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Man dies from injuries sustained in pre-match violence in Sweden

Mar 30, 2014, 9:35 PM EST

Sweden Fan Death AP

Before we get to this awful story, a reminder that a Ukrainian player may have saved another player’s life today. So at least soccer has that going for it.

Meanwhile, Sweden bared the nasty side of the sport’s passion, as an ugly fight between supporters of rival clubs claimed the life of a 44-year-old man on Sunday.

There was fighting in the Helsingborg square about a half-hour before an All Svenskan match between Djurgaarden and Helsingborg, and the man was rushed to the hospital with severe head injuries, dying in the hospital soon after the match was underway.

The rest from the AFP:

Just 40 minutes into the match Djurgaarden supporters began chanting “murderer, murderer” and invaded the pitch, forcing the referee to cancel the match.

“It is incredibly tragic for this guy’s family, for football and for all of society really,” Jesper Jansson, head of the Helsingborg team told news agency TT.

The circumstances of the man’s death were unclear and no arrests had been made late on Sunday afternoon.

The report says there was Saturday fighting before a match as well, leading to the detaining of 30 people and the hospitalization of at least five. It also says the Swedish government has introduced plans to ban known hooligans from stadiums for multiple years and also to eliminate the use of face masks inside of stadiums, which was often worn by “extremist supporter gangs.”

Not much to add from our side other than frustration at a death by senseless violence and our hopes for the peace of the deceased’s family and friends.

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