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HOCKEY

Parents in massive brawl at kids’ hockey game

Things got out of hand at a hockey game for 11-year-olds in western Sweden after heckling of a boy by two members of the audience triggered a massive brawl among parents at a match between youth teams from Hovås and Frölunda hockey clubs.

”They were shouting ‘get off the ice, you son of a bitch’ and things like that,” said Peter Larsson, who leads the Hovås team to daily Aftonbladet.

The trouble really kicked off in the second period, when the score was 6-4 to Frölunda.

A player for Hovås slashed the opponents’ goalie even though the puck was covered and the referee called for a penalty against the player, sending him off for two minutes.

”We were in complete agreement with the referee. Our guy was just too aggressive,” said Larsson.

However, two parents from the Frölunda team didn’t think the penalty was enough punishment for the young player and started heckling him loudly.

”They were just standing there shouting at this poor 11-year-old. It was a dad and perhaps a grandfather,” said Peter Larsson to the paper.

”Even some of the Frölunda parents were saying ‘stop it, that’s enough’.”

Finally, the mother of the boy decided enough was enough and confronted the two men, whereupon the real hullabaloo broke out.

”They got riled up and as she took a step back, one of them grabbed hold of her, calling her all sorts of awful things, saying she’s a whore and such. She tried to free herself and punched one of them and then other parents joined in,” Larsson told the paper.

However, the fighting was assuaged after supporter guards, who happened to be in the vicinity at a nearby professional ice hockey game, turned up and could calm things down.

Both the two men and the mother were later questioned by the police.

”She has reported them, most likely for harassment,” said Larsson.

He told the paper he had never experienced anything similar before.

”It is really sad. Our children are overwrought. We have a big task ahead of us making everyone feel OK again,” he said to the paper.

Frölunda hockey club on Sunday issued a statement condemning what had happened. Spokesperson Peter Gyllander said that what had occurred was an ”embarrassment to Swedish youth sports”.

”Frölunda regrets that the players from two teams have had a very unfortunate experience in their young hockey lives,” Gyllander said in the statement.

The team will now, together with Hovås, try to find out what really happened at the fateful game.

”Within the club we will sit down and see what we can do in the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Mikael Ström of Frölunda.

According to Ström, the club already have a course for parents of hockey-playing kids.

”We go through what is important when you are a parent of a child who plays sports. How to support your child, what to do. Guidelines, really. It is an important role in many ways,” he said to Aftonbladet.

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MATCH

Zlatan fined for ‘diving’ in US Major League match

Los Angeles Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been fined an undisclosed amount after being found guilty of diving during his team's loss against Columbus Crew, Major League Soccer said in a statement on Friday.

Zlatan fined for 'diving' in US Major League match
Zlatan Ibrahimovic salutes the crowd during a match against Real Salt Lake in April. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images North America/AFP
The Swedish superstar was handed the punishment after hurling himself theatrically to the turf in the 23rd minute of Galaxy's 3-1 defeat to the Crew on Wednesday.
   
The incident occurred after a collision with Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
   
Crew midfielder Pedro Santos was also found guilty of simulation/embellishment during the game. Santos was also fined.
   
Ibrahimovic has been in superb form for the Galaxy this season, scoring nine goals in nine games. He is second in the MLS goalscoring charts behind Los Angeles FC's Carlos Vela.
   
Galaxy, who missed the playoffs last season, are second in the Western Conference standings, two points behind leaders LAFC.
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