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  #21  
Old 13-10-2002, 02:42 PM
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It was deleted by accident - feel free to repost your in depth anaysis of racism and the rise of right wing politics in the former Eastern Bloc - apologies for the error.
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Old 13-10-2002, 05:16 PM
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My brother and I were there and this is what happened:

We went through the England Fans and the official travel (charter from Gatwick etc which was excellent. Got the flight, landed about 11.30 local time. Got on one of four special coaches which took us to the old town and we were told we had approx 5 hrs free time.

Went to the old town but got told that everywhere was shut because of the trouble the night before. Went to a great little bistro and had a great meal and a couple of drinks. The weather was very cold + wet but went on a boat trip along the Danube (free with the ticket) which was good apart from the weather and worrying about the match being off.

Got back on the coach and taken to the ground. Atmosphere was a bit raucous ie standard English male 20-40 testesterone (sp ?!!) drink filled atmosphere which was all pretty good natured really but to the Slovakian police, who clearly think all England fans are animals, 5,000 chanting England fans probably did look racist.

Basically the rest of the evening was a spooky throwback to the early 80s. Slovakia is probably in a lot of respects where England was 20 years ago. Amazingly there was only one gate that we were being herded through and police were trying to frisk everyone and check tickets. This was about 1.5 hrs before kick off and given they were getting a few through every minute there was clearly going to be a situation. You're never going to get 4 or 5K fans to queue quietly and the queue eventually turned into a mass scrum trying to get through 1 gap. This started off good natured and started to get more and more nasty as we got crushed up against a barrier. The fans inside and outside were screaming at the police to open the other gate but this opened outwards so couldn't be opened. Basically we were sucked into the gap like water going down a plug hole and this wasn't helped by some idiots screaming 'push push' from behind. Also there were barrier and steps on the other side of the gap to fall over and we ended up shooting through the hole. the police eventually had to give up checking people and we didn't have our ticket stubs taken. This was a really dodgy experience and I was shaking at the end of it.

This set the atmosphere up a bit and we went to our seats. Of course at matches in England you get used to going to your allocated seat and this in our naiveity we did. We were row 32 seats 249 and 250 and we came up this massive 'early eighties' style barrier (about 1.5 times my height with a big overhang, all of solid metal !) and the row our side of the barrier only went up to 251. So (unfortunately as it transpired) we crushed our way down the terracing , around a big wall and up again to row 32 to our seats. There were some fans standing in our spots and we were made to 'feel welcome' by some of the guys whinging whilst they moved "...typical..some people want their own seat...there's always 1 or 2" in an aggressive manner which made us feel really good.

We were on the left of the section, halfway up and the far right of the section was where the England and Slovak fans were divided by a barrier. Obviously in a sane society this shouldn't be a problem (forget about the fact that we need segregation to watch a football match) but in the current world this just looked an accident waiting to happen. Unfortunately I've seen many situations like this (although I'm glad to say, not for a good 20 years inside a ground). My brother didn't start attending matches until 1990 but I mentioned to him that I could see that it wouldn't take much for the barrier to be knocked down and trouble break out (in the back of my mind I parked the thought that I was next to the biggest barrier since the Berlin Wall)

Next 35 minutes was exactly what you'd expect. Poor England performance, 1-0 behind, excessive bad language and increasing hostile atmoshere. Out of the corner of my eye I see England fans pushing the barrier. I didn't see why they were doing this (although a guy on our coach who got hit with a baton said that the fans round him were reacting to the 'racist chanting') but I knew that you wouldn't get far counting to 5 before the police reacted.

Although I've heard on numerous occasions that 'the police were heavy handed' etc but I have to say they were clearly ready to employ a ruthless zero tolerance policy whatever it took and were really armed to the teeth and many had balaclavas and masks under their helmets !. The police poured through the gap in the barrier and started to whack anyone close by. All hell broke out as people poured towards us and Mr Barrier came into play.

In these situations the three basic socio groups of fans show their colours. The first group (and I'm happy to say the largest and hopefully growing proportion) consist of the law abiding true supporter types who are determined to attend England away matches in order to 'dilute' out the hooligan element. This group, clearly appalled and worrying for their safety tried to move away but were increasingly crushed against the barrier (me included).

The second group are those who think its great to be in a large group acting aggressively for good old 'Engerland and St George' but basically would run at the sight of any trouble (probably your basic bully type who does so much to give the England supporters a bad name - aggressive behaviour and I'm on a crusade etc). The guy to my left who had spent the first half acting aggressively with the standard foulest language you could imagine actually started to shout 'Come on..get 'em etc' whilst hiding behind me (you couldn't make it up !). This group started to chant aggressively and make out they were ready for a fight but soon realised that a massive group of people were pouring towards us followed by baton waving police. We all realised the situation was getting a bit serious as a large group of people were getting crushed.

People started to try and climb the barrier but really it was so high that one needed a leg up to get over. We started to pass a little girl (about 6 crying hysterically) over the barrier + her mother + other women (have to say in restrospect for a split second this was quite moving that all these people came together in a moment of adversity to help women and children...we'll pass over the fact that this was a football match and why should we be in a situation like this in the first place !).

Other people started to jump up and scale the barrier and then the real scary and depressing bit. The people going over were held up by quite a few people coming silently and efficiently the other way over the barrier clearly intent on joining in. These are the real scary ones, the ones that don't act openly aggressively, who we all hoped were at home reporting to police stations all over England, who were intent on joining in the trouble. Out of the corner of my eye as I was trying to find away to not be crushed to death I could see the batons getting closer and these 'third group' idiots squaring up to the police and some egging on the England fans to attack (I saw at least 2 cups of coffee being thrown at the police). A person standing next to me remonstrated with me because I complained when one of these thugs accidently hit my face with his foot as he swung into our compound from the barrier. apparently we should be cheering on our boys as they bravely go into battle for St George.

The half time whistle went and things settled down a bit. My brother and I were sure that things would 'kick off' again in the second half so made a point of trying to escape into the other section. We tried to make our way down the side of the barrier to the gap but were faced by a 10 foot drop onto a crowd of people. We decided to use our mountaineering skills and traverse round the barrier on the top of the wall and eventually managed to get round the other side. I offered to help a 50 something lady along our route but she was too shell shocked to move and seemed frozen to the spot. A tearful 30 something woman said to her boyfriend she wanted to leave. she was helped over the barrier.

We spent the second half standing between the rows of seats between those standing on the seats behind and in front, in the now over crowded section. England won so no more trouble.

Things calmed down, we waited for 45 mins to be herded out of the ground. Again there was only the same gap that we came through...more crushing and queuing.

We got the coach back to the airport and another hour's queuing since only one passport checking office was open. Back on the plane and home.

Summary.....a country that is not geared up for 6000 England fans. A reminder that there is still quite a long way to go to eradicate the hooligan from English football ie to break the cycle of people who want to act aggressive on their crusade on behalf of England. I think the real fans need to persevere with attending away matches so that the police monitoring of known hooligans and prevention of trouble makers travelling continues to isolate these prats. General bad language and moronic anti social behaviour etc still around but can't expect any different at England away matches. Its going to be a few years before England away matches resemble home matches but hopefully we're getting there. Over aggressive policing + aggressive fans were not a good mix. As Beckham said, the most sickening thing was the continued racist chanting....they really are 20 years behind. Will UEFA act ? Maybe another 13,000 fans like PSV Eindhoven got for their send offence !

Roll on Leichenstein !
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  #23  
Old 13-10-2002, 06:10 PM
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Thanks Eaglejez for the report, I think alot of poeple believed after the world cup that the Hoolies at packed it in. It is not the case and what is most worrinying is that if we do get to Portugal(which I hope we do) It is going to be alot worst .
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Old 13-10-2002, 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by pallet
Thanks Eaglejez for the report, I think alot of poeple believed after the world cup that the Hoolies at packed it in. It is not the case and what is most worrinying is that if we do get to Portugal(which I hope we do) It is going to be alot worst .
The hooligans were at the World Cup, but the Japanese police handled the situation perfectly - they stood off and as long as nobody was breaking the law, they didn't get involved. Sadly some countries do not take this approach - ie. Belgium and Slovakia, who both policed England matches extremely heavy handedly. That is when the trouble breaks out and gives the hooligans exactly what they want.

Reading eaglejez's superb report, I'm quite glad I gave this game a miss. What will it be like away to Turkey? Scarey thought.
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  #25  
Old 13-10-2002, 10:41 PM
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I think things are getting better but England way games show there is a long way to go. BTW did anyone read Patrick Collins' report on pages 124-125 of the Mail on Sunday. Outrageous. Talk about stereotyped lazy journalism. Apparently everyone who went was a hooligan (spoke to so many nice people who are determined not to be put off by the hooligans...that's not to say you don't need a thick skin to attend some England away matches at the moment !!).

