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3/22/13: The Most Violent Day in Sports is Coming

Posted by Ark_Razor on February 12, 2013 at 10:35 PM

WTF are FIFA and UEFA thinking? Do they want (as Lou Reed would say) "All the dead bodies piled up in mounds"?

B/c that's what they are going to get on March 22, 2013........ unless they wise up.

Mac was kind enough to forward a series of video clips to me b/c he remembered my series on FIERCEST CFB Rivalries.

This one is called Real Football Factories. And this episode dealt with the Balkans.

I got news for you, South Carolina-Clemson, Auburn-Alabama, Utah-BYU, Florida-Florida St. and Michigan-Ohio St. have got NOTHING on this.

Nope, the FIERCEST sports rivalry on the planet is............

Croatia v Serbia

You might remember that Serbia fought against everybody in the old Yugoslavia from 1990-94. Out of that bloody mess, six nations were formed:

Slovenia (where Anze Kopitar is from BTW),


Bosnia-Herzogovina (where the U.S. was involved),


Croatia and,


The Serbs controlled the old Yugoslavia. The other ethnic groups did not like that. The Serbs did, therefore the war.

Next to the Russians, I would be hard pressed to find any other caucasian country that has been through such bloodshed over their history. They might even top the Rooskies b/c the religious aspects of the wars go back to slightly after Mohammed.

You can view the first part of the Balkans saga here and follow the other six parts- but let me "highlight" what is going on.

First of all, football is the social fabric of the society here along with hoops. There is the Croat league and then there is the Serb league. Ne'er shall the two meet anymore........ well, at least until......... now.

There is a high degree of hatred between teams in each league. Riots and gangbanging are pretty common, making Raiders games look like a sock-hop. The hardcore fans particularly enjoy going after the police, especially if they are on the road. It appears that they live for this sort of action.

The four major franchises are (two in each league).

Torcita Split- This club was formed in 1950. Think about that one a minute. Well, the resort coastal city (where the 2010 Continental Cup track meet was held), has a fiercely loyal fan base who prides themselves in intimidating visiting fans from even showing up. Their history starts with an assault on a referee in 1961, and perhaps was higlighted by them driving the Yugoslavian army out of the stadium in 1974. They were banned from UEFA competition for 3 years in the late 1980's due to excessive fan violence.

Dinamo Zagreb- The archrivals of Torcita in the Croat league. These guys are not intimidated to travel anywhere. They are satisfied with causing a riot in Split in the 2000 league final, causing cancellation of the match. The ex-President of Croatia owns the team. When he changed the name of the team from Dinamo Zagreb, the fans protested. When that didn't work, they simply firebombed the owner's box and burned it to a crisp. That did work and the team is once again called Dinamo Zagreb.

Don't think for a minute that country loyalties are thicker than water, at least when it comes to outside Yugoslavia. England-Croatia had a WC qualifier a few years back. The Croatian fans got out of hand resulting in many injuries and nearly 100 arrests. However, they did not attack the English choir boys hooligans. They attacked each other; Zagreb v Split.

Then we have the Serbia league. In Croatia, they use the English alphabet.  In neighboring Serbia they use the cyrilic alphabet.

Here, the two toughest teams are located in the capital city of Belgrade.

Red Star Belgrade Heroes- Pretty hard to get on the inside here as they refuse to talk to outsiders, particularly the English speaking press. They are tired of being unfairly portrayed as war criminals. That is probably b/c the Serb paramilitary organization during the War, the Tigers, was formed by the head of security for Red Star.

Partizan Belgrade Groberi- Groberi means gravediggers. These guys carry guns and rape opposing male fans who do not give tribute to their legends. Need I say more? Oh, I guess I'll mention it, they really don't care about how good their team or who wins, they just like the violence.

So what is the issue here Ark?

Well we know that the Serbs and the Croats hate each other. Many believe that the Yugoslavian Civil War started when the Dinamo captain attacked a Belgrade police officer who was clubbing one of the Zagreb fans during a match.

While Split and Zagreb hate each other, they despise the Serbs. The Serbs of course feel the same way towards the Croats.

Players and fans from both sides fought against each other in the war. Split and Dinamo have monuments honoring the team members/fans who died in that war of independence outside of their stadiums.

What would happen if Croatia and Serbia ever faced each other again? Both sides do agree on something. Many people will die, and they are comfortable paying the ultimate price to prove their loyalties.

Well, both Croatia and Serbia are in Group A of the UEFA qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. (Macedonia is also in the group BTW).

They play each other with Croatia being the designated home team on March 22, 2013.

Note I said, "designated" home team. The venue has not been set. Uh......... we are only five weeks away from the match FIFA.

Maybe they are wising up and will play the game (and the follow up Serbian home game on Sept 6) at a neutral site far away.......... like Dallas or Houston. Texas is not going to mess around with any of this crap. They use guns too you know.

UPDATE: 3/12/13 The game is scheduled in Zagreb. Unbelievable. How many will die at the game and afterwards b/c of it?

Categories: Soccer

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Reply vapor5
7:00 AM on February 13, 2013 
Make N.Korea the neutral site- I'm only half-kidding.

FIFA has been corrupt for so long I;m not surprised that they don't consult history books. WW1 was triggered by a Serb.

I saw a documentary on how Croatian players in the NBA were warned from back home to not be friendly with Vladi Divac, a Serb.
Reply the immortal scurds
7:26 AM on February 13, 2013 
i thought this was going to be a reminisce about habs-nordiques playoff series, but no question the hate runs deep between the croates and the bad guys.
Reply Galfur
7:50 AM on February 13, 2013 
Been hearing about this for years and it amazes me that humans have been able to carry forward ancient tribal feuds across the evolution of centuries of, on the surface, civilization. Underneath the surface, I guess we're not all that civilized after all.
Reply Ark_Razor
12:34 PM on February 13, 2013 
vap: I remember the documentary, Once Brothers. It was about Vlade Divac's quest to see the grave of Drazen Petrovic. Very moving, in larger part b/c Vlade Divac's kids and Petr Stoyanovich's kids went to the school where my wife taught.

scurds: Some people will say that CAL-EDM is the fiercest rivalry there. In any case, I would put them 1-2 or 2-1.

Galf: We are not that civilized. Men kill other men b/c we like it.
Reply Mac D
3:16 PM on February 13, 2013 
I also found amazing how Dinamo supporters punch the players or smash the players cars as a "Yellow" card for poor showing. Then a "Red" card is 10 of them coming in with masks and stripping the players of their clothes and taking them away.
Reply Galfur
5:33 PM on February 13, 2013 
Ark_Razor says...
Galf: We are not that civilized. Men kill other men b/c we like it.

This is one of those topics in which I hate dialing "R" for reality but you're absolutely correct.

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