(Reuters) - A statue of Sweden women’s World Cup defender Nilla Fischer which was vandalised in the Swedish city of Linkoping will be replaced by a new one, statue sponsor Coca-Cola said.
The main body of the statue, placed in Linkoping because the 34-year-old Fischer is set to join the local club from Germany’s VfL Wolfsburg after the tournament, was knocked from its plinth on Saturday.
“We have initiated the work of producing a new one,” a Coca- Cola spokeswoman told Swedish newspaper DN.
“We will not allow this unacceptable action to stop our ‘Football Forevher’ initiative aimed at equality in Swedish football.”
Fischer made her international debut in 2001 and has played over 170 times for Sweden.
“It’s unacceptable that a statue is vandalised in a public space in Sweden,” Fischer wrote on Instagram. “I also find it disrespectful that a statue of myself as a female football player is targeted during the ongoing women’s World Cup.
“I want to send love and encouragement to all wonderful girls out there. Don’t ever give up your passion and love for football. Never stop taking a stand for equality.”
Sweden, who have qualified for the World Cup knockout stages, play their final Group F game on Thursday against the United States who have also reached the last 16.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond