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Swedish alphabet poses sex problems for ski site

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15:22 CET+01:00
Unsuspecting web-surfers seeking information about the forthcoming Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre have been running the risk of an accidental encounter with hardcore pornography.

Upon its foundation the company responsible for organising the competition, Åre 2007 AB, quickly registered the domain name are2007.com. In a bid to ward off any eventual hijacking attempts they also secured the rights to eleven other, similar names.

But as early as 2001, when Åre was still just a candidate to host the championships, a company in England snapped up the domain name Åre2007.com.

"They were really thinking ahead," tournament media director Titti Rodling told The Local.

The organisers regretted that the site was not available and hoped that the Swedish letter 'Å' would not come back to haunt them.

"But just a couple of days ago we found out that the site was active," said Rodling.

Instead of action shots of downhill skiing and slalom, the site depicted scenes of pornography on snow-covered slopes.

With just 50 days remaining until the Alpine event of the season, the organisers realised that immediate action was required.

"The porn site address was already starting to spread around, which is not good for our stakeholders, advertisers, or for the athletes.

"So we decided to buy the site. We don't like having to do it but there is so little time left before the competition.

"We want to make it clear that it is not our policy to support this type of business. But we did not have time to do this any other way," said Rodling.

How much did it cost Åre 2007 AB to buy the domain name from the English company?

"I can't comment on that. But it was not much. Really not a fantastic amount, which made it possible for us to solve the problem this way.

"Now we can concentrate on getting ready for the tournament.

The World Ski Championships, 3-18 February, is the largest ever winter sporting event to be staged in Sweden.

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