Hockey team rocked by crank calls

On Sunday night ice hockey players from AIK Hockey in the northern town of Härnösand were falsely reported dead. The crank phone calls to players' parents and girlfriends continued on Monday night.

Police say that all of the recipients of the calls have reported hearing a male voice. But the dialects have varied, suggesting that there may be more than one person behind the macabre messages.

One parent picked up the phone on Monday night to hear that an accident had happened.

“Your son is dead. He died in a bus crash on the way home from the match in Kiruna,” said the anonymous caller.

Two of the players’ girlfriends received similar calls. The players, asleep in the bus after a tough match, were oblivious to the frantic attempts of their loved ones to reach them on their mobile phones.

The team’s trainer, who is also a local policeman, has never come across anything like this before.

“I’ve been a policeman for 30 years, including 25 years in Stockholm and I thought I’d seen it all. But this is right up there,” Peter Gardin told Svenska Dagbladet.

“When we finally made contact the parents and girlfriends were all extremely upset. Imagine thinking for an hour that the boy is dead and then finding out that it’s just somebody playing a prank,” he added.

As yet police have no leads regarding the origin of the anonymous calls.

“It’s not like we play in the top division, so it’s hard to imagine what might have caused this. We don’t have any enemies as far as I know. It must be somebody who is really sick,” said Gardin.