May 25, 2011

Notes on a Scandal

 Crowd scenes from Malmö Stadion, where the game was held and eventually called off due to hooliganism.

Yesterday's 'derby' was the show-down between the two rival footballing cities of Skåne, Helsingborg and Malmö, whose teams (HIF and MFF) are also sitting first and second  respectively, on the Allsvenskan points table. Every time these rivals rendezvous the police are out in force on horseback on the streets, cautiously eyeing up raucous revellers. Chartered buses roll in from out of town, and patrol cars cordon off roads around the train stations to direct the flow of human traffic alighting from them, mingling with the sky-blue clad Malmö supporters wandering around the streets drinking cheap beer, letting off flares and chanting incomprehensibly.

The match was aborted after thirty minutes of play; after HIF scored a goal, enraged Malmö supporters pelted the Helsingborg goalie with firecrackers and one crazed fan brazenly burst onto the pitch to attack the goal keeper head-on. The man was carried by police, pall-bearer style, off the pitch and play abandoned.

The match is being referred to in Swedish press as 'The Scandal Match' and the HIF goalie keeps stating he is 'very shocked'.

Photographs via Sydsvenskan

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