Sweden’s Madrid qualifier deemed ‘high risk’

Sweden's Euro 2008 qualifier against Spain in Madrid on Saturday has been deemed a "high risk" match due to the expected arrival of some 6,000 Swedish fans and plans for several political protests in the Spanish capital.

The decision was made on Wednesday during a meeting of the National Commission against Violence in Sports, the commission said in a statement.

Several demonstrations are scheduled for the weekend and the following days in Madrid to coincide with the anniversary of the death on November 20th,1975, of Spain’s right-wing dictator Francisco Franco.

The date also marks the anniversary of his ideological mentor Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera in 1936 and it is traditionally used as a rallying point for small numbers of people who are nostalgic for Franco’s fascist regime.

Primo de Rivera founded the Falange, the political movement associated with the Franco regime.

A 16-year-old boy was fatally stabbed during clashes on Sunday between leftists and neo-Nazis at a metro station in the Spanish capital.

Sweden are top of Group F and require just a point from their two remaining games to book a place at next year’s tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

They will face Latvia on November 21.


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.