Swiss Football

A couple of weeks ago I went to my first Swiss football game with Michelle’s dad and her cousin.
We watched FC Aarau play FC Vaduz in round 11 of the Axpo Super League.

FC Vaduz

FC Vaduz is actually from Liechtenstein, but they don’t have anyone else to play with in their home country, so they’re allowed to play in the Swiss league. However, since they’re not Swiss, they’re not allowed to win; if they come first, the second-place team will be the official winner. I don’t think there’s much danger of that, though – we (I bought an FC Aarau scarf, so now it’s ‘we’) beat them 4:0, and they’re currently third-from-bottom on the table. We’re third-from top, behind FC Zürich and FC Basel, who are both very strong teams.

The fans

Kiwi’s are passionate about rugby, we all know that. But their degree of passion is nowhere near that of the Swiss. Even the little stadium in Aarau has a demilitarized zone patrolled by riot-police with dogs to separate the fans of the opposing teams. The tiny Vaduz crowd only lit a few flares, but you should see the FC Zürich fans in full song – I’ve only seen photos, but we’re playing FCZ in Zürich on the 25th of October, so I’ll have to go and experience for myself. Here are some photos:

So you can see they really go all-out. There’s just a constant noise from the fans – singing, chanting, banging – that doesn’t stop, but just gets louder in the more tense moments. A lot more intense than at a rugby game.

Hooligans

Sometimes, however, things get out-of-hand; the deployment of riot police is not an unjustified measure. In 2006, FC Basel fans stormed the field in the championship-deciding match against FC Zürich (Wikipedia article). There were fairly heavy fines against both clubs, and restrictions imposed on attendance at subsequent matches:

“FC Basel was punished because of its inability to control its own fans. It received a fine of 80,000 Swiss francs and its first two home games of the 2006-2007 season would have to be held without fans, as so called “ghost matches”. The next three would have to be held with just 3/4 of stadium capacity without the eastern corner (called the “Muttenzer Kurve”) of the stadium being occupied by attendees of the match.
FC Zürich was also punished because of its inability to prevent its fans from also setting foot on the field. It was fined 30,000 Swiss francs.”

Of course this isn’t as serious as some football riots. In Peru in 1964, over 300 people were killed and 500 injured in football riots. (another Wikipedia article)

Rugby fans are kittens.

So, I’ll try and get to the FCA/FCZ game on the 25th and let you know how it goes.

Update: I had a bit more of a look around, and found a YouTube video of the Basel pitch-invasion.
I also heard a story (rumor?) of Zürich playing Basel at home, where the Zürich fans met the train of supporters from Basel at the station and barricaded them inside so that the missed the first half of the match. I’m trying to find a news story or photos to back this up.

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