Fan dies in clashes before match in Sweden

March 31, 2014 - 12:10:12 am

STOCKHOLM: A Swedish football supporter has died from head injuries yesterday following violent clashes between rival fans ahead of a match in Helsingborg in southern Sweden. 

“He was hit in the head -- there was a lot of trouble before the match,” police spokeswoman Ewa-Gun Westford said.

“We managed to keep them apart but people can always get through the crowd and fights can break out.”

The 44-year-old man was taken to hospital with severe head injuries received during fighting in the town centre -- 30 minutes before the All Svenskan league match between Stockholm team Djurgaarden and Helsingborg -- and died in hospital soon after the game started. 

Just 40 minutes into the match Djurgaarden supporters began chanting “murderer, murderer” and invaded the pitch, forcing the referee to cancel the match. 

“It is incredibly tragic for this guy’s family, for football and for all of society really,” Jesper Jansson, head of the Helsingborg team told news agency TT. 

The circumstances of the man’s death were unclear and no arrests had been made late yesterday afternoon. 

Fighting broke out between supporters early on Saturday afternoon and at least five people were taken to hospital and more than 30 were detained by police.