Shopping centre hijacked by angry football fans protesting ‘absurd’ stadium laws

Swedish supporters of Allsvenskan side AIK have taken to a unique protest against Sweden's 'absurd' stadium rules.

England's Carabao Cup final saw 8,000 fans in attendance, and – in recent days, UEFA has outlined their intention to allow fans into both the Champions League and Europa League finals.

Fans are slowly returning to stadiums – however, the same can't be said in Sweden: where a maximum of eight fans are allowed into venues.

The situation stems from the Swedish authorities decision to allow maximum gatherings of eight people in private spaces, which includes stadiums: however, there is no limit in public spaces.

So AIK fans took advantage of the 'absurd' rules.

Spread across two tiers of a Stockholm shopping mall: the supporters hung banners, waved their flags, and banged on drums, much to the bemusement of onlooking shoppers.

Across the city, their team, AIK, were facing IF Elfsborg at the 50,000 capacity Friends Arena – with eight fans in attendance.

Free-kick specialist – and former Sunderland player – Seb Larsson scored the only goal of the game, from the penalty spot, as AIK moved to second in the table.

Fans aren't the only ones annoyed by the restrictions, and Mats Enqvist – the general secretary of Swedish Elite Football – said: We have a feeling that we are not being seen as the large operation we actually are.

"It feels easier for the health authorities to find solutions for shopping centres and bars than for us. I don’t know why really."

Last month, Sweden had the highest Covid-19 rates in Europe, and it had more patients in intensive care than at any point during the first wave of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Sweden reopen football stadiums – but only eight fans are allowed to attend matches

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