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'I never left my son': floorball dad

Clara Guibourg · 15 Jan 2012, 11:50

Published: 15 Jan 2012 11:50 GMT+01:00

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Sveriges Radio (SR) has spoken to the father and to one of the team's coaches, thereby breaking the past week's silence. Both deny that there is any truth to the unpleasant story.

The abandonment caused an outrage when it became public a week ago.

Another of the floorball team's coaches, Conny Eriksson, told local newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning that he'd found the 10 year-old boy crying outside the arena.

According to Eriksson, the boy claimed his father had left him to walk the 76 kilometres between the Fyrishov sporting hall in Uppsala and the family home in Stockholm, as a punishment for a badly played floorball match.

Confusion now reigns, following SR's interviews with both the father and the other coach, whose version of the story differs from Conny Eriksson's.

"After the match was over, we were all gathering to go back to the cars. One of the players was annoyed after losing the game, and left the field," said the coach to SR.

To protect the 10-year-old boy, both the coach and the father wish to remain anonymous.

"After a while I saw the boy outside one of the entrances to Fyrishov. When I started going towards him, he went inside. That's when I took the decision to start packing the car with the bags," said the coach.

The coach later saw the boy standing with Conny Eriksson, who had a mobile phone in his hand.

"That's when I said to the boy that we were going home, and I drove him over to his father who was parked on the other side. And then we went home," said the coach.

He describes the media reports of the past week as "absolutely appalling".

Story continues below…

"Everyone's just gone along with the first source, without bothering to consider if the story's plausible," he said.

On Sunday the floorball club from Åkersberga, a suburb north of Stockholm, will be continuing their efforts to ascertain what exactly happened after the game last week.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

12:53 January 15, 2012 by Keith #5083
So this other coach saw Eriksson talking to the boy and talking on the mobile phone. Doubltess he was so close (!!!) that he heard this 'father's words' about crap playing and walking home...or are we now being told that Conny Eriksson suffers delusional incidents or hallucinations? That Eriksson hears strange voices speaking to him or that 10 year olds standing in shorts and T-shirt in -7C, and crying, is perfectly normal behaviour.

I still say this case warrants investigation by the Police and Child Welfare orgs.

'Everyone's just gone along with the first source...* bla.bla. The question of whether it is plausible or not is entirely dependant upon the credibility of Eriksson. Attempts, 1 week later, to attack his credibility are not impressive.
17:34 January 15, 2012 by gabeltoon
What is Floorball ????
19:00 January 15, 2012 by riose
21:18 January 15, 2012 by Rey Stockholm
of course he is guilty of abandoning the boy.

The coach had to phone the father and drive the boy to the father who was "parked on the other side" other side of the pitch ? the arean ? the town ? the county ?

The father had driven off and left a very frightened little boy
03:31 January 16, 2012 by Douglas Garner
We were at the venue that afternoon as my daughter was playing in the tournement as well. The new description of events is plausible. Finding people, multiple parking areas on different sides of the building (which houses quite a few activities and was filled with thousands of children) could definitely be scarry and confusing to a 10 year old.... that is why we waited for our 11 year olds right outside the lockerroom area.
09:59 January 16, 2012 by flintis
@gabeltoon, must be difficult to play floorball, how do you pick the floor up to hit the ball?????????
12:01 January 16, 2012 by Keith #5083
#Douglas Garner

Nice to have some other input about the scene.Doubtless it could be scary and confusing to a 10 year old.

I wonder if it's scary and confusing to an adult when a parent responds on the mobil in the way this parent is alleged to have responded to Eriksson about the kid walking home after crap play?
17:15 January 16, 2012 by Shibumi
Yeah... this story sounded fishy from the start. True abusers are much better at hiding their abusive behaviour from the outside world. I'm not saying the guy's a stellar parent, but publicly abandoning your son and telling an adult (especially one in a position of authority like the coach) that he should walk home from Uppsala to Stockholm in his shorts in sub-zero weather would in effect be like holding up a big "I am a child abuser" sign and is not the m.o. of an abuser.
17:32 January 16, 2012 by Keith #5083

I guess Sandusky (an alleged child abuser) would be the exception to your rule,huh?
23:12 January 16, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ Shibumi

I agree with Keith that the fishy aspect (to me) is why Conny Eriksson would go on the record with a shocking story if it was not true. Wouldn't Conny then be liable to public mischief or libel or something along those lines if he was lying?

