During a match in October against the Stockholm Snipers, which actively welcomes LGBT players, Sörskogens team members were heard uttering insults like “you suck cock for 50 kronor,” “all of you have HIV,” and “we’re probably going to get infected.” Snipers coach Christoffer Smitz said one his players was also threatened on the field.
Sörskogens IF was initially fined 5,000 kronor ($750) by the Stockholm Football Association, the first time the league has penalized a team for homophobic behavior. But club management took it upon itself to suspend all the players for the rest of the season, according to the English-language site The Local.
“We had no choice but to suspend the entire team,” said club chair Ketil Torp. “That kind of language isn’t appropriate for football or anywhere else.” Torp added that his players’ behavior “grossly violated the club’s standards and values.”
It was just last year that 20-year-old Anton Hysen came out in a magazine interview, making him the first (and only) openly gay professional soccer player in Sweden.