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One would struggle to find a tool as influential as Football which has the power to unite people from all origins, races, backgrounds and cultures. In a world still troubled by racial discrimination, ‘The Beautiful Game’ has perhaps done more to promote tolerance, pride and a sense of belonging among the people than any Government in the world ever could.
While the tremendous unifying effects of France’s World Cup triumph in 1998 and Germany’s dream campaign in 2006 has been well-documented, little known Långholmen FC have been making rapid strides of their own in bringing together a community of one of the most racially diverse cities in the world, Stockholm.
Football has its fair share of fairy tales but the meteoric rise Långholmen FC have enjoyed since their formation just over a decade ago, makes their story a very unique one.
Formed about 12 years ago in 2002 by a couple of English-speaking exiles, initially just with an aim of having a kickabout on Saturday afternoons in order to keep fit, the club is now the pride of the immigrant community in the Swedish capital.
Following a couple of months of enjoying light-hearted games on gravel pitches, Långholmen’s rise to prominence all started off after the predominantly English-speaking group of friends, without much expectation, decided to enroll the club in Sweden’s lowest Korpen league which is known as the Division 8.
However, the founding members could have never envisioned at the time how quickly the club would go on to capture the imagination of thousands of people.
The progress of Långholmen over the years has been nothing short of sensational. The club managed to earn promotion to the Division 7 in their first season as a competitive side before consolidating their position in the 8th tier of the Swedish footballing hierarchy.
What followed next was a spectacular rise for Långholmen, where they managed three consecutive promotions and found themselves in the Division 4.
Then, the pinnacle for the club arguably came in 2009 when they stormed the top of the Division 4 Stockholm Mellersta and finished as Champions to earn a place in the Division 3, just four tiers below the Swedish top flight – a truly remarkable achievement for a club so young. – Sarad Bade Shrestha. Read More…