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Zlatan slams Sweden's football hooligans

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Zlatan slams Sweden's football hooligans
An angry Henrik Larsson leaves the pitch at Helsingborg. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT
07:30 CET+01:00
Security must be stepped up at football stadiums across Sweden after former international Henrik Larsson and his son were targeted by angry fans, the government has said.

Masked supporters attacked Jordan Larsson and attempted to confront Helsingborg head coach Henrik after the club suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Halmstad to relegate them to the Swedish second division on Sunday.

After the final whistle several Helsingborg fans dressed in black invaded the pitch and ripped off the younger Larsson's jersey.

Swedish Interior Minister Anders Ygeman called the scenes “deplorable”.

“Those who invade the field must not be there, the stewards must stop them and they must be banned from stadiums,” Ygeman told SVT public television.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined the critics on Monday, at a press conference after a Swedish sports gala. He said incidents such as this "must not be allowed to happen."

"Above all not in Sweden," he was quoted by SVT as saying. "Those who were on the pitch doing that shouldn't even be at an arena. If they want to they can step inside an Octagon cage and settle it there."

There have been several similar incidents in the Swedish league this year.

In August, a match between Jönköpings Södra and Östersund was called off when a masked supporter ran onto the pitch and assaulted Östersund goalkeeper Aly Keita.

A few months prior, a fixture between IFK Göteborg and Malmö FF was abandoned after a supporter threw a firework at Malmö player Tobias Sana, who responded by throwing one of the corner flags in the direction of the person.

The Swedish government has proposed making it illegal for supporters to hide their identity while attending games. It is not uncommon to see hooligan firms in the standing sections of Sweden's football grounds covering their faces with balaclavas or masks.

“The proposed legislations is a new tool for the police to stop those who are ruining the experience for all of us who only want to see a good match,” Ygeman told The Local in September.

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