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Anti-immigration protesters urged to stop wearing hockey shirts

The Finnish national hockey team has asked people to stop wearing Finland hockey jerseys to anti-immigration demonstrations. Over the weekend hockey shirts were spotted at several protests, but now the hockey federation has asked people to stop wearing its merchandise at protests.

Kansanmielinen ja pakolaista vastustava mielenosoitus Rajat kiinni! Tornion matkakeskuksen edustalla lauantaina 19. syyskuuta.
Demonstrators in Tornio on 20 September Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Finland’s national hockey team does not want to be associated with anti-immigration protests. The team’s official Twitter account asked on Wednesday for people attending demonstrations to avoid wearing Finland hockey jerseys.

"Attention fans: Can we agree that hockey jerseys belong in the stands and not on demonstrations," read the tweet.

Former goaltender and current National Coalition MP Sinuhe Wallinheimo also tweeted his hope that the jersey would not become associated with anti-immigration sentiment.

"A reminder to Lion jersey-clad demonstrators. The Lions play fair and hard on the ice. Elsewhere they’re international and tolerant," tweeted Wallinheimo.

The Lions’ shirt has been visible at several demonstrations in the last week, including one in Tornio where several hundred people marched to the frontier with Sweden and demanded that the border be closed.

Tornio has been the entry point for hundreds of asylum seekers in recent weeks. The authorities have expanded capacity at reception centres to cope with the influx, and thousands of volunteers have also stepped forward to offer their assistance.

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