Sweden’s unique football culture: a new book reveals the secret

Sweden’s unique football culture: a new book reveals the secret

In a new book, Sweden is described as “the last point on football’s road to abyss”. The author believes that Sweden has preserved the spirit of football.


Sweden, for example, has no video referee (VAR), much to the delight of many football fans in the country.

But when it comes to sports, the Swedes may be about to overtake the Norwegian football masters, for the first time in a long time.

The Swedes face one Total failure in the EC qualifiersAnd we can look beyond the European Community in the summer. The beautiful brother also failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

It also doesn’t come from Norway in the European Championship qualifiers, but:

– He is a world-class leader like Haaland and Odegaard, and there will also be more players behind them, like Antonio Nosa, as Hacken-Ber coach Matthias Hoogmo describes to VG.

It is believed that this comes from conscious investment at the national team and club levels.

– And it may be a matter of time before we pass Sweden, says the former coach of the Norwegian national team – who has now been appointed coach of the Swedes national team.

Dejan Kulusevski with three Austrian players around him.  Sweden recently lost the fateful match 3-1.
  • Norwegian players now get more playing time than Swedish players in top European leagues.
  • Norwegian clubs also perform better in Europe. Eliteserien is rated higher than Allsvenskan.
  • Norway, which resembles Sweden in many ways, has become an interesting example in football for Sweden.

Writer Noah Bachner thinks so. These days an Expressen correspondent comes with the book The last outpost. The release will explain why Sweden has a unique place in the global football pantheon.

The question “what are we going to do with football” has never divided people like it does now.

– It was never clear that Sweden chose its own path, he writes.

Expression journalist and writer Noah Bachner

Norway is highlighted as the footballing nation closest to the other.

In a world where a few clubs dominate year after year, where corruption is rampant, and where the world’s stars are driven by money coming from highly criticized regimes – Sweden is portrayed as the last place of traditional, classic football.

the spirit He should still be here.

  • The best football here is played without a video referee (VAR). Of the 31 best-ranked leagues in Europe, Sweden is the only team to do so.
  • Allsvenskan, despite Malmo’s dominance, has had eleven different league champions in the 2000s. No other league among the top 31 leagues in Europe has this number of championships.

The Swedish supporter movement takes credit for this. Regulations in our neighboring country stipulate that members must own at least 51 percent of a sports team.

In this way, members can decide on important matters.

Member power has been used, among other things, to prevent VAR in the Swedish top flight. 18 out of 32 major clubs have said no to VAR. No one has decided to implement VAR.

“We chose not to participate because we don’t think it works well enough,” Noah Bachner tells VG.

Loss: Swedish national team manager Jan Andersson reacts to Sweden's 3-1 defeat to Austria at the Friends Arena.  The result makes the European Commission look completely hopeless to the Swedes.

– Sweden in particular, but also Norway to some extent, has a completely different answer to the question of what we will do with football. Clubs in Sweden exist for their local communities and for their members. Bachner believes that political and economic interests govern large parts of Europe.

He believes that European football has sold its soul: football clubs have become tools of political regimes, or tools of American investment companies. “Multi-club networks” were created, with smaller clubs acting as storage shelves for the talent of larger clubs.

Money coming from Saudi Arabia has created further unrest.

He believes that the loser is the integrity of football.

But Sweden has an organic movement with a stronger influence than anywhere else in the world.

– Sweden should at the same time be part of European football – How does Sweden relate to world football?

– That’s the challenge, to become competitive athletically. Because this development came at the expense of Sweden. But Norway has become an interesting example for Sweden. There, core values ​​were also preserved in many ways. But money has been invested in developing talent there and the results are now starting to be seen on the pitch for the clubs.

“We can become good at football and still maintain our core values,” says Bachner.

It is believed that Norway will soon overtake Sweden at national team level.

Norway spent more money on developing young footballers. You don’t need outside capital to be able to do this. You can do this if you use money the right way. We must improve in Sweden too.

Per Matthias Hogemo during an interview with VG in November 2022.

Per Matthias Hojmo believes that the establishment of the Best Football Center in 2009 marked the beginning of an important investment for Norwegian football.

– There is no doubt that the increased focus on player development and cooperation between top clubs, age-specific national teams, divisions and grassroots football has achieved results in Norway, says Højmo.

It is believed that the presence of better and better coaches in clubs has played an essential role in Norway.

Sweden is lagging behind there. Sweden regularly participated in the qualifiers, meaning you didn’t have that discussion in the 2000s, a discussion that changed investment in Norway.

Noa Bachner believes that Norway is the footballing country most similar to Sweden, but members in Sweden recognized their strength more than ten years ago.

– This made them more prepared when the VAR discussion came up.

In Norway, the Qatar case created a broad view of member power.

– They realized they could have a lot of influence, and they pushed forward the discussion about the boycott.

-So there is reason to believe that the members will use their power more in the future?

-I have to believe it. It is not unlikely that the Norwegian membership movement will take greater account of VAR issues, and work to abolish VAR. In principle, they could do so if they put enough pressure on the union through their sports teams.

-I think Sweden and Norway are moving towards more member-led football in the future.


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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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