BBC Panorama: Racism amongst Polish/Ukrainian Fans

Oh dear, very poor publicity for Euro 2012.  But of course the racism exposed in a very damning BBC TV Panorama report shown tonight shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet.  Have to say the situation in Ukraine looks worse than in Poland – though that’s cold comfort.  What particularly disturbs me about Poland is that aspects of the programme reveal exactly the sort of racism I documented in Polska Dotty 10+ years back.  For example, in my book, I mention how, when watching a football match with my work colleagues, they nicknamed every black player “Toby Nairobi”.  They didn’t seem to mean to cause great offence, but equally couldn’t see the offence they were causing.  Something not dissimilar – though of course on a different scale – struck me about the Polish “Ultras”, the extreme fans: their favoured terms of abuse were anti-semitic, but one got the impression it could have been almost anything; they’d just latched onto this due to historical circumstance.  Truly lumpen football hooligans.  Probably Sol Campbell is right it was too early to award the games to Poland/Ukraine – not because of the countries/people at large, but because of their football racism/violence problem.  But we’re there now, and let’s hope it all goes well.  The media can be lurid, if you hadn’t noticed – even Sol went a bit far talking about fans coming home in coffins – and there must be every chance the Championships, no doubt heavily policed, will go smoothly for the most part.  Thereafter, Poland/Ukraine need to fix their football racism problems once and for all.



Filed under Anti-semitism, BBC, Euro 2012, Football, Hooliganism, News, Poland, Polska Dotty, Racism

4 responses to “BBC Panorama: Racism amongst Polish/Ukrainian Fans

  1. Mentally ill people are everywhere. Crazy fans are ready to kill anybody. It doesn’t meter if he is Arab or Polish. We can see that a director of this film and everybody who took part in it are limited or stupid. if British want to disrupt Euro 2012 in Ukraine – they should not lie. It is for rascals.


  2. jenni59

    Jenni59 from UK
    Shame on you Milla! On Panorama we saw thousands of fascists behaving like savages and all you can say is that “crazy fans are everywhere”! The difference is that most countries arrest prosecute them.

    Poland and Ukraine has an terrible history of anti-semitism, even after WW2 – remember Kielce in 1946? More recently, there was uproar here in the 1990s when Ford photographed a team from its multicultural workforce in Dagenham and then whitened all the faces because, they said, the photo was for an advertisement for Ford cars in Poland and Pol es would not buy the cars if they saw black and Asian faces on the brochure! In the UK this was an illegal act.

    In the Panorama programme, I was shocked to hear a senior policeman (from the Ukraine, if I remember rightly) dismiss the terraces full of fans making nazi salutes and sieg heils by saying they were having fun and were just moving their right hands in a certain way!! If that is the authorities’ – and ultimately, the governments’ (of both countiries) – response to the horrifying racism we witnessed, then I believe any team with any principles and dignity (and certainly the team representing my own country, many of whose own players’ will not be visiting Poland & Ukraine for fear of racism) should withdraw from the football champtionships altogether. We heard at the end of the programme that the only official ‘solution’ for the visiting international teams will be to house them in enclaves away from the (potentially vioilent) population!

    Sort out your own act! Actively oppose racists and fascists as many of us do in the UK and elsewhere, campaigning in Parliament, with the police, local government, educational authorities, etc, rather than dismiss them as crazy nutters. It is because of attitudes like yours that fascism spreads – particularly in times of economic hardship.


  3. The only error you are making as anybody in our advanced society is that the MAJORITY of our Society is completely MAD.
    Ask any good psychiatrist about it.
    Te lower Masses are especially feeble intellectually and mental
    ill…it is a matter of fact.
    The role of smart leaders is to control and master that behavior…
    But it deserves their interest; then, they don’t care about..!


  4. jenni59

    I have to disagree with both Milla and Jacques. You cannot just write off whole sections of a population as ‘mad’. People are people, regardless of where, when and how they were born and to whom. We all have minds, sensibilities, potential and skills which we have to develop. We are all entitled to respect and to share rights and responsibilities.
    I have campaigned against fascism in the UK in areas (often very run down) where a large number of people supported one or more of our fascist groups – the BNP, the EDL, etc. and in one of these areas voted 13 councillors onto the local council. On many occasions I have spoken to some of these people. They were not mentally ill; they were very angry. They were often angry about seeing their living standards being dramatically eroded, about being made unemployed or on very low pay, about their housing problems (or had relatives with housing problems). They felt alienated and very excluded from the political process. Over and over again they said that politicians from the main poltical parties were not listening to them and said that the fascists were the only people who did – and of course (In their case) ‘immigrants and British people of black and Asian descent were convenient scapegoats.
    Our neo-liberal world of grabbing wealth by any means you can, without considering the needs of others, means that there are many people who
    lose out. To combat racism and fascism, we need not only to educate everyone, respecting their human dignity, but to give all people a voice, particularly over basic human needs – the economy, housing, health, employment, social benefits, etc. In my experience, (I’m 65) people who feel they count, rarely turn to fascism and racism – unless fascists are the only people who make them feel they have a voice!


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