The Robinson participant is a referee in the Gothia Cup: "A fun event every year"
Andreas "Värmland" Haraldsson has been a referee in the Gothia Cup since 2015.
Andreas Haraldsson was a popular participant in the season of Robinson that aired in Sweden last fall/winter. But he's also a good football referee who last summer refereed the B17E final between Right to Dream from Ghana and BK Häcken in front of a large crowd at Gamla Ullevi.
He tells how it happened when he became a football referee.
– I was studying to become a sports teacher so I needed some extra money. A friend then suggested I start refereeing, so ironically the Gothia Cup was the first thing I refereed in. I went down to the referee school that the Gothia Cup usually has. The funnest thing is when you have a really hot match but the teams are still quite happy afterwards, he says.
Refereeing in the Gothia Cup has become a bit of a tradition for Andreas Haraldsson, who became "Värmland" with the entire Swedish people in connection with Robinson.
– The Gothia Cup is a fun event every year. I have now been to the tournament every year since around 2015, except when it was covid.
He's delighted that he got the chance to be a referee in the fantastic final in the elite class for the 17-year-old boys.
– Yes, we got the big final. I was refereeing in front of 13 000 people so that was pretty cool. Stefan, who was the head referee, is often refereeing together with me, so he asked me to do it. I actually had a different final, but of course I'd rather be at Gamla Ullevi.
Did you manage to do it after Robinson?
– Robinson finished about a month before, so the body was completely exhausted. I wasn't nearly as trained as I should have been. But it actually went super well because I had to focus more on placements and match management, which resulted in me getting better.
They're a group of referees who usually travel from Värmland to be referees in the Gothia Cup.
– From the beginning it was the Dalsland disctrict that we went down with, but now Värmland has taken over! We usually get to stay at Härlanda at Qviding's office and they usually take excellent care of us. It's incredibly nice and in a good location. We're usually 12 to 15 referees who travel down to Gothenburg. Last year we didn't have any girls with us, but historically we usually have some girls with us too, says Andreas Haraldsson.
He looks back on his Robinson adventure and what experiences he takes with him:
– Starvation is not something I recommend. Even though I myself thought I was pretty afterwards, my body was completely worn out for six months afterwards. The physical affects the psychological as well, so you have to take care of your body to feel good. I found many friends for life and have got two wonderful godchildren (Alexander Strandberg's sons) along the way. I've been in Halmstad quite a lot now after and they have been in Värmland. But remember, everyone at home: tv is tv and life is the real thing.
He currently works at a football club in Karlstad.
– The idea is to be a referee this year as well, but I'm no longer thinking about a serious career as a referee. I have too strong opinions so the Swedish Football Association is a little bit annoyed with me, haha.
He's considering refereeing in the Gothia Cup this year as well.
– We'll see, I haven't thought about it yet, but we're a group from Värmland who usually go to the Gothia Cup. I was the deputy chief last year and unfortunately I will probably be the big chief if I go this year, so I need to think it over properly, says Andreas Haraldsson with a smile.
Photo: Linus Bokehsius/TV4