Clumsy-fingered fans of the Manchester City striker Erling Haaland are causing a headache for the Swedish tourist board, who claim a simple spelling mistake is ruining their attempts to market the delights of coastal county Halland.
Twitter posts in which the Norwegian striker’s name is spelt “Halland” rather than “Haaland” mean social media and search engine users trying to discover the area online are instead directed to endless posts about City’s prolific forward.
The problem has got so bad that Jimmy Sandberg, the Visit Halland director, has written an open letter pleading with fans of Haaland and journalists to spell his name correctly. “We are Halland. He is Haaland. The popularity of the football phenomenon is completely suffocating our online presence,” wrote Sandberg.
“To our despair, we now see that all of our efforts promoting Halland are rapidly being wiped away.”
According to Visit Halland’s website, the area is an “idyllic west coast province boasting a rich foodie culture and a wealth of outdoor activities, not least cycling and even surfing”. But instead of stunning photographs of the natural landscape those searching online find endless photos of Haaland, who has taken the Premier League by storm having scored 17 goals in his first 11 league games.
“Since Haaland arrived at Manchester City and scored all those goals, we have been overwhelmed by his presence in our hashtags and in search engines,” Sandberg told the BBC.