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GOTEBORG, Sweden (AP) Swedish club IFK Goteborg has apologized for crowd trouble that resulted in a league match against Malmo being abandoned after a firework landed next to a visiting player warming up on the sidelines and he responded angrily.
Wednesday’s game was interrupted in the 77th minute, with the score at 0-0, when a firecracker tossed from the crowd exploded next to midfielder Tobias Sana, a former Goteborg player. Jolted by the loud bang, Sana reacted by throwing a corner flag into the stands.
[ WATCH: Sana throws corner flag into Goteborg fans ]
Match officials decided to abandon the match, saying a linesman who was also near the firework when it exploded was shocked by the incident.
Sana, who said he had a headache and ear pain following the incident, apologized for his actions.
“Now that I’ve gotten over the shock, I feel it was the stupidest decision of my life,” Sana said Thursday in statement. “There are many young people who look up to me so I really want to apologize.”
Malmo said that Sana wouldn’t face any sanctions from the club.
In a move suggesting the firework was thrown by home fans, Goteborg posted an apology on its website directed at Malmo, match officials and the spectators. The club could face sanctions from the Swedish football association’s disciplinary committee.
There was another security incident on a chaotic evening in Goteborg. After the match was suspended, a Norwegian hockey player ran onto the field, reportedly as part of a bet with teammates at recently crowned Swedish champion Frolunda.
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Newspaper Aftonbladet said Mats Rosseli Olsen, who played for Norway at the Sochi Olympics, was charged with a public order offense and could face fines.
Frolunda director Christian Lechtaler told Swedish news agency TT that Olsen’s behavior would have “consequences” but didn’t elaborate.
“Mats is very regretful and doesn’t feel good at all about this,” Lechtaler said.
Swedish football has been marred by crowd problems for years, including fans throwing objects at players and match officials and brawling with each other before or after games. Two years ago, a Djurgarden fan was killed after being attacked by hooligans ahead of an away match against Helsingborg.
On the surface, it sounds crazy: Why trade a manager who led a first-year Premier League club to relatively quick safety in England’s top flight and a FA Cup semifinal?
But Watford is not any club when it comes to their views on managers, having parted ways with Slavisa Jokanovic after the Serbian manager led them to promotion. Oh, and when hired Jokanovic was the Hornets fourth coach in five weeks.
So current manager Quique Sanchez Flores isn’t safe despite the Hornets’ 12th place status. That probably has a lot to do with Watford’s four points since the start of March, a tough schedule run that included Leicester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham.
So, could he be gone this summer? Flores has a break clause after this season, and Watford may not have a choice even if they want to keep the Spaniard around.
Asked if he wanted to stay, Flores said: “This is not the question for me now.
“I know the kind of people I want to work with. That’s the only thing I can say. In the last four or five years I work from my feelings. I work around people I feel completely protected with.
“These are my feelings. When we finish the season I will check what the conditions are but I need to feel happy.”
Who needs who the most? Flores’ season has been impressive even with the late struggles, but Watford’s managerial merry-go-round happened before the club advanced into the Premier League and they’ve survived despite making a change in the summer. Still, we’d do our best to keep Flores at Vicarage Road.
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) Former world footballer of the year George Weah says he will make a second bid to become president of Liberia.
The ex-AC Milan striker announced on Thursday he will stand as a candidate in elections next year, when current president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s second and final term ends.
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Weah, who formed the Congress for Democratic Change party, lost to Sirleaf in the 2005 election.
Declaring his intention to stand again, Weah told supporters he sympathized with the plight of many poor Liberians. He said “there were times I didn’t have school fees. I continued to strive with the hope that one day life will get better.”
Weah was the world footballer of the year in 1995. He is a senator in his West African homeland.
Beware the double game week.
That’s something on our minds as we look ahead to the weekend in Major League Soccer. For whatever reason, the league doesn’t seem to ensure that its teams with mid-week matches square off with similarly-rested teams a few days later.
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That’s a distinct advantage for Toronto, L.A., Colorado and Orlando City this weekend, as New York City FC’s Saturday game with Vancouver Whitecaps is the only pairing of teams that battled this Wednesday.
Portland Timbers vs. Toronto FC — 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday
In the span of 7 days, Portland will have played in Oregon, flown across the country to draw New England, and now have to go home to face a Toronto FC team that’s been thriving away from BMO Field (The Reds’ home opener isn’t until next week).
Will Johnson is reunited with his home fans, and may make a record turn from hero to villain. Timbers Army can claim they’ll rise above it, but let’s wait until the first trademark Johnson tackle.
Sporting KC vs. L.A. Galaxy — 8 p.m. ET Sunday
The Galaxy have just poured goals past opponents over its last two matches, 4-1 and 5-2 wins over Houston and Real Salt Lake (the latter had allowed 1 whole goal over its previous 3 matches so, yeah).
KC’s inexplicably poor run since the return of Benny Feilhaber — now 1W-4L-1T since a 3-0 start — now sees the Galaxy come to town. Oh boy.
Montreal Impact vs. Colorado Rapids — 4 p.m. ET Saturday
It’s amazing what adding a 58-times capped freak of nature to go with a two-time Swiss League Golden Boot winner can do for a club. Colorado is flying with Jermaine Jones and Shkelzen Gashi, and doesn’t show any signs of stopping a run of wins that includes Seattle, RBNY and Sporting KC.
Next up, though, is East-leading Montreal. The Impact have fallen on hard times, with just one point in its last two matches.
New York Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas — 7 p.m. ET Friday
Philadelphia Union vs. San Jose Earthquakes — 4 p.m. ET Saturday
New York City FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps — 4 p.m. ET Saturday
Seattle Sounders vs. Columbus Crew — 4 p.m. ET Saturday
Chicago Fire vs. DC United — 5 p.m. ET Saturday
New England Revolution vs. Orlando City — 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Real Salt Lake vs.Houston Dynamo — 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday