Football derbies in Sweden

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There are many Derbies in the Allsvenskan, and in lower divisions within the Swedish football pyramid.


Most derbies in the league occur due to geographical location, like most leagues in the world. It should also be noted that like Spain's Superclasico and the Liverpool/Manchester rivalry, derbies also take place between two cities in differing parts of the country, most of which involve one of the 3 big Stockholm based teams and either Malmö or Gothenburg.

City Derbies[edit]


  • AIK vs Djurgården
Main article: Tvillingderbyt

Generally considered to be the strongest city rivalry in Sweden, a true arch rivalry. They are historically Stockholm's biggest and most successful clubs with both having won a total of 11 Swedish Championships each. The rivalry has existed since 1891, the year which both clubs were founded in, separated by just three weeks. Thereby known as Tvillingderbyt (the Twinderby), matches between the two clubs are sometimes listed in the European top ten of hottest derbies. Since 1891, 220 fixtures have been contested in all competitions with both clubs winning 80 games each. Both clubs have gained a large amount of support throughout the city. Though there is a certain geographical divide as well, with AIK's heartland being in the Northwestern part and Djurgården's heartland being in the Eastern part of the city. This rivalry is also found in ice hockey which further aggravates tension between both sets of fans and shapes the rivalry as quite unique in Swedish sport.

  • AIK vs Hammarby

The rivalry between AIK and Hammarby is the second biggest derby in Stockholm. AIK and Hammarby are arguably the two teams with the biggest support in Sweden, and there is always an enormous hype when these two teams square off. In 2015, the two games between these two teams has had an attendance of 41 063 and 41 630, respectively, which is more than any other games. AIK is from the city district of Norrmalm, and has their biggest support in the northern parts of the city, while Hammarby is from Södermalm, and has their biggest support in the south.

  • Djurgården vs Hammarby

Another derby, although considered less significant than the AIK-Djurgården and AIK-Hammarby rivalries. Djurgården previously played their home games at Stockholm Stadium, and Hammarby previously played at Söderstadion. However, in 2013, both teams moved into the new Tele2 Arena located in Johanneshov, just south of the city, which has increased tensions significantly between Djurgården and Hammarby fans.


  • IFK Göteborg vs Örgryte IS

Traditionally the main rivalry in Gothenburg, contested between the city's most successful sides. Before the foundation of IFK Göteborg, the dominant club in the Gothenburg area was Örgryte IS, which was considered a middle class club, and in later years an upper class club, like most clubs of that time. IFK became popular amongst the working class, creating a fierce rivalry based upon both local pride and social class. In the early 20th century, supporters were supposed to act as gentlemen, applauding and supporting both their own team, and the opponents. However, this proved a hard task for supporters of the Gothenburg teams. Local patriotism and class differences sometimes resulted in fights and pitch invasions, making the Swedish press view IFK and Örgryte fans as the scum of Swedish football.[1] The derbies between the two teams have attracted some of the highest attendance in Swedish football. The fixture attracted 52,194 spectators in 1959, an all time Allsvenskan record.[2] The rivalry has decreased in recent years due to the decline of Örgryte IS.

  • IFK Göteborg vs GAIS

IFK Göteborg and GAIS are two best supported clubs in the city with 50% and 12% of the city respectively supporting them. Both clubs supporters are historically working-class. The biggest attendance in "Göteborgsklassikern" (Gothenburg Classic) is 50,690 at Nya Ullevi stadium.

  • GAIS vs Örgryte IS

Games between the second most popular (GAIS, supported by 12% of the city) and third most popular (Örgryte, supported by 11%) clubs of Gothenburg do not stir up the same kind of emotion as the other derbies in the city tend to do. Though there is some ill feeling between the clubs due to GAIS traditionally being seen as a working-class club and Örgryte IS being seen as an upper-class club.

  • BK Häcken

As the smallest club of the Gothenburg area, based on the island Hisingen the rivalry with the bigger clubs in Gothenburg is not especially strong but has increased in recent years due to the successful results on the pitch of BK Häcken. In 2012 Allsvenskan they finished as runners up.


  • IFK Malmö vs Malmö FF

Formally a significant rivalry in the early 20th century, since the decline of IFK in 1960s the clubs have played only one cup fixture.


