Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

Malmo FF 0 IF Elfsborg 0

21-07-2003: Malmo FF 0 IF Elfsborg 0 (Allsvenskan) Malmo Stadium, Malmo, Sweden

Malmo Stadium

A rare thing this match in that it represents one of the few occasions that I’ve managed to wangle free tickets for a game, my tickets coming courtesy of the Malmo Hotel at which I was staying. The hotel also being a convenient few minutes walk from the ground.

Malmo Stadium, like the Ullevi in Gothenburg that I talked about earlier this week, was built for the 1958 World Cup, and, like its counterpart to the north, was designed by the same architects, Fritz Jaenecke and Sten Samuelson. Although the capacity of the Malmo Stadium is considerably smaller, 31,000 at time of construction compared to the Ullevi’s 52,500, the similarities in design are quite noticeable.

Malmo Stadium

The roof of the main stand is high at its centre and then tapers down behind each goal in such a marked way that there is room beneath it for just a row or two of seats. Looks very nice but given the athletics track that separates spectator from pitch I would imagine sitting here offers a pretty useless view of the action. Unlike my seats in the upper tier on the half-way line!

Four free-standing concrete floodlight pylons were added in 1960 but it wouldn’t be until the early 1990’s that further significant work would be carried out. In readiness for the 1992 European Football Championships (England played two of their 3 group matches here) a new and much simpler 3,000 seater stand was erected opposite the main stand. This was part of a much larger development that saw the construction of a bowling hall, ice hockey/skating stadium and a general purpose indoor arena that turned the area into one of Europe’s largest sports complexes.

Malmo Stadium

Further renovations to the stadium have been considered since but in late 2005 the decision was taken by Malmo Municipality to build a new football only stadium for the city. So, in 2007, construction of the new 24,000 capacity Swedbank Stadion began just a matter of meters away from the old stadium. It has been the home of Malmo FF since 2009.

Pictures from here and here.


Orgryte IS 0 IF Elfsborg 2

21-09-2000: Orgryte IS 0 IF Elfsborg 2 (Allsvenskan) Gamla Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden

Gamla Ullevi

This was the original Ullevi Stadium, and Gothenburg’s primary football stadium until it was replaced by the Nya, or new, Ullevi in 1957 in readiness for the World Cup a year later. From this point onward it became known as the Gamla, or old, Ullevi.

Built in 1916 – on the site of a 600 capacity cycling stadium – it was constructed as a football only stadium with a capacity of 12,000 – despite promises from City of Gothenburg to cater for archery and Equestrianism – although it has since been used for a variety of other sports including ice hockey and figure skating.

Gamla Ullevi

The main spectator entrance was through a not entirely unattractive gateway with triangular roof (shown above just prior to its demolition) with arriving fans funneled through the entrance by strategically placed rows of potted plants. This led, off to the left, to a bank of uncovered terracing behind one goal and, straight ahead, to the main covered grandstand with terracing at the front and seating and the rear.

Opposite the main stand was a low level covered terrace on the far touchline while behind the other goal was another section of low level terrace covered over with a structure that could easily have been confused with a large barn.

Gamla Ullevi

The grounds record attendance was set in May 1957 when 32,357 fans turned out for the league game between Orgryte IS and IF Elfsborg. This was, coincidentally, the same pairing as the game that I watched, although the crowd was closer to 3,000 than 30,000.

In 2007 the Gamla Ullevi was completely demolished and rebuilt although the new stadium retains the Gamla Ullevi moniker.

Pictures from here and here, while more pictures can be found here.

IFK Goteborg 3 GAIS 2

19-09-2000: IFK Goteborg 3 GAIS 2 (Allsvenskan) Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden


My first ever visit to Gothenburg was in 1977 en-route to Landskrona where Ipswich were taking on Landskrona BOIS in the UEFA Cup. We spent a night in Gothenburg either side of the game at a hotel not far from the Ullevi Stadium.

Ullevi roughly translates as the ‘Temple of Ull’ (the god of sport) – an appropriate name for a quite dramatic looking stadium. It would be another twenty-three years before I would get to go inside but I think that the Ullevi actually looks more impressive from the outside.

The overall shape of the stadium is like a shell with the roof levels low at the ends but rising to three times the height on the half-way lines. This design was arrived at by architects Jaenecke and Samuelson (who also designed the Malmo Stadium which I’ll be covering in a later post) after a study of the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki found that fans naturally gravitate towards the centre of the stands on either side of the playing surface.


The roof over the seating area on the south-west touchline is supported by thirty-eight steel cables strung from two 52-metre tall concrete masts. These towering columns, with floodlights perched on top, and the undulating roof of the bowl underneath can be seen for some distance from the stadium as you approach from the city centre.

Opened in May 1957 (although substantially modernized since) this is easily Sweden’s largest stadium with a capacity of 43,000 although the record attendance for a football match stands at 52,194 and was set in June, 1959 for the league game between Orgryte IS and IFK Goteborg. Built for the 1958 World Cup, it is primarily a football stadium, but has hosted many other sports including American Football, Speedway, Ice Hockey, Ice Skating, Motorcross and Music Concerts (64,312 packed the Ullevi for the visit of Bruce Springsteen in the summer of 1985).

In 2000 the top tier of Swedish League Football, the Allsvenskan, had five clubs from Gothenburg: Orgryte IS, Vastra Frolunda IF, BK Hacken, IFK Goteborg and GAIS. So between the start of the season in April and its end in the first week of November room in the fixture calendar had to be made for twenty Gothenburg derbies!


Of the five three – Orgryte IS, IFK Goteborg and GAIS, the cities best known teams – all call the neighboring Gamla Ullevi Stadium home, however, for tonight’s fixture, as well as any other major game featuring one of those three, the considerably larger Ullevi is used.

Orgryte IS, who I would watch in action two days later, are Sweden’s second oldest club, and dominated domestic football until 1930, but the best known and best supported are IFK Goteborg, nicknamed the Angels or the Blue-Whites, with GAIS (Goteborg Atlet & Idrottssallskap) coming third.

For someone used to the not entirely friendly derbies between Town and Norwich City this was quite a placid affair with no hint of any trouble. The 3-2 scoreline would suggest a closely matched action-packed affair but the game was as tame as the crowd with the highlight being the flares that were let off by both sets of fans before the game. For a few minutes their smoke filled the stands blocking out the early evening sun and lending an eerie silence to the stadium.

Pictures from here and here.