Syrianska players and supporters celebrate. Photo: Bertil Ericson / SCANPIX
football

A tale of two football clubs

"It was a big shock"
11 min

In the 1970s immigrants from the middle east founded two football teams in the industrial town of Södertälje. In October history was made as one of these teams made it into the top league in Swedish football, the Allsvenskan.

The two football clubs we're looking at here share a common heritage, being founded by christians from the middle east. But there is a split between those who call themselves Syrians and those who call themselves Assyrians, and that is reflected in the two teams.

The team that made it to the top league in October is Syrianska, which will now be looking forward to a 2011 season playing against the biggest teams in Swedish football.

The team that didn't make it was Assyriska. It had also made it into the top league in 2005 - but this year the team was hit by hardship and tragedy, as one of its players was murdered.

Aydin Aho is the director of Assyriska. He describes how it has been a heavy weight to bear for the whole team, and that the news of the murder came just as the team was preparing to play an away match.

But, says Aydin Aho, it is a good thing for Södertälje that Syrianska made it into the Allsvenskan, and he wishes them well.

Ghayal Moro is the president of Syrianska. He says that there are no words to describe the feeling - it is a dream come true.

Rikard Henriksson at Swedish radio sport, says that this has almost never happened before, that a team like Syrianska, which was founded and played at somewhat below the amateur level, has made it into the Allsvenskan.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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