Legia fans respond to fine with another provocative banner
PR dla Zagranicy
Legia Warsaw fans have responded to a EUR 35,000 (PLN 150,000) fine, issued after a recent match in which an anti-Nazi banner was displayed, with another provocative banner.
Legia Warsaw fans' banner during a Thursday night game against Sheriff Tiraspol. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański.
The Polish team was fined on Thursday for obstructed exits during a home game against FC Astana on 2 August, after which football authority UEFA launched a probe into the anti-Nazi banner.
To mark the 73rd anniversary of the start of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising on 1 August, Legia fans displayed a banner during the game with Astana which showed a German Nazi officer pointing a gun to a child's head. The banner had a caption that read: “During the Warsaw Uprising Germans killed 160,000 people. Thousands of them were children”.
In response to the fine, Warsaw fans displayed another provocative banner during a Thursday night game against Moldovan team Sheriff Tiraspol.
It parodied draws to UEFA competitions, showing a pig reaching into a pool of only Legia logos. It was accompanied with a caption which read: “And the EUR 35,000 fine goes to...”.
Maciej Świrski, the deputy head of the Polish National Foundation, funded by state-run companies to promote Poland abroad, called the fine a “pretext” to “hit the club and its fans as well as Polish citizens, to put them in their place”.
Świrski said UEFA was “extremely politicised” and “did everything that Germany wanted” adding that Legia was fined because Berlin took offence at the anti-Nazi banner.
But Legia said it would not contest the fine.
Meanwhile, Warsaw fans started fundraising to help the team pay the fine, but Legia officials said the money would be given to organisations supporting Warsaw Uprising veterans. (vb/pk)