Sweden's preparations for the game against England on Friday has been hit by a "bullying row" after the players tried to aim shots at the naked bottom of the reserve goalkeeper Johan Wiland in training.
Wiland had lost a game called "pig", during which the players try to keep the ball in the air, and then had to pull down his shorts and line up at the end of the pitch so that the other players could try to hit him with the ball from the halfway line.
One Swedish paper published a video (the incident occurs 3min 3sec into the video) of the training session and wrote that "Euro 2012 had died a little", prompting the Swedish prime minister to comment on "Bumgate". "People who have responsibilities should be aware of that and they should act accordingly," Fredrik Reinfeldt said. "It is important to think about what one needs to do in order to live up to that responsibility."
Reinfeldt added that "the most important thing for the Swedish people was that the national team beat England on Friday", but the leader of the Centre Party did not see it that way. "This is just distasteful," Annie Loof said.
There was outrage amid anti-bullying campaigners with Lars Arrhenius of the organisation Friends saying: 'They are poor role models. They are heroes to thousands of boys and girls around Sweden and I do not think they should signal that this is OK."
The players, who lost their opening game against Ukraine on Monday, said the incident was something they regretted but that it had "only been a bit of fun".
"It was a game. It has been blown out of all proportion," the CSKA Moscow midfielder Pontus Wernbloom said. "It is a bit of fun, everyone was in on it and no one was forced [to pull down their trousers]. We said they shouldn't film it and they did anyway. Why would they film his bum? That is a bit mean towards Johan [Wiland] isn't it? It could have been me, I was close to losing."