The reporting here is patchy, but here's a quasi plausible scenario that may explain the confusion:

Maybe the boy provided his own coach's phone number after his father told Conny on the phone that his kid could walk home. Conny assumed that the second phone number that was dialed for him was to a parent of another player on the same team, rather than the coach. If Conny did not know the coach of this boy's out of town team, who was coaching in the junior rather than Conny's senior league, then Conny would not know that this was the boy's coach rather than another parent from the team.

The father could indeed have been waiting on the other side of the parking lot, waiting for the boy to cool off after an angry outburst.

The standoffish attitude of the boy's father, telling Conny that it was none of his business, and that the boy could walk home, indicates that the father is immature, and prone to reactionary anger, but it remains possible that he intended to return and get his boy before his return trip to Stockholm, and that when the boy's coach got the call, the boy's coach understood the immature standoff between father and son, and brought the boy over to his father in some other part of the massive parking lot before they drove home.
11:22 January 17, 2012 by Shibumi
I'm not saying anybody is lying. I'm just saying that the way the incident was reported by the press (or at least here on The Local) seemed highly implausible to me... notably due to the fact that serial abusers get pretty good at hiding their crimes from the public.

There are any number of possible scenarios. One of the least plausible ones in my mind is that an enraged abuser of a father actually tried to force his young son to walk over 50 km home, in the dark, in his shorts, in sub-zero weather, and didn't care who knew about it. Yet this is how the situation was represented to the readers. This sounded fishy to me and raised red flags in my mind. Now, lo and behold!-- it seems there was more to the story than initially reported... what a surprise.
13:08 January 17, 2012 by Keith #5083

I have always thought the secret of good reporting was to check the sources. So, here theLocal, in common with SVT, SR, SvenskaDagbladet,Uppsala Nya Tidning, etc.reported the story where Conny Eriksson gave many interviews.

The issue of 'walking home' centres upon the words of the Father as reported by CE.

The issue of shorts,Tshirt,sub-zero temperatures are issues of fact as witnessed by others.The issues of fact that no parent/guardian/coach/team leader where with the boy until Eriksson arrived are even confirmed by the ''junior coach' in the story above.

So, we are left with: 1. the boy was lyiing. 2. Eriksson was lying 3. the junior coach was lying 4. the father was lying 5. the whole media industry was lying.

What has Eriksson to gain by lying? He's the only one in the conundrum that doesn't benefit! So,I'll stick with Eriksson, thanks Shibumi.
14:43 January 17, 2012 by Shibumi

1. I have only seen the reporting on The Local

2. based only on The Local's reporting, the story sounded implausible to me and I thought that there must be more to it

3. I raised the point in my initial post that the story does not fit the usual m.o. of a serial abuser

4. I don't see why anyone has to be lying here... it could well be a case of everyone only seeing the situation from their own vantage point

5. I have no opinion whatsoever about Eriksson

6. the father may or may not be a serial abuser. I don't think this incident, as reported, allows true certainty one way or the other

7. I do believe the boy's home environment should be monitored as the father has, at the very least, demonstrated poor parenting

I don't have any stake in this story at all, so apart from hoping that child services keeps an eye on the kid, I don't care what really happened... but tell you what... if it turns out that I'm wrong, and this story really happened just as it was initially reported, and we (the general public) are informed of such, and you live in Stockholm... I'll buy you a beer. Deal?
15:09 January 17, 2012 by Keith #5083

Of course everyone is seeing it from their own vantage point,I agree. Some of the early posters on the original article saw fit only to moan about the standard of grammar in the article (SR also had such problems) instead of concern for the boy.

I think it's great that so many folks get interested in the welfare of 1 child, Upsala police reported they had an enormous number of phone calls from the public.

All that you say in #13 is fair and reasonable.The question of 'serial abuser' is not really applicable from this evidence. There are, however, many forms of abuse and it does not necessarily have to be physical.Indeed, at first it is not.That's a progression.A route that this parent may not yet have reached and thankfully may not after all this attention from the public.

I am,however, still stuck with the perspective given this story by the key witness,Eriksson.Had I 'lost' my son and you took the trouble to ring to say you had 'found' him, I wouldn't be saying 'what business is it of yours'. I'd be saying 'thank you for your caring.'

There's a lot of 'ifs' connected to the offer of the beer,heheheh, but I do not live in Stockholm.However, next time I have a beer, I'll say 'skol' to you in appreciation of your caring :-)
12:13 January 18, 2012 by Shibumi
"Skol" to you too Keith!
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