Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate Panorama

Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate

With days to go before the kick-off of the Euro 2012 championships, Panorama reveals evidence of racist violence and anti-semitism at the heart of Polish and Ukrainian football.

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In 11 days' time, Europe's biggest festival of football, kicks off.


But just how safe will some fans be? Bloody hell.


I am concerned that they will be targeted by racists and fascists


and antisemites in Poland and in the Ukraine. The European


football's governing body says it has zero tolerance.


I think this is embarrassing and it embarrasses the whole country.


Panorama spends a month inside Poland and the Ukraine. We see the


fans who routinely abuse. What kind of things do they say?


Bad words. Like (BLEEP). The terraces where the fans give


fascist salutes. The ground where the supporters are beaten for the


colour of their skin. We were supporting the whole team.


The families of two black England players have already said they


won't go. Tonight a former captain condemns


UEFA's choice of host nations. Would you recommend families to


travel to Euro 2012? No chance. Stay at home. Watch it on TV. Don't


even risk it. UEFA has a vision, a vision of a


united European family of football. This June, the family of football


has chosen to pay a visit to Eastern Europe.


Poland, Europe. But with 100 years of footballing


history, and they have some of the most passionate fans in the world.


They have the stadiums, the speck kal, but they have a big problem, a


reputation for violence and racism. So, does the family of football,


really know what it is letting itself in for? I've spent a month


watching league matches across these two countries to find out.


My first Widzew, a city the size of Birmingham. It is not a


host city for Euro 2012, but I've been told to see the dark heart of


Polish football, I should come and watch the Widzew Derby.


LKS, versus Widzew. For this match, the visiting fans have been banned


from the LKS stadium. It is an hour before kick-off, the fans start


running battles with the police who just want to get them into the


stadium. It seems that a lot of them


definitely came here to fight, but there are no away fans, they are


banned from the match that turned on the police.


They have started to target us for a little while there, throwing


stones and fire crackers. It seems like anyone is a target if you are


Every team in Poland has a hard- core of supporters. They call


themselves Ultras. They create noise and atmosphere at the games,


and they love to abuse the opposition.


At this match, I was shocked to hear the terraces chanting that the


None of the Ultras would talk to me, but I did speak to a fan who did


not join in the chanting. Tell me about the antiSemitic chanting,


what is that about? They don't think that they insult Jewish


people, they just use it as a weapon to attack the opposite fans


and the opposite club. But they must think badly of Jews


if they think this is an insult? Yeah, they know this is an insult.


In Widzew, two teams trade the word "Jew" as an insult, both on the


pitch and in a tat for tat graffiti wall. All this in a city, where


during the Second World War, the Nazis all but exterminated its


230,000 Jews, for some football fans, the word Jew is now used for


someone who deserves to be defeated and even killed.


I lived in Widzew. I was shocked on the main street where I saw that


Jews should be assigned to the gas. The idea that people walked past


this every day and let that happen, it was difficult for me.


Jonathan Ornstein has lived here for many years. He believes that


football hooligans are yet to catch up with wider Polish sod. --


society. I think they are looking to


demonise the other team. The imagery that they are using is the


Jewish talk. I think it embarrasses the whole country.


My next step was Warsaw, the Polish capital and host city for Euro 2012.


This is where the opening ceremony is to take place. Where the fans


from all across Europe will be welcomed.


Warsaw's biggest team is Legia. They have one of the largest


followings in the Polish Premiership.


However, this particular branch of the family of football also has a


skeleton in the closet. If you're arriving here by train,


this is the greeting you'll get. Further down the platform, it does


not say "welcome to Warsaw" it says "welcome to hell" This graffiti


celebrates the White Legion. One of many violent groups organised


around football. Across the city they spray devotion to their team


and to their politics. What we have here is racist


graffiti. It also contains a very important


racist symbol, the so-called Celtic cross, the white power sign. This


symbol you can see often during the matches.


Jacek Purski's work is supported by UEFA to monitor and combat racism


among the fans. It is illegal to display such hate


symbols during the football matches. According to the Polish law,


putting this symbol at this wall is illegal. It promise oats fascism,


it promise oats racism. In Widzew, I had seen racist


banners pledging white pride and heard fans citing terms and monkey


sounds on the pitch. Are you familiar with the monkey


sounds? Yeah, but you try to ignore it. Many people are doing it.. I


have problems with the players on the field. I try not to focus on it


and try to go on my way. What sort of things do they say to


you? Bad words like you are a (BLEEP) monkey or something like


that. Is there a system to go to? Someone


to report it to? The only person to report it is the referee, he does


not do anything. He will just say to keep going. Racist symbols and


antiSemitic chants have been a part of football for years. There are no


official figures but a report vealed that in 2010, there were 133


serious hate rimes inside the stadiums.


