Last evening in Athens there was a football derby match between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos. On the other part of Balkans another big derby match was going at the same time between two biggest Slovenian football clubs: Olimpija Ljubljana and Maribor.
Sometime around midnight, I received a text from a good friend of mine, who’s a Slovenian researcher and blogger: “You should check on this!” There was a photo from a football match showing supporters of Maribor also called “Viole” with banners and flags.
Supporters lift with banners also national flags of Slovenia and there was a flag with the Celtic Cross mainly used by ultra-right, fascist and nazis groups.
Let’s just mention some facts on football club Maribor. The coach of the club is Krunoslav Jurčić, Croatian. Here is for the illustration the team that started yesterday’s match:
In Athens the match between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos was canceled. But supporters of Panathinaikos still came with this banner:
For years I have already been dealing with research on right-wing ideologies. Obviously I am aware of links between football supporters and neo-naziism or neo-fascism. “In the 80’s and 90’s, Nazis were still the dominant forces in our group. But sure, we kicked those mother fuckers out,” supporters of Athens based Panathinaikos told me once. “In our group they are minority now,” they claimed.
The Panathinaikos fans, while showing understanding for political situation, also took anti-fascist actions, as they have at critical points many times in past. For example, they condemned the cold-blooded murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, which was committed by Giorgos Roupakias, member of the neo-nazi Golden Dawn party.
Obviously, Greek fans of Panathinaikos are just an outstanding example. Greek football supporters have also other side.
Nevertheless, if fan club Maribor gets away without consequences for yesterday’s anti-migrant performance, that shows their antics were just an another reflection of public opinion at the moment in Slovenia.
And after all also in Europe. This is Europe in which we are at the moment living. So, the key question is; will we accept this or condemn it and fight against it?