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Double disappointment for Swedish football fans stranded by rail strike

Rebecka Ronnegard and Felix Nystrom are stuck in Sheffield after their team lost to England in the Euro 2022 semi-final.

27 July 2022

Two football fans from Sweden faced double disappointment after getting caught up in the rail strikes following their team’s Euro 2022 semi-final defeat to England.

Rebecka Ronnegard, 26, and Felix Nystrom, 27, have been in the UK for two weeks following the women’s tournament and watched the game at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, where the Lionesses scored a stunning 4-0 victory.

The following morning, the couple found themselves facing disruption at Sheffield station as they tried to travel to Milton Keynes to watch Germany and France battle it out in the second semi-final.

A nearly deserted Sheffield railway station during the strike
A nearly deserted Sheffield railway station during the strike (Gina Kalsi/PA)

Ms Ronnegard, a political secretary, said: “There is a train to Birmingham where we can change to go to Milton Keynes so that’s what we’re hoping to do, that was our plan. But right now I feel like if we get to Birmingham we’re lucky.

“If they don’t run any trains, the time doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that we have all day. There needs to be a train for us to get there.”

Mr Nystrom added: “We did have the idea to grab an earlier train just to be safe since there is a strike but none of them have gone.”

The pair had bought Interrail passes for their holiday and travelled from Sweden to the UK by train.

Ms Ronnegard said: “We just had a flight strike where the pilots were striking in Sweden and so many people had their flights cancelled here to come to the Euros but since we were travelling by train we were fine. That strike just finished as they reached an agreement.”

England’s Beth Mead scores her sides first goal of the game against Sweden
England’s Beth Mead scores her sides first goal of the game against Sweden (Nick Potts/PA)

The couple – who were disappointed about Sweden’s loss in the football but said the “better team won” – are now looking to book an Uber to get to Milton Keynes because they have paid in advance for a hotel room there.

Ms Ronnegard said: “It’s going to cost even more if we have to stay here (in Sheffield) for another night and pay for a hotel here and skip our night in Milton Keynes.”

She added: “I support the workers, I really do. It’s just unlucky that it affects us.

“I support the workers and I hope they can come to an agreement.

“I was just so shocked over how long the strike has been. I feel like all parties would want to reach an agreement.”

Fire engineer Mr Nystrom said: “I definitely support the right to strike to reach a fair agreement.

“We’re just unlucky to get caught in the middle of it.”

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