PARIS — Polish soccer hooligans who had travelled to France for the Euro 2016 championship tried in vain to start a massive brawl before their team’s match against Ukraine, only to learn that the opposing team’s supporters were not present because the Poles were in the wrong city altogether.
Tomasz N. says that he and 100 or so members of his group the Warsaw Ultras had tickets to Tuesday’s match in the southern port city of Marseilles, but they had accidentally travelled to Montpellier, 100 miles to the west.
“We get off the train, and we’re very drunk and ready make fight, but train station is so quiet, and we ask, where are the Ukrainian supporters?” he said. “Woman tells us we buy train tickets to wrong city.”
“Not our fault,” he added. “Marseilles and Montpellier both start with ‘M.’”
“At least it’s not as bad as 2012,” said Grzegorz K., one of the more senior members, referring to the Euro 2012 when he and his confused group mistakenly left their hometown of Warsaw — where a semi-final match was being held, and where they had hoped to fight German and Italian fans — and drove nearly 250 miles away to Wraclaw, thereby missing the match altogether.
Not willing to let the oversight ruin their plans for a decent riot, some members were intent on finding another group to fight.
“Come on, you cowards,” shouted Pawel R. to a group of confused Chinese tourists as he threw a cafe chair at them. Because it was chained to the ground, the chair simply bounced back and hit him in the shins.
Police spokesperson Stephane le Bleu says that despite the efforts of the Warsaw Ultras to incite violence and mayhem in the quiet city, no serious injuries were reported, although the outcome could have been much worse.
“They did throw dozens of Molotov cocktails at police,” he said. “But apparently, the Polish hooligans mistook sparkling (“gazeuse”) water for gasoline, so what happened is that they filled their bottles with mineral water instead of combustible fuel.”