-- hate crimes. Jacek Purski was a co-author who


documented the offensive chants Today he's helping Euro 2012


stewards learn to recognise racism. It can be an uphill struing until a


country where ethnic and religious minorities are all but invisible.


-- it can be an uphill struggle. A lot of work has been done. The


situation is going in a good direction. Of course, we hope to


have a peaceful, non-racist Euro 2012, but still around the league


matches, from time to time, some incidents occur.


Incidents like one that took place here. This is Rzeszow, a small town


in Southern Poland. Two years ago, fans displayed a


huge banner declaring "death to hook noses" at the time it went


unpunish, though a year later, the Polish FA fined the club and a


senior official lost his job. Even so, we filmed a repeat performance


over a month ago. This time a banner declared the presence of the


antiJew front. Although nothing was done in the


match, the police later arrested the man holding the banner. The


club was fined �1,000. The supporters were give an two-match


ban. There's been a push as of late,


obviously before the Euro, they don't want Poland to be embarrassed.


We will see what happens with that, but I think there needs to be a


deeper, more pro-longed effort to eradicate not just anti Semitism,


but xenophobia. That is part of a larger issue here.


This is Krakow, a city that is football crazy.


This medieval city is to be home to the England squad during Euro 2012.


It's another town where hooligans have hi-jacked the word "Jew."


Tonight it is the Krakow Derby, Wisla vs Cracovia.


Also known as the Holy War, for the intense rivalry between the two


takes. -- teams.


Just a few seats away from mine, I spot two which is which is fans.


Both are wearing what look like anti Semitic T-shirts. Polish


Ultras were not willing to speak on camera. I secretly filmed a chat at


halt. So, this is a Pole


Polish club? Your club? Yesment yes. I got it.


Soon, the war of words turned into a war of missiles. The opposing


hooligans vented their anger on the Watching the match was Nick Lowles


from Hope Not Hate. An antiracist monitoring group. He had flown out


to see what the British fans could expect from Poland.


As we saw tonight, people had T- shirts on, they were not confronted


by stewards. My concern is what happens outside of the stadium. The


positive thing with English football is that increasing numbers


of Asian fans are travelling to support England. I'm concerned that


they will be targeted by racists and fascists and antisemites in


Poland and the Ukraine. It is not just Eastern Europe where


racism in football is an issue. Charges of racism has hit the


headlines across the country. Especially in the UK.


John Terry is to go to trial facing ariesism remark. Whatever the


outcome, one man who has faced racism at first-hand is another


former England captain, Sol Campbell. I showed him our footage,


to see how the countries come paired.


It is incredible how organised it All the chants of killing Jews it


is sickening to the core. I'm glad it is not like that in England. I


know it was at one stage, but in the 21 century, this is on another


Leaving Poland behind, I wondered if what I found in Ukraine could


This is the capital, Kiev. It is where the Euro 2012 finals are


going to be played. Ukraine looks ready to host the euros, but were


their fans ready to welcome waves of visitors from all across Europe?


I went to a Premier League match, UEFA say they have zero tolerance


of racism on the terraces. Yet these distant cousins in the family


of football seemed to have zero tolerance for anyone who was not


white. While police and stewards look on, a relative of one black


That is just so sad. It is incredible. The thing about it is


that it is little kids, girls and boys. As recently as 2008, Sol


Campbell was racially abused at a Premiership match. Those fans were


arrested and prosecuted, but at this match in Ukraine police did


nothing. I cannot believe it, it just makes me feel sick, and I just


feel empty. I feel hurtful, because I know what those guys are going


through. I would hate to live in a place like that, just going in to


play a football game, you know, being subjected to all this abuse,


and no-one is doing anything about Kharkiv, Ukraine's second city and


This is the Metalist Stadium, soon to host Portuguese, Dutch, Danish


What went on here I had only seen in films about the Second World War.


Massed ranks, all doing a Nazi salute.


During the first half, I saw men, women, girls and boys of all ages,


giving the Hitler salute and shouting Sieg Heil. I have spoken


to a few have the fans here, and they have confirmed that they are


saying Sieg Heil because Hitler hated Jews and blacks, and that is


With Euro 2012 just around the corner, what were the police


planning to do about this? How concerned are you about the


possibility of racist displays inside the Metalist Stadium?


TRANSLATION: Regarding Kharkiv and the whole of the Ukraine, up until


now, we have not had any such incidents. There have been on, and


I hope that during the Euro 2012 Championship we will not have any.


In fact, Ukrainian fans are very friendly. At the Metalist Stadium,


I saw approximately 2000 people do the Nazi salute to their team.


no, it is not a Nazi salute. It is... They were pointing in the


direction of the opponents, so it looked like they were pointing with


the right hand to the fans, kind of attracting attention to themselves.


