IFK Goteborg vs. Malmo abandoned after firework, corner flag thrown

Swedish club IFK Goteborg has apologised after their league game against traditional rivals Malmo was abandoned when supporters threw a firecracker at a visiting player, who responded by throwing a corner flag into the crowd.

Wednesday's game was called off after 77 minutes when a firecracker exploded at the feet of Malmo substitute Tobias Sana, who was warming up near the sideline.

Sana, who previously played for Goteborg, responded by furiously grabbing the corner flag and hurling it like a javelin into the stands.

One of the linesmen was also affected by the explosion and referee Jonas Eriksson decided to call off the game after holding deliberations with the two teams.

Eriksson told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that the linesman was in shock and crying after the incident.

"I saw that Mathias [Klasenius -- the linesman] was in bad shape," he said. "He was shocked and was crying. It was the same thing with Tobias [Sana], who even had whistling in his ears too."

Goteborg and Malmo are Sweden's two most successful clubs, having won the league a record 18 times each. Goteborg also won the UEFA Cup twice, the first in 1982 under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The club issued a statement on their website saying that they "apologise for the evil forces who made a decision that is utterly sad."

The score of the game was 0-0 when it was abandoned, and the league's disciplinary committee will rule later on whether Malmo should be awarded a 3-0 victory.