive the right to host the Olympic Games, but so far without luck…”
Sport: June 11th, 2007 by PO
The Danish football federation is not happy with the punishment meted out by UEFA following the dramatic Euro qualifier against Sweden.
The federation also pointed out that Denmark will find it difficult to play its games 250 km away from Copenhagen, as the European governing body has demanded.
Jim Stjerne Hansen, the secretary general of the Danish soccer federation, said there are no UEFA-approved stadiums in Denmark that are located more than 250 kilometers (155 miles) away from the capital.
Sport: January 5th, 2007 by PO
There I was, minding my own business on the interweb, when suddenly I was confronted with The Inner Workings of the Mind of VikingHumpingWitch.
What cunning plans might VHW, a regular contributor to The Local’s discussion page, be hatching far from the forum’s familial glow?
Well, ways to make people laugh as it happens:
A small preamble is required for non-Swedes. This is Sweden’s official World Cup song from the 1994 World Cup in the US, at which the Swedish team made a far better stab at football than at this hideously ill-advised foray into music video. The song was done by 3 reasonably well-respected Swedish pop artistes of the time (I will spare their names since is this not their finest hour), but I can only assume the video was directed by whoever subsequently went on to direct the video to Father Ted’s My Lovely Horse. It has it all: footballers dribbling and laughing, popstars attempting football and laughing, a random shot of the singers inexplicably plonked in front of some unidentified body of water, high-fives, some horsing around involving hilariously tipping a baseball cap over one singer’s face – even Thomas Brolin wobbling about and laughing. It does lack a John Barnes rap but I believe this is compensated for by one of the singers helpfully pointing West to indicate roughly the direction in which America lies.
There’s not much to add to that. Except perhaps the video to the aforementioned My Lovely Horse. Great song, but they’re going to have to lose the sax solo!
Fredrik Ljungberg won Sweden’s Footballer of the Year award, the ‘Gold Ball’, on Monday night, while Lotta Schelin claimed the ladies’ version, the ‘Diamond Ball’.
As Ljungberg walked the long walk to centre stage, gold confetti rained down upon him. Grinning from ear to ear the Arsenal midfielder and Sweden captain stepped up to the microphone – and gracefully admitted that it had been a rather disappointing year, starting with Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League Final.
“The Champions League Final made a big impression. That was hard for a while. It hasn’t sunk in yet – we thought their first goal was offside.”
But then came Sweden’s World Cup campaign in Germany.
“That was the biggest thing for me this year. It helped me after the Champions League Final. We began a bit hesitantly and the whole thing didn’t end well, but the matches against England and Paraguay were good.”
Ljungberg’s rare headed goal to seal the win over Paraguay was the high point.
“That feeling when the whole stadium celebrated will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
The awards threw up a bizarre mishmash of celebrity. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt put the serious matter of running the country aside for an evening to hand out an award and cheerfully delivered a few jokes about how the event reminded him of election night.
Then ageing British boy band Take That showed up, performed a song, and handed the ‘Best Striker’ award to Marcus Allbäck. “You look great,” said host and former Miss Sweden Jessica Almenäs. “So do you,” leered Gary Barlow.
Later, former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson took to the stage to present an award and was welcomed by excited applause. “Thank you very much,” he said. “It’s a long time since anyone has applauded me.”
You are currently browsing the archives for the Sport category.
"A weekend full of surprises and LFC football. Results look like this: Div 5 Men won 4-2, K1 lost 5-0, K2 won 2-1, Vets lost 3-2, R1 lost 4-1. Korpen Ladies play Monday night and on the 26th the Div5 Men close the first half season with the last match before the summer kicks in. /LFC " READ »