Wednesday, August 24, 2011

October 2000 - A Canadian's experience - Bohemians Prague 1905 2 Sigma Olomouc 2

11 years ago this autumn, I was living in Olomouc as a student, and since I watched as much football as I could in Canada, I decided to go to a Sigma Olomouc away game in Prague. Needless to say, it was an eye opener for at the time I was kind of a clueless Canadian 'soccer' supporter. I really didn't know what I was getting myself into.

I arrived at Doličku a few hours before the game, and of course I was wearing a Sigma jersey. I was used to going to away games in Canada with no problems, and at the time I didn't think much of wearing a Sigma jersey in Prague. Apparently, it wasn't a good idea, but I didn't really have any problems. I remember being a little scared, as I didn't speak any of the language, and wasn't sure how to get tickets. Luckily, two boys stopped me on the street, and sold me a ticket on the spot. I actually paid the face value, so I think they were just selling tickets to supporters on the street. I walked into the stadium, and saw old style metal cage surrounding the away support with a few cement steps. The toilets were a disgrace, as no one at the club probably bothered to clean them, and the walls were filled with graffiti.

Across the street from the away entrance there was a pub, and I remember hearing glass breaking, and other noises. I took a look around and saw a pile of Sigma hooligans (or ultras) pile out of the pub. Police were in riot gear trying to control the situation. The Sigma supporters pushed their way into the away supporters section without any tickets. It wasn't long after that the police followed, as they frequently entered stadiums at the time. It was then that a few Sigma supporters asked me if they could have my ticket to show proof they paid. I just shook my head, and hoped for the best. I was standing in the furthest corner of the away section, trying to stay away from the trouble. Eventually, the situation cooled down.

On the way home, I zipped up my jacket over my Sigma jersey. Lesson learned.

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