Polish Supporters culture has grown exponentially in the past decade. Their stands are known for being some of the most exciting in Europe, as their supporters groups have gained quite a reputation. The violence that often occurs when this passion boils over has led football supporters in Poland to be stereotyped as criminals. The endemic negative view of this subculture reached its pinnacle when a supporter was killed by a rubber bullet during a 4th division match this Saturday.
After a match between Concordia Knurow and Ruch Radzionkow fans invaded the pitch to try and intimidate the opposing fans when an officer shot a rubber bullet into the crown. The shot struck a 27-year-old father of 1 known as Dawid in the neck, killing him within minutes. This sparked angry reactions from fans who spent the night clashing with police. With prosecutors currently investigating, it is unlikely that anyone will be convicted.
Supporters groups in Poland and throughout Europe will likely be organizing commemorations for Dawid throughout the next match day. Dispite being labeled criminal, fan groups are extremely tight knit. Although violence between them can sometimes occur, no one believes that someone should lose their lives over a football match. Following Saturday’s tragic events the hashtag “#UltrasLivesMatter, began to trend in some circles.
Polish fans have appealed to supporters around the world to show their respect for their fellow fallen fan by displaying banners dedicated to him on the weekend of May 9th and 10th.