Dark side of football

Natalia Ternavskaya, Stary Zamok  5 June 2012 15:29  29913912 014359
Dark side of football

The long-awaited Euro'2012 in Ukraine is about to start. Last preparations are coming to an end. And if we have already passed a milestone of construction matters of preparation, in a social sphere troubles are just starting. Among the main factors that may affect significantly the image of the championship, as well as of the host countries, is the ability to ensure law and order and tranquility in the streets.

Even in "advanced" European football countries fans’ passion repeatedly poured outside the stadiums, flowing into the streets, affecting safety of shop windows, parked cars and heads of fans themselves. Uncontrolled excitement and a flurry of emotions during Euro '2012 could be a serious problem both for Ukrainian law enforcement officials and common citizens, whose property (or they themselves) may stand on the way of motley football fans.

From provocation to reprisals

Last round of Ukrainian football championship of the season 2011/2012 was marked by the fans’ campaign that took place in many cities across the country. On stadium bleachers fans unfolded th slogan in English: «Leave your human rights at home, electric shock doesn't need them!" By the way, the same event has been recently held in Uzhgorod by Transcarpathian fans.

"On the eve of Euro '2012 in one of the host cities - Donetsk - the police showed the world what exactly is waiting for fans during the "feast of football". To arbitrary arrests, fines, blacklists of fans and police brutality, they added electric shock, which was used against the supporters of FC "Dnepr" during their game in the capital of Donbass on May 2. This event caused a great resonance among the fans in Ukraine ", - writes the site of Ukrainian ultras.

Uzhgorod football fan "with the experience" Fedor says: "Of course, all countries that participate in this Euro, have made ​​sure that their aggressive fans won’t get to us. There are many examples of this: in England they take away passports returning them after the tournament, others give lists of people who are not recommended to be allowed to matches. The so-called black lists exist in our country too. But even with all this, I don’t think everybody will feel safe at the stadium and beyond it during the tournament. Firstly, our law enforcement officers have no such experience and secondly, lack of knowledge of languages ​​will prevent the concerted action of fans".

"During mass disorders (hopefully, however, they won’t take place after all), it's difficult to imagine how our police will act - said Fedor. - The main thing is that they shouldn’t feel total permissiveness, and understand that their actions will be monitored in whole Europe. Regarding the fans themselves, they must demonstrate that they are the best only in the stadium when it is necessary to support the team rather than beyond it!

Fan zone - increased attention

During the broadcast of Euro '2012 matches Transcarpathian police are planning to pay most attention to public places where the games will be shown. According to preliminary information one of them in Uzhgorod can hold up to 300 people. However, a total number of such "Fan zones" in the regional capital and other cities is still not known. "The number of our colleagues involved in Euro will become known a few days before the matches themselves. Not all entrepreneurs have applied for the organization of public places to watch matches yet, and therefore even an approximate number of potential viewers is not known. And it is this figure we need to know to start calculating the required number of police officers"- explains Vasily Kopcha.

However, we know for sure that some part of the Carpathian law enforcement officers is going to Lviv, where for the time of the European championship they will be assigned to the territory of one of the city's regional departments.

Vasiliy Kopcha does not accept the accusations of inability of our police officers to communicate with foreign visitors. As a preparation for Euro '2012 law enforcement officers continue to attend foreign languages courses. "For Transcarpathians it is even a less problematic issue than for any other Ukrainian region - said Vasily. - Because many of our employees already speak one or two foreign languages, in particular, Czech, Hungarian, Slovak or Romanian. Therefore, it will be easy to communicate with the nearest neighbors and there shouldn’t be any problems in dealing with Germans or Italians, because basically all Europeans get by in English. Our staff has also passed courses, so they should be ready to communicate with foreigners".

In general, Transcarpathian law enforcement officers have positive expectations about the course of the championship. "Not only fans will visit us. There will be a lot of tourists and families who will want to not only get to a football match but also to travel around our country. Therefore, we must do everything for the championship to leave good impressions with tourists and become a reason for them to come to us again"- summed up Vasiliy Kopcha.

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