Wisła beats Cracovia, wins Krakow Derby peacefully
The only controversy was on the field with Cracovia upset over refereeing on Wisla fouls, in what was reported to be a lack-luster game.
This is in stark contrast to last year’s Krakow Derby when rioting fans left one person dead at what has come to be an annual grudge match. Citing safety concerns after last year’s incident, Cracovia Chairman Janusz Filipiak restricted access to only card carrying club members for this year’s game. This excluded all other attendees, in particular the “pseudo fans” who are considered the main cause of conflict at matches.
The Krakow Derby began in 1908 with the inaugural match tied 1:1.
Then in the 1920s the Krakow Derby became a regular event known as the “holy war” meaning “everlasting competition.” The sporting rivalry of those times has long passed with football hooliganism dominating today’s fixtures often turning games into war zones.
“This time the holy war was a holy peace” said police spokesman, Dariusz Wieczorek. “Before the game we had detained some people with small amounts of drugs, and one with a knife. But in comparison with the previous year it was a very peaceful night, even in the surrounding neighborhood.” Wieczorek said police would like the matches to be as peaceful next time, but they see this as unrealistic based on previous experience.
A local initiative proposed by Krakow City Council to deter genuine football fans from hooliganism is currently being considered by local clubs. “Fair Kibic” (Fair Fan) is designed to reduce involvement in hooligan actions amongst supporters of teams in the Krakow area including Wisla, Cracovia and Hutnik from Nowa Huta. Focusing on opportunistic hooliganism, the program of outdoor adventure based activities hopes to build comradery and respect amongst warring club factions, with young fans on the periphery of football violence being the desired target group.
Fair Kibic does not respond to established aggressive hooligans with Council Representative Adam Mlot seeing this as an ongoing policing role for the foreseeable future.