Cover Osteuropa 11-12/2017

In Osteuropa 11-12/2017

Football fans in Poland
Sport, violence and politics

Tomasz Sahaj, Dariusz Wojtaszyn

Deutsche Fassung


Football is inseparably linked to politics and society. From the independence movement to today, football has been a means of national mobilisation and individual and collective identity formation. While in the Polish People’s Republic, football fans used the stadiums to articulate criticism of the regime and express democratic views, today, anti-democratic forces dominate the scene. Violent hooligans are a particular problem. Government officials are now attempting to woo these thuggish “fans” as voluntary members of territorial defence groups. It is no coincidence that the first units in eastern Poland have been created in areas where militant football fan groups live.

(Osteuropa 11-12/2017, pp. 187–196)