I think I'd Email the Daily Mail if I had their address !
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Old 13-10-2002, 10:52 PM
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Thanks Eaglejez for an honest report.I dont mean to class everyone who goes to an England game as a hooligan but other countries do have their problems as well.

It does make you laugh when some people say they were reacting to the racist chanting when a lot of those involved in the trouble are probably linked in some way to the BNP and other racist organisations.
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  #27  
Old 14-10-2002, 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by congress
Thanks Eaglejez for an honest report.I dont mean to class everyone who goes to an England game as a hooligan but other countries do have their problems as well.

It does make you laugh when some people say they were reacting to the racist chanting when a lot of those involved in the trouble are probably linked in some way to the BNP and other racist organisations.
Totally agree....racist chanting is obscene but doen't excuse violence from so called England fans...unfortunately there still seems to be those looking for an excuse....I'll tell you, some of the sad cases there were pretty scary....
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Old 14-10-2002, 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by eaglejez
I think things are getting better but England way games show there is a long way to go. BTW did anyone read Patrick Collins' report on pages 124-125 of the Mail on Sunday. Outrageous. Talk about stereotyped lazy journalism. Apparently everyone who went was a hooligan (spoke to so many nice people who are determined not to be put off by the hooligans...that's not to say you don't need a thick skin to attend some England away matches at the moment !!).

I think I'd Email the Daily Mail if I had their address !

.....not to mention Jeff Powell's typical attitude in today's Daily Mail....
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Old 14-10-2002, 03:39 PM
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It's no wonder that England fans get so much stick. We've already been condemned on this board. How many of you actually have any facts or know exactly what happened?

How would you you react to having glasses of p!ss thrown over you? It was clear the police were intent of having a go at the England fans as soon as we got to Bratislava.
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Old 14-10-2002, 03:48 PM
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It was deleted by accident - feel free to repost your in depth anaysis of racism and the rise of right wing politics in the former Eastern Bloc - apologies for the error.
LOL

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  #31  
Old 14-10-2002, 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by Holmesdale
It's no wonder that England fans get so much stick. We've already been condemned on this board. How many of you actually have any facts or know exactly what happened?

How would you you react to having glasses of p!ss thrown over you? It was clear the police were intent of having a go at the England fans as soon as we got to Bratislava.
A fact borne out by the fact that they wore balaclava's.....One light moment though ...as we were being crushed attemping to get into a postage stamp size hole the police were standing by with these massive aggressive dogs barking at us, a big chant went up of.."who let the dogs out ? who ? who ?"
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Old 14-10-2002, 06:05 PM
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It does make you laugh when some people say they were reacting to the racist chanting when a lot of those involved in the trouble are probably linked in some way to the BNP and other racist organisations.
I know a friend who went and the ones who were shaking the fence, and it was because of all the monkey noises the slovaks were making, weren't your stereotypical England Hooligans.
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Old 14-10-2002, 08:23 PM
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Have just arrives home this morning having spent 3 days in Bratislava. Completely agree with Eaglejez and his experiences at the ground. We arrived a bit later about 50 mins before ko and spent 10 minutes waiting for the security check. No-one checked tickets, bags were not searched, in fact the police seemed to have given up. We were then hoarded towards the gate which ALL England supporters had to enter the ground. No turnstiles and I was very worried for everyone's safety at this point. Just before the gate, not only were we in danger of being squashed, we also had to climb a barrier to get there. At this point I became detached from my son and his mate, and didn't find them again till we got back to the hotel.

Inside the ground was little better with no checking of tickets, no stewarding, no directions of where seats were located. Soon found out why as seats not numbered. Therefore choas as no-one knew where to go and it was just pot luck finding a space.

I ended up in the section nearest the Slovak fans although some way from where the trouble broke out. The first I was aware of a problem was when an object flew from the Slovak side and landed three rows in front of me. Looking back, there were then several bottles flying from the Slovak side followed by a cup with a hot drink. At this point the retaliation from the England supporters started in earnest.

I will say that the majority of supporters behaved ok, several though climbed the fence to get into the section where the problems were. Very disappointing behaviour. At half time there was a TV interview being done at the England end and the guy in front of me said to his mate ' I wonder how long before he gets coined'. Sure enough a bloke immediately behind me launches three coins, the 3rd of which makes contact with the interviewer's body.

