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FOOTBALL

‘Psychological warfare’ breaks out between football fans

Police in Stockholm are expressing concern after psychological warfare broke out between fans of rival local football clubs AIK and Djurgården ahead of Monday's derby match between the two teams.

The attacks started at the end of last week, when one of Djurgården’s training grounds was found to have been dug up. On Sunday night somebody released a smoke bomb in the cellar of an apartment block in which two AIK players live.

“The smoke bomb could be a response from a supporter to the dug-up pitch,” said Marie-Louise Nilsson of Stockholm Police.

Lewd graffiti has also been found in the stairwell of an apartment block in which AIK stars Lucas Valdemarin and Ivan Obolo live.

Police say they believe the incidents are psychological warfare between rival supporters.

“We have received reports,” said Nilsson.

“It’s really mostly up to the clubs to investigate.”

Police are now concerned at what supporters might get up to in the run up to Monday evening’s match.

“These incidents will hardly affect the footballers, but they could enrage the fans”, Nilsson said.

Police are treating the smoke bomb and the graffiti as acts of vandalism, although they say it is possible that the smoke bomb was not targetted at the footballers.

FOOTBALL

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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