MISJA 21: Podróż dookoła Polski w 21 dni Euro

Nasi wysłannicy z Londynu i Łodzi - Petter Larsson z City University i Maciej Stańczyk z Gazety Wyborczej - przemierzają kraj w poszukiwaniu największego sukcesu i porażki Mistrzostw Europy w Piłce Nożnej UEFA - Euro 2012.

Wpisy otagowane „Gdansk EURO 2012”

  • sobota, 23 czerwca 2012
    • Squeezed in a big, still-standing crowd for the last time

      After realising that the city was full of touts who still hadn’t sold their tickets, I decided I wanted to see a quarterfinal in this Euro too. Before last night’s game there’d been a lot of talk about economy and I couldn’t help but thinking about what a poor business the black ticket market seems to be. The guys who’d been walking around in the city earlier, laughing about any suggested price under 150 Euro, were now standing outside the arena with hundreds of tickets, hoping that a really big family who had forgotten to buy seats in advance would show up.

      I got a 320zl ticket for 150zl and got to my seat in the Greek section for the national anthems. Apparently Maciek had paid about half that amount but missed the first 15 minutes and even though it was a good opening I thought to myself that it wasn’t really worth 5zl (a beer!) per minute.

      I sat next to a woman from Gdansk who, because of her profession, wanted to be anonymous in the blog. I’d hope she was some kind of spy but she turned out to be a teacher.

      She said it would feel very empty in the city after the Euro as this whole event had become some kind of habit for Gdansk’s inhabitants, but added: “Luckily it ends in the middle of the summer and it won’t hit us too hard as we have quite a lot of of foreigners from Germany and Scandinavia coming here at this time anyway.”

      The game was worth every zloty and there is a chance that I can tell my grandchildren that no other game in the tournament had seen that many goals scored.

      The German fans impressed with their quantity and strength and their Greek opponents – just like on the pitch – were fighting and singing until the end.

      The blue sea just below me booed as Angela Merkel was shown on the big screen and the Germans probably sung something back about money, but after all it was quite a nice atmosphere for being a game before which the TV producers had been advised to turn down the volume from the stadium to avoid hearing the fans shouting nasty things to each other.

      Gdansk Arena was mighty and nice but two things caused some irritations in the crowd:

      Half the toilet was shut down during the quarterfinal so people got to spend the whole half time break queuing for it.

      All fans that wanted to go back to the city centre (which was most of us – around the arena there isn’t too much going on) had to go to the trains through a tiny little Alice in Wonderland-sized gate to the trains. We got stuck in a big bunch of irritated people, of whom many Germans who said it was “worse than Ukraine”. And have you ever been to the mighty Maracana Stadium in Brazil, trying to get to and from there when there is a game, you’d see it as quite a failure when also the Brazilians in the crowd thought it took too long time and left.

      I didn’t mind it taking time – I rather enjoyed every second of it as this probably was the last Euro fan crowd I would be stuck in this year.

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      sobota, 23 czerwca 2012 19:21
    • On another mission - The Spirit of Football

      On Gdansk’s streets yesterday we met another example of the new generation German supporters that, like the new generation German players, aim to change the picture of their country. A group of guys with cameras, fake moustaches and a football, who called themselves “The Spirit Of Football,” had travelled to Euro to make a documentary about the spirit of football.

      They said their aim is to cross boundaries through the global language that football is and wanted to transfer core features of the sport such as fair play, team spirit, respect and fun, to everyday life.

      They let everyone who kicked the ball back sign it and filmed while I fixed it on my forehead for a while, put it on my neck, flicked it back up on my forehead and then threw it back to them. Then they asked what I thought was the spirit of football and I suddenly I’d realised we’d met another group of missionaries, travelling around Euro trying to meet and talk to as many people as possible.

      The group from Erfurt, Thuringia, with one under-cover Norwegian (they are everywhere – I even met four Greeks who spoke Norwegian and said they were half-Greek) continued their walk through the city and could later post pictures of many people, including the German Federal Minister of Interior, Hans-Peter Friedrich, juggling or signing the ball, on their Facebook page.

      The last picture of the ball from yesterday is when it is out of air and a guy wears it on his head. The capture says: “UEFA-rules: No balls allowed in the stadium. Hats are.”

      I am looking to follow the mission of the boarder-crossing, networking, new generation Germans as ours is coming to an end.

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      sobota, 23 czerwca 2012 16:15
  • piątek, 22 czerwca 2012
  • czwartek, 21 czerwca 2012
    • Gdansk is getting pretty...

      ...because the Germans are coming!

      Gdansk wasn’t exactly like I remembered it. Last time we’d been greeted by Spanish, Italian, Irish and Polish people who were having a street party in the sun. Now it was grey, cold and empty and the only thing telling us that there will be a quarterfinal in the European Football Championship here tomorrow was an occasional Germany cap.

      The Poles were back work and the foreigners arriving seemed quite happy with a break from being a fan and just buy souvenirs for a day.

      Tor Filiper(right), from Germany, said he was surprised over his experience in Ukraine. He said: Ukraine was very nice. People were very friendly and helpful. In Kiev we were couchsurfing and the people were nice and showed us around.”

      Tor, travelling with a camper van, said he liked Gdansk too. He said: “It’s very nice. We are just walking around today, watching the city and it’s very nice.”

      He said he didn’t mind a break from the Euro pulse in Ukraine. He said: “Today you see some football fans but not so many, I think tomorrow there will much more. But I am happy about that so that I can watch the city.”

      Tor’s friend, Seggi Kasteleiner(left), said: “Gdansk is a very nice city. We enjoy our time in Sopot where we only have hundred metres to the sea. I don’t really feel the Euro vibe at the moment, I think it’ll be more tomorrow. But in Kiev there was a really big Fan Zone with maybe five hundred thousand spectators. Well I don’t know exactly but there were a lot of people and it was really fantastic. We hoped for Poland and Ukraine to do better but they went out and we are a little bit sorry about that because it’s not good for the tournament.”

       

      Dimitris from Greece had just arrived with a bunch of friends. He said: “We have just been to the old city but it is very nice here.”

       

       

      Dimitris, who’s been to Warsaw for two weeks, said there was more pulse in the capital. He said: “When we were there, Poland was still in the tournament so it was more alive, because of the Polish fans. Now that Poland is out of the tournament and the foreigners haven’t arrived yet, things are a bit quiet, but I think tomorrow will be fine.”

      I hope so to, because Euro should, according to my research, last for a little bit longer.

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      czwartek, 21 czerwca 2012 18:51

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