• Sweden's news in English

Qaddafi wanted to buy Malmö FF: report

TT/The Local · 5 Dec 2011, 11:20

Published: 05 Dec 2011 11:20 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Oil billionaires are now a common feature of European football, with Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan at Manchester City perhaps the most high profile. But back in Malmö FF's glory days of the late seventies, the sport was a far more modest investment prospect.

But according to a book by Swedish journalist Lars C Tisell, Qaddafi, who died in October at the hands of rebel fighters, was close to buying the Allsvenskan club, according to a report in the Expressen daily on Monday.

Malmö FF experienced their finest hour back in the 1978/79 season when they touched the pinnacle of European football after reaching the European Cup final.

While the lowly Swedish part-timers ultimately fell at the final hurdle to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, the cup run that year had caught the interest of the football world and according to Tisell, their success had not escaped the attention of Tripoli.

"He fell in love with the way they played the game," Lars C Tisell told Expressen.

The revelations came to Tisell's attention when the long-time Africa correspondent was invited for tea with the Libyan dictator after their paths crossed in the city of Sirte in 1979.

Tisell claims that Qaddafi told him of a match between Malmö FF and Monaco and asked of his opinion of the Skåne team, inquiring as to how much the club could be acquired for.

Tisell claims that discussions continued with a number of Qadaffi's aides but that the plans never came to fruition.

He explained his silence through the years in the sensitivity of a journalist having had continued close contact with the ruthless dictator, which ultimately came to an end towards the end of the 1990s.

Story continues below…

"I wanted to lie low with that and didn't want to talk about it much either. I thought that it was sensitive and almost a little embarrassing, to be almost like a little messenger for a dictator," Tisell told the newspaper.

The 64-year-old Tisell's book will include details of meetings with a slew of foreign dignitaries and celebrities including George Foreman, Brigitte Bardot and Muhammad Ali.

Expressen reported that Malmö FF's chairperson at the time, Hans Cavalli Björkman, has clarified that the club had no contact whatsoever with Muammar Qaddafi or the Libyan regime.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:52 December 5, 2011 by bourgeoisieboheme
I'll be the first to insert a joke about the fact his people are the only ones at the games in Malmö ... targeted marketing!
15:11 December 5, 2011 by johnjohn
They would have had wild uniforms including gold epaulettes
21:32 December 5, 2011 by Chickybee
No thanks, and thank God this man is no more!
03:46 December 6, 2011 by Grokh
just more proof malmö is a screwed up place lol
17:37 December 6, 2011 by jvtx3232
Well, one of Qaddafi's most famous quote is:

"There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe - without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades."

So I suppose buying a football team in Malmö would have dovetailed quote nicely with his guiding ideology of the Islamization of Europe in general.
16:31 December 16, 2011 by Khader
I don't know even what to say or to comment... Maybe I will just laugh !! :-D
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available