By Steve Dellar  |  06-25-2018   World Cup
Photo credit: The Local Sweden

Those of us lucky enough to have ever visited Sweden for a short holiday or a city trip will have certainly noticed a few striking characteristics: pretty much everyone is blond with blue eyes and emotion is nowhere to be found as every Swede is quite calm and composed.

This weekend that last bit was thrown out of the window after Sweden lost to Germany by a dramatic 94th-minute goal by Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos at the World Cup.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Jimmy Durmaz, the Swedish player who caused the last minute foul leading to Germany&#39;s goal, received almost 3000 comments on his latest Instagram photo after the match. Including numerous abusive, racist comments and even some death threats. <a href="https://t.co/Piywb1VbGs">pic.twitter.com/Piywb1VbGs</a></p>&mdash; FIFA World Cup (@WorIdCupUpdates) <a href="https://twitter.com/WorIdCupUpdates/status/1010625114029875201?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 23, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The Swedish team had led the Germans almost the entire first half and even though the Germans had drawn level after 50 minutes, the draw would earn Sweden a place in history and a total of 4 points, making sure a point would be enough in their last game against Mexico.

Related coverage: http://thegoldwater.com/news/29582-World-Cup-FIFA-Consider-Ban-For-Swiss-Strikers-Over-Political-Goal-Celebrations

But a foul made by Swedish attacker Jimmy Durmaz in the 94th minute changed everything. German midfielder Toni Kroos curled the free kick that followed beautifully in the net, leaving the Swedes behind quite bitter apparently.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&quot;I am Swedish, and with pride I wear our shirt and our flag.&quot; Midfielder Jimmy Durmaz delivers a powerful statement slamming the &#39;unacceptable&#39; racist abuse he endured following Sweden&#39;s loss against Germany at the FIFA World Cup. <a href="https://t.co/7t33zpXIYm">https://t.co/7t33zpXIYm</a> <a href="https://t.co/CCUSRYnBMe">pic.twitter.com/CCUSRYnBMe</a></p>&mdash; SBS News (@SBSNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/SBSNews/status/1011017720979079168?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 24, 2018</a></blockquote>

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When Mr. Durmaz opened his social media accounts on Sunday, he found threats to his children whilst he himself was being called a ‘terrorist’.

Mr. Durmaz, who was born in Sweden to Assyrian parents, read a statement during Sunday’s practice which was later broadcast on Swedish national TV. He stated: “I would just like to say a few things regarding what happened after the game yesterday. I am a footballer at the highest level so I have to accept that I am criticized for what I do on the pitch. That’s part of the job – and I am always willing to accept that. But there are limits and that limit was passed yesterday.”

“When someone threatens me when they call me darkie, bloody Arab, terrorist, Taliban … then that limit has been passed. And what is even worse, when they go after my family and my children and threaten them … who the hell does that kind of thing?”

Related coverage: https://thegoldwater.com/news/29597-World-Cup-Colombian-Player-Receives-Death-Threats-From-Own-Supporters

The Swedish Football Association’s General Secretary, Mr. Håkan Sjöstrand, stated that he reported the abuse to Stockholm police who would investigate the matter: “A number of complaints have been made with the Swedish FA as the plaintiff so that Jimmy can concentrate on what he is here to do — play football. But Durmaz is fully behind the complaints. We do not tolerate a player being subjected to threats or abuse. It’s uncomfortable and very upsetting to see the treatment that Jimmy Durmaz has had to put up with. Completely unacceptable.”

Source:

https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20180624_03578072

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