Neo-Nazi Kansallinen vastarinta (SVL) activist, Eppu Tornianen’s presence at a rival football HIFK and HJK rally and game Monday, raised concern. He was seen carrying an HIFK banner in the front row and then watching the game with other fans.
In September, Tornianen committed manslaughter when he gave a massive kick in the chest of a young man, who fell head first on the pavement next to the Helsinki Railway Station. The young victim, Jimi Karttunen, was sent unconscious to the hospital where he died six days later from cerebral hemorrhages.
Torniainen got a two-year prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter, but the prosecutor is appealing the sentence.
Karin Creutz, a sociologist, admitted that the presence of people like Tornianan at football rallies raise concern.
“Certainly we should be worried about their presence, but there is no indication that they are today actively trying to get new members,” said Creutz.
Tornianen has a history of violence as a member of the SVL. He was recently banned from going to the stadium for a year for violent behavior.
Over the weekend, a football fan was sent to the hospital after he was roughed up on Saturday in Kirkkonumi, a city located 28 kilometers of Helsinki.
Jarkko Fräntilä tweets about Eppu Tornianen’s presence at an HIFK fan rally before the game Monday. HJK beat HIFK 2-0.
One source who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the authorities like the police are doing too little to tackle the ever-growing threat of violence at football games in Finland.
“Finland is usually 30 years behind other European countries when it comes to football and migration,” the source said. “They have a good chance to nip such problems in the bud if they want to and not allow matters to deteriorate as in other parts of Europe.”