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Saturday 14th June 2014 ko 16.00

Division 1 Södra

QVIDING F.I.F. 1 (Zhubi 90)

ÖRGYRTE I.S. 1 (Pangop 46)

Att 1,275

Entry & Programme 100 SEK

NB On the Swedish hop, the £270 cost covered entry to all games, programmes, coach travel and two nights Bed and Breakfast.

About 3 months before the Swedish hop, I received an email from organiser Kim Hedwall. It had the outline line-up for the hop but the line-up included a trip to the Gamla Ullevi to watch second-tier G.A.I.S. I responded by asking whether there was an alternative to it, this hop is there to show-case Sweden, and the grounds that you wouldn’t visit normally. After all, its not difficult to book a flight to Gothenburg and do the Gamla Ullevi under your own steam. When Kim came back to me with the news that Qviding were at home at the same time it was an easy decision to shift our attention to Valhala IP, but the influence of the Ullevi was never far away.

In Swedish Gamla means old, and nya means new, but in 1916 there was one football ground, the Ullevi,  for the 3 football clubs of the Gothenburg Alliance, G.A.I.S., I.F.K. Gothenburg and Örgryte. When the new, Nya Ullevi was built for the 1958 World Cup the 3 clubs moved in, but eventually found the 40,000-plus capacity far too large for their needs. The proposal was mooted for the 3 clubs to move back to a rebuilt Gamla Ullevi, which would become home to the Sweden Women’s team. That opened, or should I say re-opened in 2009 so now we have the newest ground being the old Ullevi and vice-versa!

To make things still more confusing, with BK Häcken’s home, Rambergsvallen, undergoing a major refit, they’ve moved into the Gamla Ullevi, so Örgryte are playing a season at Qviding’s home Valhalla IP, making our game a spicy local derby, particularly with Örgryte’s former home the Nya Ullevi clearly visible behind the far goal.

However our first priority wasn’t the ground. It transpired that Qviding were rather fascinated by their international visitors so we were invited to visit their training ground, Härlanda Park for a talk on the club, a tour and to receive a very smart red Qviding scarf each. I was pleased everyone wore theirs to the match despite the heat! As I perspired the translation of Valhalla, “The Hall of the slain,” seemed slightly apposite!

My regular reader knows the malevolent impact my attendance has on any club I see twice, so I kept quiet about the fact I’ve seen Qviding before, as part of the fixture most likely to make the English speaker mispronounce the tie, at Skövde, report here, and for the record it was Shurv- dur, versus Ker-Vee-Ding. Then, Qviding never looked like taking anything from the tie, and to some extent this game followed the same mould.

Örgryte fans formed roughly half the attendance, nominally each side’s fans taking a length of the stadium with the visitors’ Ultras, The Inferno, led by their half-sunburnt, half-intoxicated Capo creating a mighty din. We, the hop party were in the back-row press seats in the main stand, before a complimentary hot dog and beer and half-time. After that we were able to wander around the 4 corners of the ground and even then the security guards knew what to expect, relaxing the segregation for our benefit.

“One of the English? Yes, just let me unlock the gate for you…..”

Örgryte and their fans will have walked away from this wondering how on earth they managed to fail to win this one. Top, and with the best goal difference in the division they spurned chance after chance, and with seconds of 3 minutes second half stoppage time all they had to show for their domination was Frantz Prangop’s strike in the first seconds of the second half. They paid for their profligacy with Mentor Zhubi’s “Hail Mary” shot somehow avoiding everyone to sneak in at back post.

It was justice to no degree, but we’d all enjoyed Qviding’s company, and on a personal level it was good so see my attendance didn’t jinx the team entirely! As a postscript we were definitely right to take in this game, the GAIS game finished 0-0!