Fact Check

No, Sweden Did Not Declare Sex a Sport

The claim was related to the promotion of a so-called “European Sex Championship,” in which each match would supposedly last 45-60 minutes.

Published Jun 5, 2023

Updated Jun 6, 2023
 (Screenshot via Twitter)
Image Via Screenshot via Twitter
Claim:
Sweden's official sports body has recognized sex as a sport and accepted the membership of the so-called "Swedish Federation of Sex," which promotes a "European Sex Championship."
Context

While a "European Sex Championship" promoted by an unofficial organization called the "Swedish Federation of Sex" may take place, it would be independent of any official recognition from, or membership in, Sweden's national sports body, which rejected the organization's application.

On June 4, 2023, a number of social media posts and news outlets claimed that Sweden had officially declared sex as a sport, and that the country would host the first "European Sex Championship." The story largely spread through a range of foreign media outlets, including from India and Nigeria

For example, a post by @thetatvaindia reported that a "highly anticipated European Sex Championship, which will be happening under the guidance of the Swedish Sex Federation," would take place on June 8, 2023: 

The participants taking part in this competition will have to engage in sex sessions that will stretch up to six hours on a daily basis. One solo match will at least go on for a good 40-45 minutes. The participants will have to compete in a variety of categories including, foreplay, oral sex, penetration, knowledge of the erogenous zones and so on.

A judges panel has been set to decide the winners of the competition but there is a twist in the game. Judges and the audience will be taking into consideration factors such as good communication skills between a couple, their endurance level, the chemistry that they share and their knowledge about sex.

OpIndia quoted Dragan Bratych, reportedly the chairman of the "Swedish Federation of Sex," who said,  "Just like any other sport, achieving desired results in sex requires training. Therefore, it is only logical for people to start competing in this domain as well [...] The more pleasure your partner experiences, the more points you earn." 

However the claim that Sweden has declared sex a sport is false. In April 2023, Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten debunked the claims, stating that the Swedish Sex Federation's application for membership had been denied by the Swedish Sports Confederation (RF). 

According to the report, Bratych (also spelled Bratic) runs several strip clubs and had submitted the application hoping to classify sex as a sport. However, his application was rejected by the RF.

Björn Eriksson, chairperson of the RF, told the newspaper, "It doesn't meet our requirements and I can inform you that this application has been rejected. We have other things to do." 

Eriksson also spoke to Efter Fem on TV4, another Swedish news outlet, on the subject back in January 2023: "I just hope this nonsense goes away. It will be a unanimous no from us." 

According to the RF's April news release on the issue, the rejection was due to an incomplete application. We used Google translate to convert the following statement from Swedish to English: 

The Swedish Sex Federation has submitted an application for membership in the National Sports Confederation in time. Due to the fact that the application was incomplete, the applicant association was ordered to complete the application and thus remedy the deficiencies. The applicant association has not complied with the order and the deficiencies are such that the application cannot be examined in substance (materially) in accordance with the requirements that follow from ch. 10 . Section 2 RF's statutes. The application must therefore be rejected without examination of the substance. 

We reached out to the RF, and they sent us the following statement: 

Right now, false information is being spread in some international media about Sweden and Swedish sports - these are vigorously denied.

The Swedish Sports Confederation has drawn attention to the fact that in some parts of the international media news is currently being spread that a Sex federation has become member of the Swedish Sports Confederation. It is false information with the aim of smearing Swedish sports and Sweden. There is no Sex Federation that is a member of the Swedish Sports Confederation. All this information is false.

A website purportedly connected to the Federation of Sex in Sweden claims that the competition will take place on June 8, 2023, and will be livestreamed online.


(Screenshot via swedishsexfederation.com)

While it is possible a so-called sex competition will take place, it will do so independently of Sweden's official sports federation without any membership or recognition. Given the official confirmation that such an application was rejected, we rate this claim as "False."      

Sources

"Förening vill att sex klassas som idrott: "Dumheter"." 22 Jan. 2023, TV4. https://www.tv4.se/artikel/5mLstPsExBOl0FZDv5fb7k/foerening-vill-att-sex-klassas-som-idrott-dumheter. Accessed 5 June 2023.

HM, Kushel. "'False Information To Tarnish Sweden', Says Country's Top Sports Body On Reports Of Sweden Declaring Sex As A Sport." Newschecker 5 June 2023, https://newschecker.in/fact-check/false-information-to-tarnish-sweden-says-countrys-top-sports-body-on-reports-of-sweden-declaring-sex-as-a-sport. Accessed 5 June 2023.

"Sweden Declares Sex as a Sport, to Organise First-Ever Sex Championship." OpIndia, 3 June 2023, https://www.opindia.com/2023/06/sweden-declares-sex-sport-organise-championship-june-8/. Accessed 5 June 2023.

"Sweden Declares Sex as Sport, to Hold First Competition Thursday." Vanguard, 4 June 2023.  https://www.vanguardngr.com/2023/06/sweden-declares-s3x-as-sport-to-hold-first-competition-thursday/#:~:text=Sweden%20has%20officially%20declared%20sex,last%20up%20to%20six%20hours. Accessed 5 June 2023.

"Swedish Sex Federation." Swedishsexfederation.com. https://www.swedishsexfederation.com/. Accessed 5 June 2023.

Tornberg, Felix. "Sexförbundets ansökan ej fullbordad – nekas inträde." gp.se, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.gp.se/1.98053698. Accessed 5 June 2023.

Via TT. https://via.tt.se/embedded/release/svenska-forbundet-for-funktionell-fitness-foreslas-bli-medlem-i-riksidrottsforbundet-?publisherId=3235685&releaseId=3346075&lang=sv. Accessed 5 June 2023.
 

Updates

June 6, 2023: We updated this story with a statement from the Swedish Sports Confederation (RF).

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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