Any hope of seeing European football played in Stockholm this fall was squashed as AIK saw their European dreams ended by Panathinaikos last night. I just returned home from a nice vacation with my family and was immediately booked to cover this match. This time working with a Greek agency and transmitting live images from the game.
There is a great satisfaction in working live with an editor. No editing. No writing captions. Just set your exposure, shoot, and send. Liberating.
The match was played at Tele2 Arena instead of AIK’s home arena Friends Arena. This is because it conflicted with a friendly match between Barcelona and Leicester. I could not cover that friendly as I was covering the training session and press conference for this game Europa League game. I have to say that I can’t think of many scenarios where a team abandons their home arena it accommodate useless friendly. I think that really says a lot about the position of Swedish football in comparison with the rest of Europe.
My coverage during this game was geared towards Panathinaikos. They had won the previous encounter and it was expected they would win this return match. So I followed their attack in both halves. AIK held up well in the first half and at halftime I even thought they might walk away with a draw. That did hold up and they immediately fell at the start of the second as Victor Ibarbo gave Panathinaikos the lead. Sweden’s own Marcus Berg then scored the second for Panathinaikos and that was that.
With AIK eliminated from the Europa League it means there are no teams from Stockholm participating in any European football this fall. Pretty sad for a European capital with 3 airports, a world class public transportation network, and two new modern football arenas. Not to mention that this season’s Europa League final will be held at Friends Arena, AIK’s home arena.
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