Swedish fixture abandoned after fan dies on the way to the game

Swedish soccer fans form to make their national flag.

Djurgarden’s opening match of the new Allsvenska season was abandoned on Sunday after it was confirmed a fan had died of injuries sustained on the way to the game at Helsingborg.

The fan was taken to a hospital in a critical state following a reported brawl outside Helsingborg’s Olympia ground.

The game subsequently kicked off, only to be called off shortly before half-time once news of the death was confirmed.

A statement on club website www.dif.se read: "A Djurgarden supporter who was on the way to today’s game at Olympia was beaten so severely that he later died.

"The injured supporter was taken to hospital by ambulance but his life could not be saved.

"Shortly after 1600, Skane Police confirmed that the man had not survived."

The circumstances surrounding the attack were unclear, but Swedish press reported initial indications from police suggested he had been attacked with an object to the head.

Helsingborgs Dagblad newspaper reported the man was aged 44 and from the Stockholm area.

"Djurgarden family is mourning. We cannot describe in words what we are feeling right now,” the club statement continued.

"Our deepest sympathy and our thoughts are with the deceased’s family and loved ones."

Police spokesperson Ewa-Gun Westford told aftonbladet.se: "Everything is at an acute stage. A person has died during the match and we are in the midst of a criminal investigation.

"There were clashes at different places in Helsingborg. A man threw a bicycle and glasses and we are trying to get control of the situation."

Police were alerted at 1428 local time. No arrests have yet been made, according to the Swedish newspaper.

The match was halted shortly before half-time, with Djurgarden keeping their Twitter followers updated by posting: "The game is currently suspended (after 41 mins) because of disturbances and people making their way onto the field.

"The match will not be resumed today. According to our information, a DIF supporter was badly beaten before the game and is in a critical state."