Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Swedes Are Not Consoled by Consolation Round

LOS ANGELES-- Dejected Sweden captain Jonas Thern and coach Tommy Svensson both called for FIFA to scrap World Cup third-place playoffs and let the losing semifinalists lick their wounds in private.


"At the moment it's not a game that is really very important to us," said Thern on Thursday, less than 24 hours after Sweden lost to Brazil in the semifinals. "It's all about money and how much FIFA can make from it."


Svensson, who has the job of picking up his players and trying to motivate them for Saturday's third-place playoff against Bulgaria, said he would prefer to share third spot. "It should not be too difficult to motivate the players because they are playing for a medal in the World Cup. But perhaps it would be better to give both teams third place and share it like they do in the European championship," he said.


Thern said there was no question of the players not giving their best but they would have preferred to leave the tournament after arguably the biggest disappointment of their careers.


Sweden and Bulgaria met twice in the World Cup qualifiers and Thern believes the Swedes hold the upper hand after winning one game and drawing the other.


"Bulgaria have been a very big surprise in this tournament and it will be a tough game for us but we have a good record against them," he said.


Svensson, who will be without Thern and defender Roger Ljung, both suspended, intends to field his strongest side. "Bulgaria are a very strong team and have proved they belong at the top in the world, and especially in Europe," he said. "It's a matter of how much we can work. We had to be at our best from the first game here and it's taken a lot out of us."