I could see it build up all week and was waiting for it to happen. When you invite Middle Eastern countries like Iraq, who have no sense of fair play, then you are asking for trouble.
How can I forget how Saudi Arabia won the FIFA Youth Cup in Scotland in 1988 with overage players?. Most of us, when we make a stupid mistake. admit it and say sorry. In the Arab world they are sorry they got caught and want to find another devious way next time. They think bacon is unclean yet wipe their ass with their hands!!
Last evening I went out to Rambergsvallen, the historic home of BK Hacken, host club of The Gothia Cup for the first time. It was an attractive ALLSVENSKAN league match vs league leading Helsingborgs IF. www.svenskfotboll.se/allsvenskan. I met an old friend there, Åke Nilsson, chairman emiritus of BK Hacken who stepped down three years ago. He pointed out another dear old friend Tommy Johannson who was the very first person I met when I visited the fledgling Gothia Cup organization in late 1975. I hadn't seen him for 16 years and he lives with his wife on a small island. I had stayed at his home in Partille years ago and remarked how well behaved his children were. Patrick, Anders, Anna and Anders, all now in their mid to late 30's.
It was a pretty good match with about 4,500 fans. Hacken had 5 or 6 Africans, including Majeed Waris from Ghana who general manager Dennis Andersson had seen at last years Gothia Cup. They opening the scoring after 29 minutes from Mathias Ranegie though Christoffer Andersson equalized 10 minutes later.
At half time after a chat with Tommy, I took the tram back to The Heden as I had promised to watch Lorenskog IF18 boys from Norway play Bogota select from Colombia. I read that BK Hacken won the match 2 1 with an 82nd minute penalty from Paulinho, to take them a few places up the table and please their fans. In a couple of years they are building a new stadium on the same site.
Anyway, at the Heden pitch 3 the smaller Colombians were very skillful and scored the only goal after 30 minutes with a brilliant 30 yard rocket from outside the box. The main drama was on the next pitch Heden 4 where a huge crowd in the stands on 2 sides 15 benches high, and lining the rails, were urging Al Madina from Baghdad to beat the local U16 boys IFK Goteborg, the Blue Angels. The match was also live on TV around Europe.
All week the the tension had been building up as they cruised through their group Their minders, in slick suits, unlike any other coaches at this tournament, were happy when they were winning. LOSING is NOT an option!!
THIS IS A FRIENDLY YOUTH TOURNAMENT. The ONLY way forward is to never invite such teams to play. I remember 1978 at Helsinki Cup when an overage U16 Iraqui national team won, then came to Gothia Cup. They lost in the semi final at Valhallen and so terrified were the players that they wrapped themselves around the goalposts at full time. Their coaches and managers from Saddam Hussein's family were going to beat them when they returned to their hotel. The Gothia Cup liason man told me how the players were locked in at night while the leaders wanted to be taken to porno clubs each evening.
It was late at night and so didn't make the morning newspapers, but there will be repercussions. Image if one of the young IFK players had tripped up while running away and had been attacked by the Iraqui ANIMALS. The city owned Heden will INSIST on better security, which will mean higher entry fees for the innocents. Better safe then sorry. Friendly international youth tournaments would be hurt by high security. KEEP OUT THE TROUBLMAKING countries.