A new temporary ruling will require all football fans arriving in Krakow for the European championships in June to take a basic language test. Polish vocabulary skills – or lack of them – will be used as a means to distinguish between hard core football hooligans visiting the city solely to cause trouble, and legitimate fans who are willing to learn a few words in a foreign tongue.
Requirements will include basics such as ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘excuse me’ and ‘I’m sorry’. In addition, fans will be asked to count backwards, in Polish, from ten to one. Language test rules will be scrapped at the moment that the championship trophy is handed to the eventual winners in Ukraine, on July 1.
Fewer than one per cent of those who take the test are expected to fail, as authorities recognise that most fans will be in Krakow to enjoy the tournament. Only those who do not achieve a mark of 80 per cent or more will be sent home. Others will be allowed to enter the country. Last-minute arrivals will be subject to the same test as registered match ticket holders who come to Krakow before the tournament starts.