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Partizan-Bačka Topola: free entry does not beat protest

Taking advantage of the cheap flights, I decide to spend a weekend dedicated to visiting the Serbian capital Belgrade. Obviously keeping an eye on any matches, among which I discover the Partizan match which fits perfectly with my schedule, given that it takes place on Saturday at 6.30pm.

Curiously, entry to the stadium is free, but it is necessary to collect the entrance ticket at
box office, upon presentation of an identity document. I go to the stadium alone, arriving comfortably by bus from the city center, about half an hour before kick-off. Around the stadium, which is located less than a kilometer from that of Red Star, there are several murals, some of which celebrate the twinning with the Russians of CSKA Moscow.

Once inside the atmosphere is not quite what I expected: the house curve Undertaker it is empty (due to protest) and the rest of the stadium is certainly not full, while there is no trace of visiting fans.

The match begins and after just three minutes Bačka Topola takes the lead, amidst boos from the home crowd. Shortly afterwards, on my left I noticed the entrance of the visiting fans one by one, who had the misfortune of missing the opening goal but managed to immediately rejoice for the second goal which arrived in the eleventh minute. In fact, outside the stadium I had noticed the presence of the police in riot gear, and I was also impressed by their notable size.

Returning to the Bačka fans, numbering around forty in number, they present themselves rather compactly behind the banner BLUE BETYARS.

In the corner of the house, however, the banner “Управа напоље” (Uprava Napolje) is hung, which I later discovered stands for “Management out”, which helps to more precisely limit the object of their protest. In the grandstand in front of which I am standing there are no banners but often chants of incitement to the team of a reasonable level of singing begin.

The match ends with a resounding 0-4 for the guests, a real shame because I would have really liked to hear the roar at the home team’s goal or at least a celebration from a crowd known for its warmth, considering the absence of their own players ultras which literally annihilates the atmosphere inside the stadium. Yet some persist in not giving credence to the old adage according to which football without the fans would be very little. And certain evenings only confirm it.

Alan Cacciatore

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2023-12-06 18:20:36
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