No to Marszu Patriotów and Marsz Niepodległości!

FSE Statement

11 November 2011 is going to be the National Independence Day in Poland. Wroclaw and Warsaw, Host Cities of UEFA EURO2012 will not be only hosts of a big official parade celebrating the day in Warsaw though or to a Poland vs Italy friendly in Wroclaw with FSE Fans' Embassies organised by fans for fans.

 

On the same day, both cities will also be unwilling hosts to a "March of the Patriots" (Wroclaw) and a "March of Independence" (Warsaw), organised by radical right-wing organisations. Unsurprisingly, and although trying to give themselves a seemingly innocent civilian image, these marches have proven to represent nothing more than a visible stage for various forms of very much anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic and/or neofascist forms of expression in the past, including violent attacks related therewith from participants of these marches.

 And both now and in the past, the organisers of this march have largely been counting on recruiting support and numbers for these marches amongst Polish football supporters.

And to some extend they unfortunately also seem to have been successful.

Precisely for these reasons and as an overall principle, we as FSE with all our members in 38 countries across Europe, including Poland, hereby clearly and unambiguously reaffirm our opposition to any form of discrimination. Together with our members amongst the football supporters in Poland, such as the fans around Kibice Razem involved in the organisation of the Polish Fans' Embassy on Friday in Wroclaw, we therefore clearly condemn these Polish marches.

Football is for everyone and discriminatory ideologies should have no space anywhere in football, neither on nor off the pitch. We are calling for all other Polish fans in particular to take a stance against this event and to prevent therewith that themselves or their beloved clubs are misused by such unacceptable political interests that would nothing but confirm negative stereotypes about football supporters in the wider public.

And any active or passive promotion for this march or any related activities in fans' forums or appearance at the march itself does not only confirm negative prejudice about fans. It's also shame to the others and can greatly harm the credibility of these supporters participating in these activities (but also others) as responsible partners in a dialogue and consequently any efforts undertaken by them on any of the other issues that are relevant to fans in Polish football as a whole.

FSE Fans' Embassy Kibice Razem WroclawThat said, in view of such overtly negative events, is therefore even more important for us to draw the attention of the wider public to the many positive supporters initiatives in Poland, to ensure a differentiated debate and avoid one-sided and sensational generalizations by all parties involved. Because is the activities of these fans that deserve a much wider platform, that show the great potential of Polish fan culture and it is their positive commitment that will lead to fans needs to be taken serious.

We would therefore like to invite all Polish and Italian supporters who want to celebrate this important day for Polish people (and not to forget the football match Poland vs Italy!) in an atmosphere of international goodwill and friendship, and everyone who wants to see an example of true and positive supporters commitment:

Visit the Polish and Italian Fans' Embassies in Wroclaw on Friday 11 November 2011!

Let us show to everyone that the majority of Polish fans are part of the solution, not the problem, and that they can be the heart and soul of an attractive and non-discriminatory Polish football scene and a festive EURO 2012 tournament.

Click here to see the statement of the fans around the Kibice Razem Wroclaw fans project on the March of Patriots in Wroclaw.

Click here to find the official Fan Guides for the Poland vs Italy game on 11 November 2011, done by fans for fans!

 

Contact

Football Supporters Europe eV

Koordinationsbüro

Postfach 30 62 18
20328 Hamburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 40 370 877 51
Fax: +49 40 370 877 50
Email: info@fanseurope.org

Imprint