  • Assyriska Föreningen vs Syrianska FC

Based in the city of Södertälje, both clubs share the 6,700 capacity Södertälje Fotbollsarena. The two are the most successful and popular 'immigrant clubs' in Sweden. Assyriska Föreningen were founded in 1971 and Syrianska in 1977 by Assyrian refugees. Although both founded by Assyrians, Syrianska fans identify themselves as Syriacs/Arameans from within this ethnic group.

The rivalry is mainly friendly and offers financial benefits for the sides.


  • IFK Norrköping vs IK Sleipner

Sleipner were in the early 20th century seen as the working-class club in Norrköping, and the sides battled in Allsvenskan up until the 1940s. After that Sleipner has fallen through the divisions however and the rivalry is all but forgotten today, except among older generations.


  • Halmstads BK vs. IS Halmia

A derby played in the town of Halmstad, both team sharing the main local football stadium Örjans Vall. The majority of the matches have been played in the leagues just below Allsvenskan. Halmia being the dominant team until the 1930s when the teams became more evenly matched. The last competitive derby, to date, was played in 1979 as Halmia was relegated the same year and since been unable to return to the top league.[3] The derby's that have been played since have mainly been friendly matches or in local youth competitions.[4]

Regional Rivalries[edit]

Scania County[edit]

  • Helsingborgs IF vs Malmö FF

Known as the Skånederby. A significant rivalry between the two most successful sides from the southern part of the country and the county of Scania, Helsingborgs IF and Malmö FF.

  • Helsingborgs IF vs Landskrona BoIS

Known as the Nordvästra Skånederbyt. A match between the two biggest clubs from the northwestern part of the county of Scania, Helsingborgs IF and Landskrona BoIS.

  • Malmö FF vs Trelleborgs FF

Known as the Sydvästra Skånederbyt. A minor rivalry solely based on geography between two clubs from the southwestern part of Scania, Malmö FF and Trelleborgs FF.

Västra Götaland County[edit]

  • IF Elfsborg vs IFK Göteborg

The match between IF Elfsborg and IFK Göteborg are known as the Västderby (Western Derby) or as "El Västico"! Elfsborg based in Borås 45 minutes east of Gothenburg.

Halland County[edit]

  • Halmstad BK vs Falkenbergs FF

A minor derby in Halland between the more up to date successful teams Halmstads BK and Falkenbergs FF

Småland County[edit]

  • Kalmar FF vs Östers IF

The two most supporterd clubs in Småland plays the Smålandsderby. Östers IF from Växjö have 4 titles in Allsvenskan and Kalmar FF have 1 title.


  • GIF Sundsvall vs Umeå FC

The match between GIF Sundsvall and Umeå FC is known as the most prestigeful derby in Norrland, the northern part of Sweden. Even though the distance between the cities is 264 km. Sundsvall also has a minor derby against Gefle IF in Norrland.

Örebro Län[edit]

  • Örebro SK vs Degerfors IF

The Derby between Örebro SK and Degerfors IF is known as a Länsderby (countyderby). Even though Degerfors historically belongs to Värmland county and Örebro SK to Närke county the rivalry is relatively big.


  • IFK Norrköping vs Åtvidabergs FF

IFK Norrköping vs Åtvidabergs FF games are known as the "Östgötaderbyt", it is the match between the most successful clubs from the county. The fixture also gains prestige from Åtvidabergs proximity to Linköping, and the regional rivalry between the latter and Norrköping.

Sporting Rivalries[edit]

  • IFK Göteborg vs Malmö FF

Played between the two most successful sides in Sweden. The rivalry was at its most significant in the 1980s when both clubs dominated Swedish football.

  • AIK vs IFK Göteborg

The biggest rivalry between a Stockholm-based club and a Gothenburg-based club. It can be said to be a footballing rivalry as well as inter-city based rivalry between the most successful teams from Stockholm and Gothenburg respectively. The nation's two biggest cities share a big inter-city rivalry between them and a strong dislike for each other. All meetings between the different clubs from the two cities are seen as important but this meeting is the only one which can be seen as a full on rivalry.


  1. ^ Jönsson & Josephson 2004, p. 190.
  2. ^ "Allsvenskans högsta publiksiffror genom tiderna" (PDF). (in Swedish). SFS. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "HBK och Halmia möts igen" (in Swedish). 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  4. ^ "HBK-seger mot Halmia" (in Swedish). 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 

External links[edit]