We had a superb weekend which was marred only by the experiences at the stadium. We met several Slovaks and they were very friendly and knowlegable about football. More than once, we were told that they were unused to handling such crowds, and they were employing private security firms to help as they did not have the police resources to cope.
We were also told by locals that one of these employed security men was responsible for the shooting on Friday evening.

All in all a great weekend but I am somewhat relieved to get back unscathed.
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Old 14-10-2002, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FOSSBLOKE
Have just arrives home this morning having spent 3 days in Bratislava. Completely agree with Eaglejez and his experiences at the ground. We arrived a bit later about 50 mins before ko and spent 10 minutes waiting for the security check. No-one checked tickets, bags were not searched, in fact the police seemed to have given up. We were then hoarded towards the gate which ALL England supporters had to enter the ground. No turnstiles and I was very worried for everyone's safety at this point. Just before the gate, not only were we in danger of being squashed, we also had to climb a barrier to get there. At this point I became detached from my son and his mate, and didn't find them again till we got back to the hotel.
Just got back too.

Flew to munich, stayed there thursday night, then got to Slovakia on Friday for a couple of days (and nights).

I have to say this was exactly the same experience I had getting into the ground and got a ticket in the slovakia's end! ( opposite to where the trouble was ). Everyone was getting crushed. I thought I was getting to the ground early as on the ticket it said 8.30 KO, so the authorities couldn't even get that right.

I was also amazed how few people (including myself) didn't have tickets before going there. So many people had ordered tickets, and hadn't arrived before they left blighty and were told they would be arriving at there relative hotels, and surprise, surprise didn't turn up. An absolute farse by the FA.

Apart from the heavy handed policing (alot are ex-army eastern block, hence their mentality) it was a great weekend and experience.

They are a poor nation, and very niave. The racist chants were unforgivable. They are 20-30 years behind in their society mentality, and seeing no blacks (that i could see) actually live in the country, these to facts combined, shows why they are so poorly educated on such matters. Still I was very angry about that.

All the women in the bars were beautiful. It was obvoius, that if you have a pretty face, you were a waitress, and if not, then a cleaner, as thats the way they seemed to operate. Always very polite and curtious, particuarlly when you consider they probably have never seen lots of English footy fans all colating at the bar and drinking all afternoon.

The general atmosphere and attitude of the England fans was great. I was in the bar where the England fan was shot, up until 10.30 on Friday, when a few idiots started smashing bottles (probably the same minority that wanted trouble at the game), so we just left.

We all then went to 5 or 6 bars afterwards, and the atmosphere and mixing of England fans to me was spot on. Everyone was just having a good laugh.

On a lighter note at the game. Half time was funny, when the announcer said when talking to the England fans- 'you are very welcome here, but please no trouble. Our police are very strong, and will break your fingers!' and when England scored, everyone taking the piss of the Slovakia's Mexican Wave. From where I was sitting, it was very funny and it looked like Everyone was doing it.
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Old 15-10-2002, 01:03 AM
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Just got back myself after 3 days away. Had a surperb time and made lots of great friends. The experience at the ground has been covered open and honestly by previous posts and I can only endorse what they have said. I have to laugh though at those who are quick to judge England fans from watching on tv. Who is predujist now?
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Old 15-10-2002, 01:15 PM
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you have to say that the thug element is still there at England away matches but hopefully will continue to reduce. They could have had, say 30, British police there in the England end and they could have arrested the 10 or so prats that were egging the fans on to fight the police. The vast majority were great. The Mexican Wave bit was funny.....we were singing ("you're not waving any more..." at 2-1 up ! not to mention the "who let the dogs out ?" and the swaying + Dambusters humming during the crush to get in outside...
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:26 AM
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interesting see seeing this thread again. Fair to say there has been miniscule issues with England fans abroad since this. Whatever you say about England, atmosphere at Wembley etc they have got their house in order. As anyone who travels abroad with England or their team know that the Eastern Europeans haven't (not to mention some areas of Spain and Italy)/

And the racists apologists at UEFA / FIFA continue to criticise England.

Oh yes, the only other match since 2002 that there was a violent atmosphere was the Moscow match in 2007. Who knew
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:40 AM
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Phew! I read the first post and thought it had all gone off
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:02 AM
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as the BBC relised it wasn't the england fans starting the trouble they turned thier attentions away.

The Slovikans started trouble by chucking Seats

I don't condem this behaviour because if you were in this situauton with all this stuff coming at you, you would react.
jeesas you're speling is chit
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Eye-dee
Phew! I read the first post and thought it had all gone off
Oops. Sorry !
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