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Football hooliganism prompts 'strike' threat

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Football hooliganism prompts 'strike' threat
08:54 CEST+02:00
Malmö FF striker Dardan Rexhepi has called for the authorities to act decisively to tackle the growing problem of hooliganism in Swedish football, threatening to strike if nothing happens to curb the trend.

"It can't go on like this," Rexhapi said on the day after a match between Malmö and Djurgården was abandoned after just twelve minutes.

After several bangers were let off in the Djurgården stand, referee Martin Hansson elected to order the players back into the changing room, where they stayed.

While Malmö took an early 1-0 lead in the home match at the city's Swedbank Arena, fireworks began raining down on the field after only six minutes.

The incident is the last of a string of hooligan-related scandals to hit the Swedish top flight recently and is the second match at Malmö's Swedbank Stadium to have been abandoned this season.

Malmö's goal was scored by Rexhapi and he remains angry that his goal was not allowed to count.

"This has to end. All the clubs in the Allsvenskan have to take a stand. I have spoken about a strike. Why not? We can never let a couple of idiots on the terraces take over our football," he said to the local Sydsvenskan daily.

Rexhapi suggested that there are several ways the players could act to show their dismay at the development in Swedish football that many observers have compared to the hooligan plague that blighted English football back in the 1980s.

"We have to take care of the future football generations. Young people look up to us. We have to show what we think," he told the newspaper.

Among the alternatives being discussed are refusing to play a match, a players demonstration and a coordinated protest with all of Sweden's top flight clubs.

Malmö FF's next home game is against Glasgow Rangers in a Champions League qualifier on Wednesday.

The Swedes hold a one goal lead from the first leg and the Scottish champions head to Sweden knowing that in 55 years the club has never come back from losing a home leg to win a European tie.

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