Syrianska FC is a symbol against a new Swedish political climate

The recent debate and elucidation in media has reflected upon how political parties, hostile against immigrants, have gotten a strong hold of leading positions in Europe.  Sweden had until recently been spared from these kinds of problems, but this unfortunately changed after the election 2010. Swedish newspapers have in different ways started campaigns and activities to prevent the type of immigration- and assimilation politic that the newly established Sverigedemokraterna wants to pursue in the Swedish parliament. The Swedish national sports association (RF) acted early and wanted, together with all other associations, to clarify and state the moral and ethical rules that the non-governmental organization sports must stand for. RF was convinced that the general tone in the society was to be harsher with the entry of Sverigedemokraterna into the Swedish machinery of power. Sports community acts directly.

The 26th of September 2010 Swedish television covered the story, Syrianska are closer to Allsvenskan, about how the sports have the possibility to affect these types of attitudes and values. Agbar Barsom, Syrian midfielder, was invited to the TV-studio to give his point of view on why his new team did so well in the second division of football. Syrianska FC is one of two teams that come from the segregated Sodertalje, a town and community that in later years has taken a large responsibility to pursue politics that encourages the idea about a multicultural society. Syrianska has broad national affiliation within the team. Nearly 15 different religions, ways of thinking, values and attitudes must cooperate to reach the goal the club put up – a promotion to the highest division, Allsvenskan. As a part in Syrianska FCs vision there is a thought that the club should also take a social responsibility for diversity and integration in the town of Sodertalje.

Barsom also clearly pointed out the clubs strengths with a firm Swedish structure and an organization spiced with the creativity that is offered by players that have “none-Swedish” background. Abgar also spoke about the importance of not duplicating players and that there is a familiar atmosphere between the cultures in the club. The hidden message in the coverage showed that if you have a common goal that everybody strive towards you can integrate as many nationalities as you want in to the Swedish society and together we can contribute to something much bigger.

Syrianska´s Coach Ozkan Melkemichel emphasized another interesting aspect when raising the subject of the typical way of system thinking in Swedish team sports. When you come from a good season, as Syrianska did the year before as newcomers in the division Superettan, everybody expect you to look at the next season as tougher.  This is a Swedish system thinking that Syrianska shows that they do not believe in when they are at second position with three matches left and have belonged to the top all season. Ozkan stands for a modern leadership when letting the individual grow outside the frames to get the team to reach new eminences.

Syrianska FC and the local competitor Assyriska FF are two brilliant examples of Swedish integration politics at its best. This is created by using dissidency and diversity to build a team and society with dynamics and vitality. We get a structure that see to every individual’s ability, when her or his creativity and ability to think differently is in symbiosis with the Swedish system. Then we can shape a kinship that lives in harmony with a dream about a Sweden with diversity and give the image of us as a leading country against the rest of Europe.

Niklas Liiv