by Chipp Reid

For the third time this season, Djurgården – and its fans – face sanctions from the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) following a riot that marred the conclusion of the Cup final May 26 between Djurgården and IFK Göteborg.
The final went to penalties, with Göteborg coming out on top 3-1 the new Friends Arena in Solna. Immediately after the players began celebrating, Göteborg supporters wasted no in storming the pitch and antagonizing the Djurgården fans.
Armed with flares, the supporters took to the field and marched to the other end, where Djurgården supporters hurled chair parts towards the opposition and the police in between.
Only moments after a security guard was hit in the head by what appeared to be a part of a seat, a Göteborg supporter threw a flare into the opposing side's crowd.
Dozens of riot police stood between the two sets of supporters during the standoff. Police meanwhile grappled with some of the supporters, with three officers sustaining minor injuries.
"The scenes that took place when the pitch was invaded and what happened afterwards are completely unacceptable," Djurgården's head of security Lars-Erik Sjöberg said. "I can understand, to a degree, that the winning side wants to celebrate with its heroes when they've taken the title - that's neither surprising nor strange and more of a rule than an exception. But this went way overboard."
Sjöberg, however, ripped the SvFF for not taking enough security precautions. Friend’s Arena is the Swedish national arena. Although both clubs provided “wardens” to monitor their fans, security for the match was the responsibility of the SvFF, which played host to the game as it was a Cup match.

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More headlines for violence than play
DIF is not alone in facing sanctions. Göteborg also faces penalties, ranging from fines to playing matches in an empty stadium, for the role its fans played in the riot. Most of the focus, however, is on Djurgården, which has made more headlines for fan violence this season than it has for its play on the field.
DIF fans sparked a melee in the season opener March 31 in Helsingborg in a pre-match brawl that led to dozens of arrests. On April 8 at DIF’s home field of Stockholm Stadium, fans hurled debris on the field during a match against Mjällby, forcing game officials to abandon play. The game was eventually completed in front of an empty stadium.
Just days after, fans made death threats toward former manager Magnus Pehrsson, who resigned and has since gone into hiding with his family. Pehrsson, speaking publicly for the first time since he quit, reiterated the fact the atmosphere around Djurgården is simply not “family oriented.”
“I think it is very easy for some people to say I took the easy way out and quit because of our poor results,” Pehrsson said. “The fact is, no matter how much we accomplish with the players or the finances, there are people out there who will never be happy and who think violence is the best answer. It is something we must address.”
Complicating the situation with the Cup final is the fact the SvFF organized the match, not the clubs. That means that, technically, the Disciplinary Committee of the SvFF must weigh punitive measures against its own organization.
Disciplinary Committee chairman Andreas Göransson said he wasn’t sure exactly what would happen.
“There is extensive material to go through,” Göransson said. “When it’s the case of one player, you want to make a quick decision on a suspension or what have you. In this case, we need to take our time, go through all the material and weigh our decision carefully.”
Fan violence is not limited to Stockholm. Fights in the stands have erupted in Kalmar, Halmstad and Elfsborg this season and also have plagued Superettan matches. The problems have reached as high as the Riksdag, Sweden’s parliament. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who is an avid Djurgården fan, said if the problems continue his government would seek to enact laws governing match behavior.
The Disciplinary Committee said it expects to reach a decision sometime after June 7.