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Swedish soldiers held 'fight club' in Afghanistan

The Local/rm · 21 Feb 2012, 14:15

Published: 21 Feb 2012 14:15 GMT+01:00

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”This wasn't something that the unit organized. But I haven't received any information that anyone required medical treatment,” said Colonel Rickard Johansson to daily Expressen, confirming the investigation by the military police.

The fight, rumoured to have taken place at the end of last year, lacked both rules and a permit and was reminiscent of the Hollywood movie ”Fight Club” staring Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, according to the paper.

Organizing a boxing match without a permit is prohibited by Swedish law, and the soldiers reportedly never applied for a permit.

Instead, the soldiers inquired about arranging the fight with camp doctors, who were not happy about the idea.

While a written notice banning the event was posted on a bulletin board, some form of boxing match did take place, prompting an investigation by military police.

”As far as I can understand it is being discussed whether this was a boxing match or not. It is a legal distinction,” Johansson told the paper.

The soldiers could have been fined or even jailed had they been found guilty, but according to Expressen, the prosecutor chose to drop the preliminary investigation.

Story continues below…

The rules for organized fighting competitions in Sweden are strict and they apply to all martial arts and boxing events.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:00 February 21, 2012 by Children Of Adam
Let them have fun! In boxing you are not giving Kebab, thing happen and let the guys to have fun.
15:24 February 21, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
The title of the article is inapt: didn't Tyler Durden say "The first rule of fight club is that you do NOT talk about fight club"?...

15:30 February 21, 2012 by byke
How is Swedish law enforced to people in other countries?

Should it not be an issue if they broke Afghan law, since they were on Afghan soil?
16:48 February 21, 2012 by philster61
How can it be illegal in Afghanistan?
17:01 February 21, 2012 by skogsbo
clearly not enough work and patrolling being done if they have the spare energy and time for this.
17:33 February 21, 2012 by RobinHood
Swedish solidiers in a warzone have been fighting. Quick, call the police! Call the fire engines! Call the army! Oh, don't call the army.
17:46 February 21, 2012 by Terri85
Let them have fun. LOL
17:55 February 21, 2012 by apelsin000
1st rule: You do not talk about fight club!

2nd rule: You do NOT talk about fight club!!!

18:06 February 21, 2012 by suprkynu
it was much better to have boxing match with AL-QAIDA instead of themselves.
18:21 February 21, 2012 by Trenatos
Swedish vikings got bored, so they beat on each other. Big deal.

It wasn't like they were scalping money for people to see the fights, or enlisting locals to fight, they supposedly had some fights between a few of them.

Let them have some fun if they want to!
20:42 February 21, 2012 by Carbarrister
Here you have soldiers based in the middle of nowhere and "some form of boxing match did take place."

Having served in a combat unit all I can say is this article is a waste of pixels.

Soilders have engaged in this kind of behavior since the Greeks and Romans. Embrace it.
23:15 February 21, 2012 by Zombie
Who the hell cares?

Let the guys have some fun, boxing.

Of course the case was droped.
07:36 February 22, 2012 by Luke R D
I hope no handbag straps were injured in said Fightclub antics...goodness knows when a Swede gets mad, things can get very tense indeed. Some of the most intense expressionless faces I've ever witnessed have been at the hands of a furious Swede!

Oh yeah, there is the point of "Neutral" Sweden as well, but that's best left alone, right?!
07:53 February 22, 2012 by rise
In my youth I've been punching around countless of times in "beer-matches" together with friends. It actually was a lot of fun, maybe partly because of the complete idiocy. =)

Let the soldiers have some fun if given any time for it! A little fighting will help them relax a bit.
11:37 February 22, 2012 by OUIJA
Swedish soldiers do not fight against enemies. That is forbidden by law in Sweden. They have to request for a permit and the permit is only granted by Carl Bildt with the approval of Fredrik Reinfeldt and sanctioned by Filippa Reinfeldt. That is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
12:21 February 22, 2012 by motti
Why are Swedish troops in Afghanistan, I thought sWeden was still neutral.

If theyr are so bored in their "quiet" area, let them be posted where the fighting and IEDs are in much greater evidence. I doubt that "real" troops have time for boxing after patrols, they are too fedup. Especially having witnessed a colleague killed or mutilated.
13:35 February 22, 2012 by godnatt
Soldiers training to fight? Well that's not PC!
13:52 February 22, 2012 by rise
#16 "Especially having witnessed a colleague killed or mutilated."

Do those "real" troops of yours get killed in an especially "real" way as well? And not just killed in a - regular? - way like I'd imagine Swedish ones are? Anyhow it probably is not much of a comfort to hear about for for example any relative to the soldier here:


Sweden has been fighting in Afghanistan for 10-11 years now. And I think most Swedes know Sweden isn't neutral - only politicians telling the lie believe in it.
18:39 February 22, 2012 by motti
Well we know the Italians and french bought off the taliban not to fire at them. I don't know where your Swdeish troops are stationed. Unfortunately British troops are always heavily engagaed in the fighting, very often, they find themselves even fighting British Moslems.

Has that happened to Swedish troops fighting Swedish Muslims/
08:39 February 23, 2012 by rise
motti, the Swedes are stationed at Mazar-i-Sharif in the north of the country and have the responsibility of an area the size of Portugal. I hope you know Swedish cause this link doesn't seem to exist in English I'm afraid:

15:09 February 23, 2012 by Migga
@ motti

I have no idea of they are Swedish Muslims. They sure are fighting Talibans tho. I recomend checking out this channel and these clips on youtube;



11:19 March 4, 2012 by JohnBrianShannon
Sweden's soldiers, like soldiers of any country can't be expected to be fighting at the front line, so to speak, all day, every day.

A physical break as well as a mental break must be a regular part of every soldiers routine. In fact, not doing so will lead to continuous mental errors.

Not only can a simple mental mistake end up costing over 1 million dollars (easily), even worse, that soldier could get himself or his comrades killed or maimed for life.

It is such a serious problem that professional armies mandate a certain number of hours of relaxation per week.

What is relaxation in such a high stress location and situation?

Whatever lowers the stress! (as long as it's legal of course) The higher the stress level, the more intense the relaxation needs to be.

Boxing, bungee-jumping, hockey tournaments, fencing, badminton or other intense sporting activities all help a soldier to take their mind off of the battlefield.

These soldiers needed to relieve some stress - and good for them!
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