Sun, Dec 19, 2010 - Page 18 News List

Keyhole surgery reveals secret message in trophy

AP, STOCKHOLM

A keyhole operation has revealed that the trophy awarded to the champion of the Swedish soccer league contains a hidden message of support for a Stockholm-based team.

Swedish national team physician Magnus Forssblad opened the trophy on Friday after rumors began circulating last month that Ingemar Eklund, the silversmith who made the silver trophy, had inscribed a secret message of support for his favorite team, Hammarby.

However, Forssblad instead found the words “Djurgarden are the best,” a reference to Hammarby’s Stockholm rival.

Speculation has mounted that the silversmith’s assistants pulled a prank on their boss. Eklund died earlier this year, but one of his colleagues set the Swedish soccer community talking with news of an engraved dispatch inside the country’s top soccer prize.

Forssblad, formerly Djurgarden’s team doctor, was visibly pleased with the outcome of the operation.

“No swelling, no bleeding — it’ll be back in action tomorrow,” he said.

The decision to drill a hole in the Lennart Johansson Cup was taken after the former UEFA boss expressed dismay at rumors of a hidden message in the trophy bearing his name.

At the Sophiahemmet hospital, the physician said that the invasive procedure — an arthroscopy — was normally used to assess knee injuries.

Djurgarden last won the league in 2005 after a period of dominance that also saw them claim the title in 2002 and 2003. Malmo are the current Swedish champions.

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