Welcome ladies, gentlemen and general onlookers. We’re here at the pre-fight weigh-in with two formidable fighters lining up for this heavyweight clash to claim the Polish championship crown. This one has been building up for some time, with parties from each camp locking horns in minor skirmishes, but this looks like being the big one.
But firstly lets have a look at the two contenders, with the vital statistics to follow:
Chuls (aka Hooligans)
Number: Unknown, large enough to be a nuisance, small enough not to be noticed most of the time
Based: Various locations over Poland
Favoured stamping ground: Their local football ground,
Speciality moves: With training in infamous forest battles, they are good at wielding sticks. However, it remains whether they will get the carrot of notoriety, or if they will back down under pressure.
Top dog: No one leader – chop the head off and another grows to replace it.
Secret weapon: The only thing hated more than Polish roads are its politicians. If the Chuls can succeed in the battle to win the public over (even public neutrality will be seen as a victory), they will be halfway to winning the war.
Politicos (aka Politicians)
Number: Variable, can seem like millions when a vote is needed, and invisible when political change is required.
Based: Various locations in Poland, with headquarters in the Sejm, Warsaw.
Favoured stamping ground: Alternate between day-times in front of the cameras, to nocturnally finalising deals in smoky shady rooms.
Speciality moves: The Hot Air Balloon. Give the politico a favoured topic and they will drone on until their opponent is bored into submission.
Top dog: Donald Tusk has done his hard time, knocking back challengers in order to be in a position for this vital showdown.
Secret weapon: Legislation. The Politicos can call on Lady Law to tag-team most opponents. However, whether this will work against the Chuls is debatable, with most hooligans believing they are above the law.
And onto the action:
For the past two weeks, the two camps have been taking little jabs against each other. It all kicked off in innocuous circumstances in Bydgoszcz on May 3rd. The Chuls hit the first blow as Legia Warszawa defeated Lech Poznań to win the Puchar Polski for the 14th time. However, when fans invaded the pitch at the end, it started to all go wrong. Only the intervention of water cannons used byt the police could quell the Chuls.
With news of this action spreading fast, and international news sources such as the Times of India, FOXSports and The Canadian Press reporting on the story, Donald Tusk decided to hit back quickly. With a sharp flurry of jabs, he used a combination of police power to check camera surveillance and also political hot air to berate the chairmen of the football clubs. The final blow in the sequence was to ban clubs from playing games at home for a time, thus impacting them financially. The pressure was building on the Politicos to hit back, with an away day a few months ago in Lithuania having similar rioting, and with the impending Euro 2012 football championships, every black eye becomes one for Poland in general.
At the end of this tie, it looks like a stalemate though, and it seems likely that further fights will take place – all leading up to next summer. The Chuls have taken a few hits, but landed a few meaty blows themselves. Meanwhile the Politicos have tried to stay on the front foot, regularly appearing in front of the media, and providing sound-bites how this issue can be resolved for once and for all. The Politicos appear to be on top for now, but they are warily looking over their shoulder for the next possibility of an attack from the Chuls.
Coming soon: Chuls vs. Politicos – The Rematch!