Ostersund denied license to play in Sweden’s top league

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OSTERSUND, Sweden — Swedish soccer team Ostersund has been denied a license to play in the top division next season because of its financial problems.

The Swedish Football Association says its licensing board has decided Ostersund “does not meet the elite licensing criteria … for continued operation throughout the next year.”

Ostersund says it will appeal against the ruling, which was announced on Tuesday. As it stands, the club will play in the third-tier Division I in 2020.

Ostersund recently said it needed to raise 10 million kronor ($1 million) to pay creditors and tax authorities in order to continue operating.

The club from central Sweden rose from the amateur ranks in 2011 to the top league in 2015, and won the Swedish Cup in 2017. That qualified Ostersund for the Europa League, where it advanced to the knockout stage before losing to Arsenal despite winning the second leg 2-1 at Emirates Stadium.

Having its license denied is the latest blow to Ostersund after its former chairman, Daniel Kindberg, the man regarded as the mastermind behind the club’s rise, was sentenced this month to three years in prison after being convicted of serious financial crimes. Kindberg is appealing against the conviction.

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