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‘Spank her arse’ coaching tactics spark outrage

An athletic club in southern Sweden has come under fire for a coach's use of sexually suggestive materials known as "Hot babes of the defence" to aid the training of a team of 14-year-old boys.

'Spank her arse' coaching tactics spark outrage

The controversial materials employ defence strategies referred to as ”Petra”, ”Jennifer” and ”Sofia”, and were devised by the coach to show the players on a boy’s floorball team within the Engelholms FBC athletic club how to play in various circumstances.

The strategies go under the name ”Hot babes on defence” (Snygga brudar i försvaret), according to reporters at the publication Feministiskt Perspektiv (FP), who have been privy the material.

In some of the strategy notes, Jennifer is described as a girl that you have to ”treat lovingly, hug and take care of”.

Another goes under the moniker Sofia, who is ”hot and sexy” and goes for it a bit more than Jennifer.

She apparently also likes to ”dress provocatively” and ”help herself in bed”.

”Petra is the crazy babe whom you almost fear. She scratches, bites and likes to dominate. Petra gets in the mood when you are aggressive, take what you want and have an attitude,” the notes read.

Other formulations deemed appropriate to teach the young teens floorball defence are:

”By snogging and feeling up Sofa at the right moment we will reach the optimum result.”

”In bed, you can rip her clothes and spank her bottom.”

The strategy notes have been used by the coach to ”anchor” the defence strategies in the minds of the 14-year-old players.

But when their usage became public, many have reacted against them.

”This is without a doubt sexist material and completely against what the sports movement stands for,” said the Swedish floorball association’s chairperson Jane Andersson to Sveriges Television (SVT).

One of the parents told FP that although they had heard of the usage of female names for game strategies, they didn’t grasp what it actually had entailed.

”I have asked why, but my son says that it easier to remember that way. But I had no idea that the coaches speak that way. I find it hard to believe as they coach is really popular among the guys and we parents trust them explicitly, especially the guy whose name you mentioned. It doesn’t feel…no, it doesn’t feel good, this,” the parent told FP, adding that the kids look up to the coaches and follow them in almost everything.

The manager for Engelholms FBC, Jonas Kihlman, said he had nothing to do with the materials.

He said that he knows the coach and is familiar with how the the boys’ training sessions are usually structured.

”There’s no doubt about it, those cards should not be used and they aren’t any longer, either. We have had a chat with the guys and as far as I am concerned the incident is over,” Kihlman told daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

On their webpage the floorball club has chosen to completely disassociate themselves from the “sexist” materials.

”From the side of FBC Engelholm we want to clearly and forcefully mark that this is one individual coach’s own initiative to produce and use this material. The association has had no knowledge of the said materials until now,” they wrote.

”In this case, with this coach, we have obviously failed to ensure quality and we will investigate where we have fallen short in the control of our coaches and how they communicate with our youth members,” the club said.

Leif Winterhof, the vice chairman of the club, told DN that what has occurred is a glitch in their work.

”It is unfortunate if anyone has perceived this as offensive,” he said.

The club also announced that an internal investigation into the incident has been initiated.

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SPORT

Could Scandinavian countries lead the way in taking stand against Qatar World Cup?

Vehemently opposed to Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup, football federations in the Nordic countries are putting pressure on Doha and FIFA to improve conditions for migrant workers in the emirate.

Workers during construction of the Lusail 2022 World Cup stadium in December 2019. Football federations in Nordic countries led by Denmark have spoken out against Qatar's hosting of the event.
Workers during construction of the Lusail 2022 World Cup stadium in December 2019. Football federations in Nordic countries led by Denmark have spoken out against Qatar's hosting of the event. Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Together with rights organisation Amnesty International, the federations of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland have ratcheted up the pressure in recent months, raising their concerns and presenting recommendations in letters, meetings with officials and pre-game protests.

“We are against holding the World Cup in Qatar, we thought it was a bad decision,” the head of the Danish federation DBU, Jakob Jensen, told AFP.

“It is wrong in many ways. Because of the human rights situation, the environment, building new stadiums in a country with very little stadium capacity,” he said.

Denmark is the only Nordic country to have qualified for the tournament so far. Sweden face a playoff next year to secure a place and Norway, Finland and Iceland have been eliminated.

Leading the charge, the Danish federation regularly publishes the Nordic countries’ letters sent to FIFA and holds talks with Qatari officials, including an October meeting with Qatar head organiser Hassan Al-Thawadi.

The main concern is migrant workers’ rights.

Qatar has faced criticism for its treatment of migrant workers, many of whom are involved in the construction of the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure.

Campaigners accuse employers of exploitation and forcing labourers to work in dangerous conditions.

Qatari authorities meanwhile insist they have done more than any country in the region to improve worker welfare, and reject international media reports about thousands of workers’ deaths.

The Nordics have also raised other concerns with al-Thawadi, Jensen said.

“Will homosexuals be allowed to attend the World Cup? Will men and women be able to attend the matches together? Will the press have free access to all sorts of issues to do investigations in the country?”

“And all the answers we received were ‘yes’. So of course we’re going to hold him responsible for that,” Jensen said.

The Danish federation said its World Cup participation would focus on the games played on the pitch, and it will not do anything to promote the event for organisers.

It will limit the number of trips it makes to Qatar, the team’s commercial partners will not take part in official activities there, and its two jersey sponsors will allow training kit to carry critical messages.

In Norway, whose qualification bid fell apart when its best player Erling Braut Haaland missed games through injury, the issue culminated in June when its federation held a vote on whether to boycott the World Cup.

READ ALSO: Norway’s economic police call for boycott of Qatar World Cup

Delegates ultimately voted against the idea, but an expert committee recommended 26 measures, including the creation of a resource centre for migrant workers and an alert system to detect human rights violations and inform the international community.

Like other teams, Norway’s squad also protested before each match by wearing jerseys or holding banners like the one unfurled during a recent match against Turkey, reading “Fair play for migrant workers”.

But the Nordic countries have not always acted in line with their own campaign.

Last month at a Copenhagen stadium, a Danish fan was ordered to take down his banner criticising the World Cup in Qatar, as FIFA rules prohibit political statements.

And Sweden’s federation recently scratched plans to hold its winter training camp in the emirate as it has done the past two years.

Sweden’s professional clubs had protested against the hypocrisy of holding the camp there while at the same the federation was leading the protests with Nordic counterparts.

The professional clubs wanted to send a “signal”, the chairman of Swedish Professional Football Leagues, Jens Andersson, told AFP.

Individual players have also spoken out. 

Finland’s captain Tim Sparv last week issued a joint appeal with Amnesty demanding that “FIFA must ensure that human rights are respected”, adding: “We are in debt to those people who have worked for years in poor conditions.”

So far, none of FIFA’s 200 other member federations have joined the Nordic campaign.

“Hopefully all these Nordic neighbours of ours and us taking these steps will have an impact on other countries,” Mats Enquist, secretary general of the Swedish Professional Football League, told AFP.

“We need to ensure that all the aspects of football, not just the richest, are really taken care of when we come to a place.”

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