Posted 26 января 2022,, 13:41
Published 26 января 2022,, 13:41
Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
A new scandal broke out in Russian football. Now it is connected with the decision of the authorities to introduce the so-called fan passports, or Fan ID, at the stadiums. Fans considered this measure to be repressive and fan associations of popular clubs such as Spartak, CSKA, Zenit and others announced a boycott of all team matches.
Spartak fans were more principled than others. They decided:
- The boycott begins to operate from the resumption of the second round of the championship. So, for example, the Spartak-CSKA derby will be held without active fans)
- Fans who violate the decision of the council will be expelled from the movement and declared persona non grata for life.
- Fans are allowed to follow the team around the cities, but are not allowed to visit stadiums.
“Thus, we are witnessing perhaps the most massive fan boycott in the history of sporting events”, - writes the Arena channel. - It can already be safely stated that, despite the attempts of the security forces to stabilize the situation in the fan environment after the introduction of the Fan ID Law and prevent a nationwide boycott, they failed. Even fan bloggers loyal to the authorities, "tame" gang leaders and "baited" fans all opposed the Fan ID Law. The two biggest fan movements in the country have already expressed their position on the Law, we do not think that any of the rest will “swim” against the current.”
Interestingly, after the publication of the announcement of the boycott, many reputable fans of Spartak and CSKA began to receive calls from the law enforcement block with urgent requests to abandon this idea under the pretext that it would only get worse.
In this regard, Arena writes:
“Interesting, but where is it even“ worse ”?! So, after such a statement from Zenit fans, the police, together with the club's security service, began to work out various options for retaliatory measures against fans who were going to support the boycott. We know for sure that it was proposed to cancel season tickets for life, suspension from participation in the life of the team, as well as deprivation of any good things in the form of tickets, rental of sports fields, etc. Surprisingly, some Zenit employees, incl. and from the Security Council themselves were unable to obtain a Fan ID during the 2017 QC, 2018 World Cup and EURO 2020 due to the fact that they were denied. It turns out that if Fan ID is introduced within the framework of the RPL, they will be blocked from entering the stadium and they will not be able to perform their duties. A similar situation is with their Moscow colleagues. Not all club employees who need to be present at the stadium will receive a Fan ID. The law will affect not only fans, but also many sports functionaries, but for some reason they are silent or pretend that this will not affect them. And in vain ...
The Ministry of Sports is concerned about the information about the intention of the fans to start an all-Russian boycott of matches, so they are trying to somehow smooth this problem with the RFU and the RPL, but how ?! Meetings with fans, discussions and negotiations will not help. Fans have ceased to trust the authorities and are not ready to conduct a dialogue. Only the abolition of the Law itself can normalize the situation, but so far this is impossible. Nobody needs the law, except for the security forces, everyone already understands this. Even the comments of the deputies showed their complete incompetence on this issue: “I did not take part in the consideration of the Law”, “we were misunderstood”, “The law will not affect RPL matches, it’s too early to panic”, etc. Sometimes it is rightly said that it is better to remain silent. But the deputies are executors, they were told by the security forces, they are doing it. According to our information, Spartak fans will not turn off the chosen path. Dynamo and Lokomotiv will also soon release their statements regarding support for the boycott. CSKA will support the boycott, that's a fact.
We are witnessing perhaps the most fanatical boycott in the history of events…”
Meanwhile, in Spartak itself, they reacted to the decision of the fans to boycott the matches because of the Fan ID as follows:
“The club is aware of the position of the fan associations. Of course, this situation does not cause anything but frustration. Spartak fans are the best in Russia, their support is very important for the team. At the same time, we understand that they have the right to express their position in this way and draw attention to the problem”.
But in the Duma they stand their ground. Yevgeny Revenko, a member of the State Duma Sports Committee, told Rise that the FAN ID will ensure security at the stadiums:
“ Fans should not pose and speak the language of blackmail. The law was not adopted behind the scenes, it was widely discussed. This is a new rule to follow. Several hundred of the most radical fans are opposed, and we are talking about ensuring the safety of tens of thousands of fans. The statement is strange, because I believed that the fans should support their teams, and not stand in a pose and speak the language of blackmail. If the intentions of the fans are pure, what confuses them? You just need to get used to the introduced rules .”
It is curious that, according to an expert, a columnist for the country's leading sports publication Sport-Express Vyacheslav Korotkin, a fan ID will not change much:
“It was clear from the very beginning, from the moment the law on FAN ID was adopted. And the fact that the fans, who have been demonstrating their negative attitude towards its introduction all autumn, will sooner or later announce a boycott of matches in tournaments where the FAN ID will become mandatory. And the fact that as soon as the fan associations of one club decide to take such a step, a “parade” of similar actions will immediately begin throughout the country. And the fact that no protests will lead to the abolition of the legal act.
No, do you seriously think that the empty sectors of active support will stop the process? Stop it - the ideologists of the introduction of FAN ID and law enforcement officers will only breathe easier. On the contrary, supporters of football passports will have an argument: look how much safer the stadiums have become. Naturally, the experience of the World Cup and the Euro will immediately come to mind - now, they say, now we have the same in domestic competitions.
The only thing is that not a single issue related to the fan community will be resolved. At least radically. Even those that relate directly to matches, not to mention others that are not related to attending football. Sooner or later (rather, sooner) the arenas will fill up anyway. Either the boycott will get tired and the people will return to loudly express their position in the sectors, and not in public social networks, or the places of the protesters will gradually be occupied by others.
Look, for example, at Italy, where in series A the analogue of FAN ID has been operating for more than a dozen years - is there, are the “folds” still empty? No colorful and loud support? Tifozi forgot the way to the stadiums? The answers are obvious.
In near-football, more than a closed world with its own rules, nothing will change at all. "Firms" have long moved away from street and especially stadium old school, everything happens in forests and fields. How the introduction of FAN ID is able to end the most fundamental confrontation, for example, between the fans of Spartak and CSKA, I absolutely do not understand. The Hulz didn't give a damn about the fan ID, they didn't consider stadiums the place of their battles (with the rarest exception in recent years), they won't.
Here is the example of England. Many admire the way former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dealt with football hooligans in the late 1980s by passing tough laws. But in fact, it’s enough to dig a little deeper to understand that the problem has not been solved, but driven “under the floor”. Deep, outside the arenas, but precisely driven. The clashes of British hooligans, as they were 20-30 years ago, have not gone away. Only now they take place away from the stadium cameras. The same can be said about the absolute majority of the leading football countries in the West: near-football is developed in Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. Not to mention Eastern Europe, where there is an unequivocal headliner - Poland.
Some changes with the introduction of FAN ID in the RPL will probably still follow. Perhaps there will be less swearing at the stadiums - although any visitor to the central sectors will say that they swear there no less than behind the gates. We won't see a fire show for a while. The stands will become quieter - but is it good for football, which should evoke emotions?
In a word, was it worth it to break spears, taking into account the fact that violators of order in the arenas can (taking into account the technical equipment of sports facilities) be calmly calculated and punished without any FAN ID, is a big question. Remaining unanswered…”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB of Russia do not rest on their laurels, and, together with the Prosecutor's Office, intend to toughen responsibility for violating the rules of conduct for spectators during sports events. The following questions are being worked out:
The fact that the toughening of punishment has never led to appeasement, the heads of the security forces resolutely do not care - after all, this is not a problem for them personally, but for ordinary executors of orders.