by Jeremy Cross
CIVIL war has broken out in Sweden’s dressing room ahead of tomorrow’s must-win clash against England.
Erik Hamren’s squabbling squad have been split into two warring factions in the wake of their opening Euro 2012 defeat to Ukraine on Monday.
Hamren branded his players “cowards” after the 2-1 loss, but the real problems started when captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic laid into his team-mates.
The star striker was involved in a row with assistant boss Marcus Allback, which infuriated Allback’s close friend and former Aston Villa team-mate Olof Mellberg.
Hamren hoped his feuding stars would make peace in time to focus on the showdown with Roy Hodgson’s men.
But Starsport understands the camp is now split in two, with some players backing Ibrahimovic and others siding with Mellberg.
Players are refusing to talk to each other and a source said: “It is total anarchy in the camp.
“It isn’t healthy and the atmosphere is terrible. The preparations for the England game couldn’t be going any worse and it must be great news for England.
“The coaches have tried to get the players to shake hands and become friends again, but it just hasn’t happened.”
Ibrahimovic sat out most of training yesterday with a dead leg, but is still expected to face England.
To make matters worse Hamren’s men came under fire from anti bullying groups last night for their controversial training methods.
The Swedes were criticised after reports emerged that ‘bullying’ played a big part in their warm-up exercises.
It is claimed the players were seen playing ‘pig’, which involved reserve goalkeeper Johan Wiland pulling down his pants and letting team-mates fire pot-shots at his bare backside as punishment.
Lars Arrhenius, from the anti-bullying group Friends, said: “They are poor role models.
“They’re heroes to thousands of boys and girls around Sweden and I do not think they should signal that this is OK.”
Even Sweden Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt joined the debate and took a swipe at his own players when he said: “People who carry expectations should be aware of that, and act accordingly.”