• Sweden's news in English

Syrian team denied visas for Sweden's Gothia Cup

TT/The Local/pvs · 13 Jul 2012, 14:41

Published: 13 Jul 2012 14:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Jul 2012 14:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The team in question is from the city of Qamishli in northern Syria and according to reports the club was informed of the decision "a couple of days ago".

The civil war-torn country however stands to be represented at the tournament after three teams from another club, Al Farasa, were issued entry visas on Friday afternoon.

Four members of Al Farasa's Gothia Cup party have however been denied visas pending a final decision on Monday.

The decisions have been taken by the Italian embassy in Lebanon which is responsible for handling Sweden's consular issues.

According to Gothia Cup press officer Pär Karlsson, it is unusual for teams that have registered for the tournament to be denied a visa to enter Sweden.

Sweden's foreign ministry has confirmed that a Syrian team has been denied visas to participate in the Gothia Cup, which opens in Gothenburg on Monday.

"The reasons for the decision are confidential, so I can't say more about the case. But generally, individual assessments are made for each person," said Jenny Häggmark at the foreign ministry press office.

There is some history of international youth players coming to Sweden to participate in the tournament who have then refused to return to their home countries and the foreign ministry confirmed that this factor is a key consideration.

"We investigate whether there is reasonable doubt that the person will not return to their home country and that the purpose of the trip is not the one which has been declared in the application."

Furthermore an assessment is made of the security situation in the applicant's home country and of whether the applicant has previously visited the Schengen area, or previously applied for a visa or asylum and been refused.

In 1993 more than 20 players from a Nigerian team applied for asylum in Sweden after attending the tournament. Several of the players stated that they were from Sudan and all the applications were rejected.

Following the incident several teams from Nigeria were denied entry visas to participate in subsequent tournaments.

Story continues below…

Despite the prior incidents and the rejection of visas for the Syrian team, the Gothia Cup management team regards the working relationship with the Migration Board and Swedish embassies across the world to be a positive one.

"We usually know if a club will be admitted or not. But the situation can change rapidly, as now in Syria. We obviously respect the Swedish government decisions in visa issues, although we think it is sad for the young people who can not come here," said Pär Karlsson.

The Gothia Cup football tournament organized by Gothenburg top flight club BK Häcken. This year's cup will involve more than 1,600 youth teams from 80 countries in a week of football festivities.

Matches begin from around 8am on Monday at a slew of pitches across the city. The opening ceremony will be held at 8pm on Monday at Nya Ullevi stadium.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
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
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
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
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
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
jobs available