– Already in the first game against Narviklaget Mjølner, we heard the pesky Sami, what color is their jacket and so on, says Endre Østensen, who usually plays for Bodø Glimt.
The Piteå Summer Games are held in Piteå, Sweden. This year, 626 teams from several different countries participated.
FA Sápmi participated with a girl’s team and a boy’s team in the 16-year-old class. Both teams are now talking about incitement and racism allegedly occurring on and off the pitch.
Nils Nygård is the coach of the FA Sápmi men’s team. He thinks everything is sad.
– It is sad that in 2022 we are still going through this, says Nygård.
I had to apologize
During the match against Bodølaget Innstranda, a player allegedly shouted “damn Sami”. For this player, it had consequences during the break.
– I spoke to the player during the break, says Innstranda coach Børge Berg.
He was briefed on the Nygård incident.
– If we had substitutes in the tournament, I would have removed the player, because we do not accept that. But we only had 11 players available, because the 12th player was injured on the bench.
Nygård and Endre are very happy that Berg brought up the incident with his own player.
The player had to come and apologize to FA Sápmi.
Berg says they haven’t had similar cases and he hopes it won’t happen again.
– It’s not something we represent as a team or a club, so it’s only to be regretted.
There will be consequences
The similarity at sporting events is nothing new. Sami football stars Hans Norby and Morten Gamst Pedersen have also experienced this before.
Mjølner FK sporting director Kenneth Claeson was himself at Piteå. He had heard nothing of the alleged incidents in the game between FA Sápmi and Mjølner FK before NRK came into contact.
– We are against racism and it should not happen. There will be a consequence for players who have practiced racism, if we know who they are.
– It is unacceptable.
Claeson says they want to get to the bottom of it and have now contacted FA Sápmi.
Do you have something to say to the FA Sápmi players?
“Just lie down and apologize profusely,” Claeson said.
In the quarter-finals, FA Sápmi played against Altalaget Bossekop (BUL). In this fight, they would have been told to return to Sameland.
– Shit Sami, come back to Samiland, were the statements according to Endre.
BUL head coach Paul Olsen says he hasn’t seen or heard any form of racism, but doesn’t deny it may have happened.
– We’re getting away from that, he said.
Some time after Olsen was in contact with NRK, he can say that they are now in dialogue with FA Sápmi over the incident.
– We may have a clue to follow, who made these statements. If we get to the bottom of it, the affected person will be allowed to call in person to apologize, Olsen says.
– This is completely new and we take it very seriously, says Mathias Sønvinsen Moe, who runs BUL.
He says they will follow up internally so it doesn’t happen again.
– A bit of temperature and a bit of banality are acceptable to some extent in the heat of the moment, but attacks on people, culture, ethnicity, etc. are unacceptable.
The BUL itself has just reported a similar case to the Norwegian Football Association, where one of its own players experienced the similarity during a football match.
Take it seriously
When NRK asks Piteå Summer Games Operations Manager Anna Bogren Dalberg to comment on the events, she has just been told.
Have you heard of the Sama heat that SA Sápmi say they suffered during the Piteå Summer Games?
– No, we didn’t, unfortunately. When we received a request from Ávvir, we took note of it. It’s sad. It would have been nice if we had been informed of this immediately so we could have done something about it.
FA coach Sápmi finds it strange that the organizer hasn’t heard of it. According to him, they reported it to the tournament director after the first game.
Nevertheless, Nygård now feels that other clubs are taking him seriously and he’s happy they got in touch.
-DIt is with great respect that they get in touch and apologize.
party joke after the victory
– Every time we won, we party joik, says Endre.
Even though the tournament didn’t go as Endre had planned, he’s still happy with the win.
– Then we can clap some more on their faces or to celebrate somewhat correct, for that we know they will be even more angry, says a proud Endre.
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