So it is not Nazi. Sieg Heil! Perhaps something had been lost in


translation. I was sure of what I had seen, football fans doing Nazi


salutes. Across town, I met up with a football fanatic who is also part


of a far-right organisation. hide in his place in the market,


nobody can find us, any cops, any government guys. By Dean did not


have any time for UEFA's vision of a multicultural family of football.


-- Vadym. The Celtic cross, show. It is not founded today because we


have a match, just people relaxing. Does it annoy you if you have a


black player playing for you? Do The whole bar was a shrine to far-


right extremism. They had Celtic crosses, swastikas and white power


symbols. There was also worked and help they -- there was also an


unhealthy obsession with Nazi Germany, but it was harder to pin


down exactly what Vadym believed in. Are you a Nazi? Do you support some


Vadym is a recruiter for a group called Patriot of Ukraine. This is


a Patriot video, where they claim to be running out illegal


Do you recruit from the stands? Do you find new members? Oh, yeah!


could see why football terraces could be fertile recruiting grounds


for the Patriots. Since the break- up of the Soviet Union, right-wing


politics and hooliganism have gone At this match, I spotted two fans


with Patriot logos on their T- shirts. It was not long before the


It was a gesture I would see at I had another appointment with the


Patriots, this time to see how they took football hooligans and trained


We are meeting a trainer in the use You keep it secret?


I had seen videos of Patriot events where they had rallied hundreds of


supporters, but at this training session there were just a handful


There are no reliable figures for Patriot membership, but they do


have a presence in all the Euro What makes them dangerous is not


only their extreme right-wing views, but they're clearly ready for


British government advice for Euro 2012 is for black or Asian fans to


take extra care in Ukraine because of the possibility of racist


Officially, Patriots say they do not condone attacks on foreigners,


but when I spoke to one recruit, that did not sound so clear cut.


TRANSLATION: We are learning to shoot, and we are learning tactical


combat, and military preparation, and we can take all this training


onto the streets. I can also add, because my face is hidden, that


these skills have already been used I have no way of knowing how much


of what they say is just bluster, but earlier this month in the host


city of Kharkiv, there were two stabbings, and both victims were


Nigerian students. Last month, UEFA responded to the


possibility of racist attacks. They announced funding for so-called


inclusivity zones, secure Areas outside of stadiums where


supporters of all backgrounds can feel safe. But have they done


enough to combat racism before the tournament begins? We asked for an


interview with Michel Platini, the president of UEFA, but we were told


that he was too busy to speak to us. However, in a statement, UEFA told


Back at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, it was the final game of


the season. Of the pitch, it was said to be the most violent. This


is one of the stadiums that will be hosting matches in Euro 2012.


Tonight, it is hosting a match between two of the country's


biggest teams. Now, the local police have told me they have never


seen any evidence of racism on Vadym from the Patriots took me


into one of the most volatile parts of the stadium, the Ultras' stand.


Why are you in competition with that side of the stadium? Bloody


hell! It was not long before it lived up


Bloody hell! I am getting out of here!


Things went from bad to worse. With no segregation in the stadium,


scuffles are breaking out between rival fans all over. Suddenly, at


the Metalist hooligans spotted a new target, a small group of their


Only these supporters were not Innocent people, innocent, look at


them, it is just gangland! And no- one is helping, no police is


helping. Look at that. Look at That is absolutely disgusting. I


cannot believe that. No-one has come... At last, someone is helping


him. It is lawless! It is lawless! I want to cry for them. I want to


cry for them, because someone is living there, thinking, is someone


going to kill me today because of my colour? These Indian students


have been studying in Ukraine for the last few years. They sat in the


family section, thinking it would be safe. Ukrainian football does


find clubs when fans misbehave, but it set was unable to tell us if any


action had been taken over this incident. At Euro 2012, UEFA say


the Ukrainians will have primary So it was very planned? They


trapped you? Gosh. Are the police going to help you to get home


safely? They are not going to help Do you think UEFA were wrong, then,


to choose Poland and Ukraine? think they were wrong, because what


they should say is that, until we see a massive improvement, that you


have sorted that, you're never going to get his tournament. You do


not deserve these prestigious tournaments in your country. Would


you recommend families to travel to Euro 2012? No chance. Stay at home,


watch it on TV. Don't even risk it, because you could end up coming


back in a coffin. UEFA say that the legacy of Euro 2012 will be to help


With just days to go before the kick-off of the Euro 2012 championships, Panorama reveals shocking new evidence of racist violence and anti-semitism at the heart of Polish and Ukrainian football and asks whether tournament organiser UEFA should have chosen both nations to host the prestigious event.

Reporter Chris Rogers witnesses a group of Asian fans being attacked on the terraces of a Ukrainian premier league match and hears anti-Semitic chanting at games in Poland. And with exclusive access to a far right group in Ukraine which recruits and trains football hooligans to attack foreigners, Panorama asks: how safe will travelling football teams and their supporters be at this summer's European festival of football?

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