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Wisla Krakow - Cracovia Krakow (0-0)
Polish Ekstraklasa (1. Division), 03 Oktober 2005
Stadium : Reymonta Street
Attendance : 11.000

The history of matches between "White Star" (Wisla) and "Stripes" (Cracovia) go back to 1907 but in the end of 20th century there were only few opportunities for the clubs to meet.

This match between Wisla Krakow and Cracovia Krakow was the first since 1995/96 and the first in the top league since 1984! Supporters of both teams and football fans across Poland had been waiting for this exciting spectacle at the stadium in Reymonta street.

Unfortunately, the Wisla stadium is now being rebuild, so Cracovia had to limit their amount of fans to only 520. The total attendance at the match was just above 10.000, which was at that moment the maximum capacity of the Wisla stadium.

The rivalry between the fans in Krakow became incredibly brutal in the beginning of the nineties when Cracovia hooligans started to use knives and axes during street fights. Few years after this Wisla hools answered with same methods, so nowadays among the Polish supporters Krakow has the reputation of 'The city of the knives'.
The city is completely divided by fans of these two teams. The third team of the city, Hutnik Krakow, has a small number of fans.

Before the match local TV stations and newspapers were even increasing the atmosphere of fear, so on Sunday the 3rd of October the whole city was patrolled by huge police forces, especially in the most dangerous districts. The tension was enormous. Empty streets, police cars everywhere, all pubs with TV filled with groups of fans.

It was impossible to buy a ticket for the match because all the season tickets at Wisla stadium were already sold in August! Also away fans, who received 520 places distributed it mostly among ultras and hooligans groups.

THE MATCH:

As Polish 2003/04 Champions Wisla were fighting this season new coming Cracovia. Most home team fans were expecting a big victory. Nevertheless, the guests showed good defense and even after a red card for Cracovia defender M. Baster (53.) the Wisla attackers had no good opportunities and the final result was a 0-0 draw.

FANS:



All fans entering the stadium were heavily checked for dangerous objects, especially the away supporters, who were transported from their stadium (which is only about 500 meters away) to the Wisla ground by bus.

Wisla Krakow most fanatic supporters are standing at the "Sector X" and they are one of the Polish pioneers in organised supporting. Nowadays all ultras groups are united in one large group called Ultra Wisla.

The tension and atmosphere of the 'Holy War' was floating in the air, so when Cracovia fans entered their places the offending chants began immediately. The away fans had to listen to some songs about their sexual preferences and their Jewish origin ("Cracovia is not a Krakow's club, it is a Jewish club, and beat them hard for that..."). While they were calling Wisla fanatics "dogs" and "policemen" ("Wisla from Krakow is just a police bitch...").

By the way, some Cracovia fans had started to accept Jewish image e.g their largest hooligans group is called "Jude Gang". Also Wisla fans have some flags and chants where they describe themselves as "Furious Dogs", despite they also don't like police at all...

"Stripes" also brought a banner with text about Wisla being knocked out from UEFA Cup by Dinamo Tbilisi from Georgia. Wisla in reply prepared a banner about Cracovia's elimination from the Polish Cup by team from the 4th league...

In the first minute of the match the Ultra Wisla group presented a nice double-sided presentation with text "Wisla Pany" (Wisla rules) at one side and "Na Wieki" (Forever) at second. That side was made of small replicas of one of Wisla most well known banners - "Allegiance" (Wiernosc). This is the allusion to Cracovia fans, because many of them (especially hooligans) were earlier Wisla supporters...





Cracovia fans shown their white-red colours made of material stripes. (http://www.skwk.strefa.pl/galeria/0405/dom/cracovia/k12_mini.jpg) They were also equipped with trumpets to disrupt Wisla anthem, "Jak dlugo na Wawelu".



However, the trumpets were not effective, cause Wisla fans were singing really loud. The amount of offensive chants was smaller than before the match but songs like "The cities sings, the towns sings too, Cracovia is the club of whores" were present :)
The most impressive chants were performed by both sides of the stadium e.g. "Invincible is our beloved Wisla" and others.

In the 30th minute Ultra Wisla showed a presentation made of baloons, with the banner: "In the day and in the night, Wisla flows through the city" (Wisla is the name of the biggest Polish river). Cracovia fans prepared some smaller stuff at that moment.



After the break Wisla hooligans burned a large amount of enemy scarves as well as flags of Cracovia and Korona Kielce, who are friends of the "Stripes". "Collecting" and destroying enemy accessories is a sad tradition in Krakow and because of that few dare to walk along the streets in team t-shirts etc.



Ultra Wisla continued the show with a large sector flag "WISLA" and a lot of flares but the effect was quite poor because of the sunlight. By the way, Polish Football Association and police are quite tolerant for pyrotechnics at stadiums, unless it is thrown at the pitch. In result it is much easier to create nice pyro show in Poland than e.g. in France or Germany.





There were no acts of violence during the match, mostly because Wisla and Cracovia hooligans made an unofficial pact about not fighting at the stadium that day. Also the city was quite peaceful that day, mainly because of the large police presence. But only a week after the match a tragedy occured. In one of the Krakow districts a Wisla supporter was killed by a fan of Cracovia. The Holy War continues...

More photos from the match can be viewed at : http://www.skwk.strefa.pl

Report added : 17 June 2005
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