International Football - Sponsor threaten club over rape charge
The sponsor of a leading Swedish football club threatened to withdraw their business if they did not suspend a player accused of rape.
Beer brand Abro, the shirt sponsor of Swedish champions AIK Solna, ordered the Stockholm-based club to suspend Liberia midfielder Dulee Johnson after he was arrested for the alleged rape of a 22-year-old woman.
It is not his first brush with the law: the 25-year-old has convictions for drink-driving and assaulting a girlfriend.
"Enough is enough," Abro CEO Henrik Dunge told local newspaper Aftonbladet. "He has misbehaved several times and it has hurt us as sponsors.
"He cannot play for the club anymore. This is not consistent with Abro’s values and it does not match the club's values.
"I called the board and we demanded that he be suspended, otherwise we would terminate our contract. The board came back quickly to tell us that he was indeed suspended.
"It was the right decision."
Johnson - who holds a Swedish passport after moving there as a teenager - denied the charge through his lawyer, but Dunge insisted that he was no longer welcome at the club even if proved innocent.
"He can have nothing to do with this club," Dunge added.
"He has done too much now and we have to cut him adrift."