COMMENT: Madness with tear gas or Czech football for the police ego

COMMENT: Madness with tear gas or Czech football for the police ego

The idea that I’m a 12-year-old Sparta fan, I’m under five feet tall, and I can watch my favorites celebrate the title from the front row of the crowd from behind the pitch? Great. But when I get teargassed in the face as punishment for daring to root for someone? The thought makes me sick.

Police officer number 306878 hid his face behind a balaclava, helmet and protective shield. But it was clear that he did not consider the red supporters as human beings, but as enemies who needed to be pacified.

How senseless was this? As proof, perhaps it is enough to mention that the Spartans are also supported by their ancient rivals. Some celebrants on social media are offering legal help against police brutality.

Yes, fans of the arch-rivals want to band together and complain.

The police mention that Boleslav herself asked for help. “No one wanted to risk someone running onto the field and injuring someone. Fans can start tearing up the lawn or something similar,” said a Sport.cz source close to the events in the Central Bohemian team. “We wanted to protect our property, the safety of the fans and, above all, the health of the players themselves,” Jiří Koros, press spokesman for the Boleslav club, told Sport.cz.

His superiors turned to public officials. Okay, that’s understandable. The question is whether Boleslav had any idea what the protection of property would entail.

Her steps can be understood. Having your turf vandalized by opposing fans when you might have to play an important Conference League play-off game against the middle group winner on it in a few days? That would not be wise.

Is it any wonder that the fans wanted to invade the pitch? Absolutely no. Football is emotion. Moreover, when the Spartans celebrated last year right on the lawn of the Slovácko stadium, no one minded. There was no reason to think they would overreact in the same situation.

Of course, there are rioters among football fans. But that doesn’t give the police the right to preemptively spray tear gas on innocent people at the thought of presumption of guilt. According to some witnesses, a few unlucky people received not-so-deserved blows with a baton.

“At times I thought the behavior was crazy. They sprayed tear gas at people. Sometimes just like that, and even for children. I only got a residual tear – and even then it was unpleasant. Someone had to be treated by an ambulance, someone caught it completely innocently,” said Sport.cz, one of Sparta’s supporters who was right there.

Photo: Vít Černý, CTK

Angry fans behind police roadblock

While the culture of fans in the Czech league is constantly changing, which can be seen in the increasingly better choreography and the increase in attendance, the thinking of some police officers is evidently frozen in the distant past.

So once again. It is certainly not the case that every football fan is a lunatic who drinks ten beers at a game with iron regularity and only intends to disrupt public order. Most of them are just people who – world, wonder – like football.

Until all law enforcement officers take this idea as their own, conflicts will increase in an already rather heated situation.

It is no coincidence that there is probably no other case where away fans would get teary-eyed while trying to celebrate the title. And it is no coincidence that we are perhaps the only country in the world where the end of the cup final was watched from the sidelines by dozens of heavy-duty soldiers with trained dogs.

2024-05-20 04:05:22
#COMMENT #Madness #tear #gas #Czech #football #police #ego

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