If the Nordics get the euros…

IT’S GOOD NEWS that the Nordic football associations are considering making a joint-bid for either Euro 2024 or 2028. The region has been under-used by UEFA and FIFA, hosting one European Championship in 1992, one World Cup in 1958 (neutral Sweden after WW2) and three European Cup-Winners Cups (Goteborg, Copenhagen and Stockholm). The plan is for a four-country approach, with Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden involved. Given that UEFA have, disastrously, opted for a pan-European competition for 2020 (which will include Copenhagen) four seems a magic number. But expectations may have to be tempered around crowd potential of such a … Continue reading If the Nordics get the euros…

Goteborg: The old, the new and a little bit of Abba in the night

It’s called Snart Skiner Poseidon and it was written and sung by Joel Alme, a pop singer from Gothenburg. It’s the club song of IFK Goteborg and by all accounts, the fans love to sing it before every home game. It’s performed with true passion and emotion, scarves aloft and with the odd tear in the eye. Actually, it’s quite moving to experience. Let’s not forget that catchy songs are something of a trademark of the Swedes – “Voulez-vous, a-ha”. The Goteborg song goes like this: När vi går genom staden över broar och torg med doft av salt ifrån … Continue reading Goteborg: The old, the new and a little bit of Abba in the night

Happy Halmstad and the ghosts of ‘58

The first post-war World Cups in Europe were relatively low key affairs. Interestingly, both the 1954 and 1958 competitions were held in countries that were neutral during WW2. Understandable, since many other nations were still reassembling their cities and towns. In 1958, post-modern Sweden hosted the World Cup. We all know Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo, but there were other, smaller and lesser celebrated locations such as Vasteras, Orebro, Uddevalla and Halmstad. Just one hour or so from Gothenburg, Halmstad is Sweden’s 20th largest city with a population of some 63,000. Halmstad BK, more commonly known as HBK, was the club … Continue reading Happy Halmstad and the ghosts of ‘58