Swedish game called off after fan killed

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 30, 2014 at 3:20 pm •  Published: March 30, 2014
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STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Swedish football league match was called off during the first half Sunday after a Djurgarden supporter died from injuries sustained in an assault before the game in the southern city of Helsingborg.

Police said the the 43-year-old man was found "seriously injured" in central Helsingborg around 2:30 p.m. Sunday and was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Local media said the Djurgarden supporter had been hit in the head by an object after rival fans started fighting before the game. His name was not released by police, but Swedish media said he was a father of four. Police said no arrests had been made in connection to the killing.

The season-opening game between Helsingborg and Djurgarden was called off in the 41st minute with the score 1-1 after angry Djurgarden fans tried to storm the pitch when word spread that the man had died.

The death overshadowed the opening round of the Swedish league season, which runs from March to November, with politicians, players and clubs all calling for an end to fan violence. Fights between hooligans is still fairly common in Sweden, but this was the first fatal fan violence since 2002, when a 26-year-old man was killed during clashes between supporters of AIK and IFK Goteborg in Stockholm.

"The Djurgarden family is in mourning," the Stockholm club said in a statement. "We can't describe in words how we're feeling right now."