Wisla fans arrested for murder

Nine supporters of the Wisla football (soccer) team were detained in Krakow last Monday and Tuesday in connection with the slaying of a football fan in Kielce. Police were still looking for the main suspect – 20-year-old Krakow resident Piotr Kupiec.

The tragedy occurred September 21 in Kielce after a match between local top division club Korona and Legia Warszawa. According to police reports, a group of Korona supporters drove to the Bocianek housing project after receiving information that Wisla hooligans (traditionally hostile to the Kielce club) were in the area. When a fight broke out, a 22-year-old man was stabbed several times with a knife while still in a car. He bled to death while being driven to a hospital.

Police said the local hooligans probably expected a brawl with just bare hands. But police said the visitors were armed with knives, machetes and even pickaxes. They probably came to Kielce to capture Korona flags and scarves to be burned during the next league match.

The victim was buried on Wednesday in Kielce. About 2,000 people, including Korona players, attended the funeral. Police fear that the death may lead to attempts of retaliation against Wisla fans and an escalation of violence in Krakow. For years Korona supporters have been allied with Cracovia, the everlasting rivals of Wisla.

The next Krakow derby match will be played October 20 at Cracovia stadium. (A local derby match in Europe occurs when two teams from the same city or region – usually lifelong rivals – play each other.)

Both Wisla and Cracovia were established in 1906 and are the oldest football clubs in Poland. They have played 74 matches in the top division.

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