During the film’s first showing in Malmö, supporters of rival Malmö FF and Helsingborgs IF clubs broke into a fight. According to Sydsvenska Dagbladet, police stopped the showing and closed the theatre, and eighteen were taken into custody.
SF Bio’s regional director announced that the film had been pulled from their schedule and would not be shown in Malmö. Though it had been suggested that the theatre work together with the football clubs or that they hire security for the screenings, neither option seemed attractive to director Måns Enquist.
“It’s a relatively small film anyway,” Enquist to Sydsvenskan. “It was going to play for only a week and we didn’t expect many visitors.”
His colleague Alexander Kugelberg, the Malmö director at SF Bio, at least showed some sympathy for the masses of disappointed filmgoers: “These guys haven’t won anything. They’ve just ruined it for a lot of people.”
Rumblings that the film was withdrawn due to threats or as part of a system of censorship were laid to rest by SF Bio’s spokesman, but filmmaker Per Svensson argued that had the screening taken place in a public theatre its withdrawal would have been viewed as a threat to freedom of expression. Svensson felt that football fans, for example members of Malmö FF, could have very well helped out and provided security for further showings of the film.
The reel of The Football Factory that showed in Malmö was sent to Uppsala for screening. There are no plans to show the film in Helsingborg.