Stockholm derby match marred by multiple violent riots

A derby match between two rival clubs in Stockholm has been marred by rioting, with violence and public order breaches among the problems.

Stockholm derby match marred by multiple violent riots
The 1-1 draw between AIK and Djurgården saw trouble among supporters. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The fixture between AIK and rivals Djurgården is traditionally one of the more heated confrontations in Swedish football, and the problems started before a ball had even been kicked in the 1-1 draw at the Friends Arena on Sunday.

A riot broke out ahead of the match, with a number of people throwing “bangers” (a type of fire cracker) and other objects at the police. One person was arrested for violence towards a public servant and received a six-month banning order as a result. A further person was arrested for rioting, violence towards a public servant, attempted violence towards a public servant, and petty narcotics crimes.

And a banning order was dished out to an additional person for lighting a bengal flare, a breach of Sweden's Public Order Act. Two further police reports of violence towards public servants were prepared, but in those cases the perpetrators are not yet identified.

In addition, the parents of a 15-year-old were contacted after he lit a bengal flare and was subsequently escorted from the vicinity of the ground by police.

Supporters holding flares during the match. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The problems didn't stop there. At half time, more disturbances broke out, with bengal flares lit, and people climbing onto the area between the pitch and the stands. Reports will be filed for breaches of the Public Order Act in those cases according to police, who were forced to intervene in an effort to control the crowd. The second half was delayed by ten minutes as a result.

After the match a further riot broke out outside the stadium, and 171 people were initially held by police in order to identify them, after which they were released.

Trouble between rival fans is a persistent problem at Swedish football matches. In October 2016 a derby between Djurgården and Hammarby was suspended and six people were arrested for rioting after supporters threw flares and projectiles at security personnel then climbed the barricades. The referee removed players from the pitch and suspended the game for almost 30 minutes while police worked to end the confrontation.

READ ALSO: Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot

Scuffles even broke out between supporters of the same teams during an U21 match earlier that year. In November meanwhile, Sweden legend Henrik Larsson and his son were targeted by angry fans following a Helsingborg match, after which Zlatan Ibrahimovic recommended violent fans should “step inside an Octagon cage and settle it there” instead.

READ ALSO: Zlatan slams violent football fans

In an effort to try to cut down on the problems the Swedish government has brought in a ban on wearing masks at stadiums. But AIK supporters quickly managed to exploit an exception to the ban for people covering their faces due to religious reasons, wearing niqabs to a match at the Friends Arena as a result.