Malmo trophy tainted by silversmith

STOCKHOLM, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Malmo must hand back the Swedish league trophy just days after receiving it to quell speculation it was tampered with by a football-mad silversmith.

The Swedish Football Association (SvFF) said it was determined to end persistent rumours about a secret inscription made by Ingemar Eklund, a Stockholm-based engraver who died recently.

"There is a rumour, or possibly a myth, that inside the trophy the silversmith inscribed the words 'Bajen forever'. We don't know if that's the case, we believe that it's a myth, but we decided that we have to find out," SvFF general secretary Mikael Santoft told Reuters on Tuesday.

"Bajen" is the nickname of Eklund's favourite club, Hammarby IF.

"If he was alive we could have simply asked him but he passed away a while ago," Santoft said. "The trophy will be removed from its plinth and then investigated with a miniature camera."

Hammarby became the first club to lift the new trophy when they won the league for the only time in their history in 2001.

Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter reported that Eklund told a colleague he had made the inscription on the inside of the trophy which bears the name of former UEFA president Lennart Johansson.

Johansson, who is synonymous with Hammarby's bitter local rivals AIK, was not impressed by the alleged inscription.

"Tasteless might be going too far, but it's not nice," he said.