Outside the Box: Poles make strong case for pot calling the kettle black


Imagine an overseas TV crew filming the behaviour of West Ham fans at Tottenham last weekend and using it to illustrate the state of English football.

Arrests for Nazi salutes, gas chamber noises, chants about Hitler, etc; and three recent race cases would doubtless feature prominently. In Poland and Ukraine they remember how Panorama made just such a film, called Stadiums of Hate, shown a few days before last summer's European Championship, in which England supporters were advised not to travel to the tournament and Sol Campbell suggested that some who did could "come back in a coffin".

Now the football boot would appear to be on the other foot. According to the London-based journalist Robert Blaszczak, "Poles still feel hurt with the allegations made prior to the Euros. With an overwhelmingly positive feedback afterwards, most notably from the English correspondents in 'Polkraine', no one stepped up and admitted: 'We called that wrong'. Those England supporters who travelled to Warsaw last month, despite the unfortunate incident with the roof, certainly enjoyed a warm and cheerful reception. It was what they missed out on when not making it to the semis last June. This may offer a reminder to put one's own house in order first before pointing fingers at others."

Hammered and wrong

Eyal Berkovic, now a media pundit back home in Israel, says those fans of West Ham, his former club, who are guilty of anti-Semitic abuse should be sent to prison.

"It shouldn't be happening in 2012 and people that did it need to be in jail or outside of football," he told Outside the Box. "West Ham supporters are great supporters but they need to remember that Jewish players like myself and Yossi Benayoun have played for the club."

The Israeli FA and Uefa are confident about the European Under-21 Championship next summer going ahead as planned despite recent hostilities. Israel's FA president, Avraham Luzon, keen to send out the right message, insisted Maccabi Tel Aviv's home game with Bnei Yehuda at one of the four venues went ahead as planned despite the concerns of Maccabi's management after air-raid sirens sounded 35 minutes before kick-off.

Beckham the long Ranger

David Beckham has insisted that despite leaving LA Galaxy, "My commitment to the MLS and the Galaxy won't change, I still want to grow the sport in this country [the US]".

Mrs Beckham may have been spotted looking at mansions in south-west London lately but that commitment would be difficult to maintain as a Queens Park Rangers player, even if they do train near Heathrow. Encouragingly for the Galaxy, who played the MLS Cup final at home to Houston late last night, Beckham has always left his clubs as champions. He signed off with a goal at Everton on the final day of the 2002-03 season as Manchester United took the Premier League. Four years later, he played a part in Real Madrid's La Liga triumph, albeit not at the finish; they were 1-0 down in the last match against Mallorca when he was injured early on, making way for Jose Antonio Reyes, who scored twice to secure the title.

No-go blow for Zico

There is wretched news for the splendidly named Ryan-Zico Black, featured here recently after being invited to play in his namesake Zico's annual charity match in Brazil.

The Guernsey midfielder has been forced to pull out after breaking his leg in two places in an FA Vase match away to Erith Town. The game was held up for an hour before an ambulance arrived, and the only consolation for Black was that his team came from 3-0 down to win 4-3 in extra time.

Guernsey, competing in the Vase for the first time, will be at home to another Erith side, Erith & Belvedere, in the next round on Saturday.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; twitter.com/@stevetongue

Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam