After reading some of the “creative” reporting in the British media regarding events in Poland and the Ukraine off the field yesterday I would like to take the opportunity to tell people what actually happened rather than people believing the usual sensationalist coverage. Thanks to my sources from various Ultras and hooligan groups in Poland I’ve managed to obtain a far more realistic explanation of events.
Event one: LKS Lodz hooligans attack pub:
The Daily Mirror reported this story as “Polish thugs have attacked English speaking fans as they drank in a pub in the city of Lodz hours before the opening game of Euro 2012”.
The event was painted as Polish hooligans turning up at a pub full of foreign fans and randomly attacked them. The article even contained references to attacks on innocent fans away from stadiums.
What really happened?
LKS Lodz hooligans did turn up at the pub and launch an attack. That is true. The attack however was in no way random and not aimed at innocent tourists as the report tried to suggest. LKS actually went there to attack a group from Widzew Lodz who are their main enemies from the same city. The reason why they were heard speaking English and Russian is that Widzew were with their friends from CSKA Moscow. The two sets of fans have a “friendship”. Young Poles tend not to speak Russian and Russians tend not to speak Polish therefore English is the natural language they’d communicate in. Russian was obviously heard due to CSKA fans communicating with each other. If you are a normal foreign fan and you travel to Lodz you will not get attacked by groups of fifty masked hooligans providing you behave yourself.
Event two: Spanish tourist murdered in the Ukraine
What really happened?
The media have been sick enough to use poor man’s death as an excuse for attacking the choice of host nations for the tournament. Everything suggests that the man was attacked in May and was in the village just outside Donetsk as a relaxing break. It sounds as though he was unfortunately a victim of a mugging/jacking/theft and was then murdered by the criminals. Spain play in Gdansk, not the Eastern Ukraine. Therefore this horrific attack was a result of criminals, not football fans/hooligans. It’s the type of rare, horrible incident that could happen anywhere. It isn’t common and the fan’s death should not be hi-jacked by the sick media and used in their biased arguments against two nations.
Event three: Fighting at the Fan Zone in Wroclaw
Regular Polish and Czech fans were drinking together and were attacked by a group of Russian hooligans. The reaction to this has been particularly angry due to it being innocent normal fans who have no interest in fighting. Apparently the numbers in the attack were not so great so luckily it didn’t last too long.
Event four: Russian hooligans attack stewards
Two unarmed stewards were beaten by Russian hooligans in an unprovoked attack.
Event five: Claims that Racist flags were flown at Russia v Czech Republic game
What really happened?
There were no racist flags at the game. The Russian far right who are linked to football hooligans do fly the flag of the Russian Empire. This flag was flown at the game. The flag itself however is not racist. The three colours come from the Grand Duchy of Moscow and were used as the nation’s official flag from 1858 to 1883. The fact that it has been hi-jacked by nationalists does not make it a hate symbol.
Event six: Theodor Gebre Selassie racially abused by Russian fans
Right now nothing has been confirmed. There have been reports that Russian fans racially abused the Czech right back, We will have to wait and see whether these allegations of disgusting behaviour are proven.
Event seven: Russian fan flew the USSR flag
During the game between Russia and the Czech Republic a Russian fan flew the hammer and sickle of the USSR. This is deeply offensive to both Czechs and Poles, both of whom suffered for long periods of time under Soviet rule. In Poland flying Communist flags is treated the same as Nazi flags. They are illegal. This act has deeply offended a number of Polish people ahead of next Tuesday’s game between Poland and Russia.
Other event that has not been widely reported in the press:
Hooligans from Miedz Legnica and Slask Wroclaw had a fight with some Russian nationalist hooligans and stole their banner. There’s a photo of them posing with their trophy upside down while mockingly making the Russian closed fist salute.
What problems have these attacks and insults from Russian hooligans caused ahead of the big game against Poland next Tuesday in Warsaw?
The Russians probably don’t realise how angry they have made Polish hooligans, Ultras and even regular people. Ahead of the game next Tuesday there were already plans for Polish Ultras, Hooligans and the far right to meet up for a “march” and then take part in some Bolshevik Beating as they describe it. Now rather than just the most hardcore locals from Warsaw there will be far more Polish people travelling to attend this due to the offense caused by their rivals yesterday. The flying of the Communist flag and beating of unarmed Polish stewards have further fuelled the already strongly burning fire.
Expect to see some really terrible rioting before the game in Warsaw. The Polish group will not attend the game due to having no interest in “modern football” but will be out in force before the game. The Russians are also planning a pre-game march in Warsaw, which is likely to come under attack. This is going to be a massive challenge for the police due to the sheer number of people expected to take part as well as the pure hatred between the groups, which is stronger than anything you would likely see before a club game. This is the opportunity for two of the toughest hooligan groups in the world to send a message to each other and they will be looking to take it.