|Date of birth||18 December 1919|
|Place of birth||Norrköping, Sweden|
|Date of death||4 January 2002(aged 82)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.|
Georg 'Åby' Ericson (18 December 1919 – 4 January 2002), also nicknamed Jojje, was a Swedish football (soccer) player and coach.
During his playing career he played for IFK Norrköping in the 1940s. Later he became the coach of his old club. He was the third national manager of the Sweden national football team. He began this employment in 1970, soon after the World Cup 1970 in Mexico, replacing Orvar Bergmark. He stayed in office until 1979 when he was succeeded by Lars "Laban" Arnesson. During his time as Swedish national manager he led Sweden to two World Cups: 1974 in Germany and 1978 in Argentina.
1974 Qualification and World Cup
After a qualifying group including Sweden, Hungary, Austria and Malta, which eventually led to the famous "Snömatchen" (or "Snowgame" in English), a single extra game, deciding the qualification group winner. It was played on neutral ground, in German Gelsenkirchen, with Austria as opponents. The game was played in November 1973, and heavy snow had fallen just before the game. Sweden won 2:1 and qualified for the FIFA World Cup 1974 in West Germany. (Bundesrepublik Deutschland, B.R.D.) where they drew 0:0 against both Bulgaria and the eventual runners up, Holland. The Dutch team included Johann Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Johnny Rep, Arie Haan, Ruud Krol, Jan Jongbloed and Rob Rensenbrink. After a 3:0 victory over Uruguay in the third game, Sweden qualified for the second round. Here Sweden had to play against the German hosts, and eventual World Champions, a German team that included Gerd Müller, Franz Beckenbauer, Berti Vogts, Paul Breitner, Uli Hoeness, Sepp Maier and Wolfgang Overath. Sweden lost 2:4, after having had a 1:0 lead in half time, and also equalized a German 1:2 lead. The two last German goals came late in the game. Sweden also lost 0:1 to Poland but defeated Yugoslavia 2:1, and finished as number five of the entire championships. In that time the third best Swedish result in a World Cup, currently (2014) the fourth best result ever. Some of his key players in 1974 were Ralf Edström, Roland Sandberg, Ove Kindvall, Bo Larsson, Conny Torstensson, Björn Nordqvist, Staffan Tapper and goalkeeper Ronnie Hellström.
1978 Qualification and World Cup
Ericsson also led Sweden to the FIFA World Cup 1978 in Argentina, after defeating Norway and Switzerland in the qualifications. In Argentina Sweden drew 1:1 against Brazil in their opening game, after Thomas Sjöberg had opened the scoring. A goal that was amazingly preceded of 7-8 Swedish passes. But Brazil equalized soon before half-time. This was considered "very well done". But defeats against Austria and Spain followed, and Sweden had to fly back home again.
Aftermath - no World Cup victory game for 20 years
After the Sweden vs Yugoslavia game in 1974, it took another twenty years until Sweden again won a World Cup match (against Russia in Detroit during the World Cup 1994 in the United States). Georg "Åby" Ericson's successor Lars "Laban" Arnesson never managed to get Sweden qualified for a World Cup and his successor, Olle Nordin managed to get Sweden qualified for World Cup in Italy in 1990, but all three games were lost.
- Bernt Lagergren. "Roland Sandberg – hjälten i snömatchen mot Österrike - Sport". SVT.se. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
- "Klassiska snömatchen Österrike-Sverige | SVT Play". Svtplay.se. 2013-07-06. Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
- "40 år sen snömatchen mot Österrike - nytt kvaldrama på fredag? - Eftermiddag P4 Värmland | Sveriges Radio". Sverigesradio.se. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
- "Malta: Från Gzira till Gelsenkirchen —". Svenskfotboll.se. 1973-11-15. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
- http://sverigesradio.se/sida/gruppsida.aspx?programid=2835&grupp=12344&artikel=1306983 headline 1978
- Kvällsposten 3 June 1978, first page and sport pages
- G.T. 3 June 1978, first page and sport pages
- Aftonbladet 3 June 1978, first page and sport pages