Swedes Support a Variety in World Cup
After qualifying for the last two World Cups Sweden's national team failed to qualify for the 2010 tournament which begins today in South Africa. That means soccer fans won't get to see one of the world's best players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, play in the worlds biggest sporting event.
But that doesn't mean that Swedes haven't found plenty of other ways to root during the tournament.
How are fans choosing sides? Well Sweden has one big connection to Nigeria whose headcoach is the Swedish national team's former skipper, Lars Lagerbäck. Some Swedes, feeling Scandinavian loyalty, might root for neighboring Denmark, even though the strong Danish team was partly responsible for knocking Sweden out of the tournament. Other pure soccer fans might chooose to root for tournament heavyweights like England, Spain, or Argentina among others. Still others are choosing to support a country where they've lived or have family.
Though Swedes find other teams to root for during this tournament, Greder-Duncan said she hopes Sweden makes the next big international tournament, the European Championship in 2012.
"If we get a new trend of missing out on all the big tournaments then it will be devastating for Swedish football," said Greder-Duncan.