Dec 26, 2012, 1:43 PM EST
If you want to know what a zero tolerance policy toward homophobia looks like, look no further than Sörskogens IF of the Stockholm Football Association. Ketil Torp, chair of the Swedish Seventh Division soccer club, announced today that the entire team has been suspended for one year. Their crime? Hurling gay slurs at an opposing team, the Stockholm Snipers, during a match earlier this year. The Snipers have said that they would welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender players.
“We distance ourselves from all insults. Clearly it’s damaging for the club to have players who don’t follow the rules,” Ketil Torp, chair of the Sörskogens IF football club, told Sveriges Radio (SR).
Reported among the insults were “you s*** **** for 50 kronor”, “all of you have HIV”, and “we’re probably going to get infected”, according to the local Mitt i Huddinge newspaper.
“It was a little unpleasant when we went into the dressing room after the game. One of our players was also threatened after things got a little heated on the pitch,” Snipers coach Christoffer Smitz told SR.
Sörskogens was fined 5,000 kronor ($755 to you and me) by the Stockholm Football Association, and top club officials had to attend a training course. So evidently the officials figured that they shouldn’t have to be the only ones to suffer, and lowered the boom on the players.
This is believed to be the first time the Stockholm Football Association has penalized a club specifically for homophobic behavior during a match, but the club suspension was not part of that punishment — it was a penalty the club decided to enact of its own volition.
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