Stockholm: Bomb found at Tele2 Arena, charity game cancelled

source: Reuters.com / Aftonbladet.se / BayenFans.se

Stockholm: Bomb found at Tele2 Arena, charity game cancelled Was this a sabotage by rival supporters? This theory seems probable to Reuters, who suggest the explosives may have been planted precisely to cancel the game and prevent derby rivals from 'hijacking' opening of the new stadium. Supporters call this theory 'slander'.

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Yesterday explosives were found at Tele2 Arena. According to the police, it was an operational bomb, not a decoy. Authorities of Hammarby IF and Djurgarden IF, two host clubs, were called to the site for emergency meeting.

Though the stadium is still under construction, it was set to host a test event yesterday, in which Djurgarden were to play host. This was seen by some supporters of derby rival Hammarby as an attempt to 'steal' the opening from their club, who are to officially open the arena on July 20.

Could this be why the bomb was left? If so, then the sabotage worked, the charity game by DIF was cancelled. But such a theory, created by some media in Sweden and repeated by Reuters, has met with outrage by Hammarby fans. Their leading supporter association, Bayen Fans, published a statement on the issue:

“We have no understanding of placing a bomb at a stadium. No matter who it ultimately proves to be and what purpose was expected to be achieved, we can never understand the use of bombs or other acts of violence as a prank.”

“Our rhetoric may have been unnecessarily harsh in some places before, but to blame Hammarby fans or Hammarby IF in order to form the basis of a real bomb threat is not only ridiculous, it borders on slander. To draw connections between our previous text and a deployed bomb is unreasonable in all aspects. There is no reason why someone from our ranks would damage our own arena or expose others to danger.”

The case of sharing Tele2 Arena by two antagonistic clubs caused some tensions in the past as both sets of fans had a strong connection to their historical grounds, the Stockholms Stadion and Soderstadion. Hammarby fans refuse to call the new stadium Tele2 Arena, naming it Nya Soderstadion (Nya = New) instead.

Already in mid-2012 a geopolitical division of the new stadium was made, which involved consultations with supporters. Most vocal Djurgarden fans chose to stand in the southern lower tier, while HIF fanatics selected the north-western L-shaped sections as their core.

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