Euro 2012: Polish Kaleidoscope

We saw the best and the worst of Poland today.  That was a truly impressive result against the Russians, who looked like they were caught in the headlights, rather.  It’s long been a contention of mine – I mention it in Polska Dotty – that the Polish team – to some extent Poles – lacks self-belief, not ability.  I like this result almost more than a victory: it means the Poles know exactly what they need to do in the next match.  Beat Czech Republic.  No other result will do.  As for the worst, Poles and Russians were involved in very unpleasant scenes of hooliganism today (though – small mercy – at least not racsim of the sort seen in the BBC Panorama programme).  One report says a Russian fan died.  I think the Polish authorities missed a trick here.  They allowed thousands of Russian fans to march across a Warsaw bridge to celebrate their national day.  Apparently they wanted to give one in the eye to Putin who just passed legislation upping fines for illegal demonstration in Russia, further retreating from democracy.  All very laudible, but I’d have practised realpolitik and banned the march on (genuine) safety grounds.  The resultant calm would have done far more for the reputations of Poland and Euro 2012.  Anyway, let’s now hope for two things: no violence between Polish and Russian fans tonight – and Polish qualification into the next round!

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Filed under England fans, Football, Hooliganism, Krakow, News, Poland, Poles, Polska, Polska Dotty, Racism, Russia

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