Red Bull Salzburg director Ralf Rangnick. Photo: SN/APA/BARBARA GINDL
Red Bull Salzburg football club director Ralf Rangnick revealed that his team had received an apology from the editor of the Swedish tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet, after one of their columnists compared the Austrian club with Adolf Hitler and Josef Fritzl.
The chief editor of the Swedish tabloid "Aftonbladet" has apologized in an e-mail to the club's management for a column which appeared in his paper last week.
The Austrian champions had been referred to in a comment as the "most hated football club of our time" by columnist Ronnie Sandahl, and associated with hated Austrians Adolf Hitler and incest father Josef Fritzl.
"We got a very personal e-mail from the editor in chief, in which he expressly dissociated his paper from these words," said Red Bull's sporting director Ralf Rangnick on Monday.
"He has expressly and formally apologized to us. For us, the thing is done."
"Not only stupid but irresponsible"
The comment caused a great stir in Austria last week after it was first reported. The club even considered banning Aftonbladet from attending the upcoming match between Red Bull Salzburg and Swedish team Malmö.
"It is not only stupid, but also absolutely irresponsible, so a lot make such connections in advance," said Rangnick.
According to Reuters, the Norwegian manager of the Swedish team has turfed his wife out of their shared home, so he can "focus 100 percent on the upcoming match with Red Bull Salzburg."
"I've even sent my wife home so I can be in peace and prepare. She was thrown out and has gone up to the Norwegian mountains," former Manchester City defender Age Hareide told the Kvaellsposten newspaper.
By Monday morning 25,000 tickets had been sold. "I hope it's sold out," Rangnick said. "If you look at the importance of this game, I'm assuming that the remaining 5,000 tickets will quickly run out."
The match will be shown live on Austrian television on Tuesday evening, with the kick-off scheduled for 8:45 p.m. in the Red Bull arena.
Josef Fritzl is an Austrian man who imprisoned his daughter in a basement where he held her captive for 24 years in a concealed room, with his serial incest leading to the birth of seven children and one miscarriage.