FC Sachsen 0 : 0 LOK Leipzig 23.08.2009 Leipzig
The first thing to say is that we weren’t planning going to this match.
We were so certain that nothing would happen that we actually wanted to go somewhere else…. but then, as so often, fate stepped in and ushered us onto the Festwiese.
Thank you fate. We do love you.
We must also confess to missing the opening half-hour or so on account of the delay in Knautkleeberg, and then on account of the ridiculous security arrangements that mean Hooligans can wander about as they like – but journalists cant.
Anyway… our problem.
The first shock was how well filled the FC Sachsen block was. If were honest we’d been expecting a couple of pensioners, possibly a dog, and of course the assembled Leutzsch rechts aussen fracktion.
But no the block was well filled. Quite possibly for the first time since the last Leipzig Derby. And certainly for the last time until the next.
That said, although the atmosphere inside the Zentralstadion was good, it was not as good as we were expecting.
Or are used to.
From the match itself , there is little to say.
Both sides played like a slightly below average Oberligasued team, and the 0:0 was probably just about right.
Off the pitch, however, the advantage lay clearly with LOK.
Albeit thanks to a little constructive help from the Damen und Herren in the Leipzig Polizei.
The day got of to a flyer when at 10am a call from a very reliable source to the police operations room advised that there would be problems at Leutzsch Rathaus. The Hools from FC Sachsen having reneged on an agreement to meet for a brawl, the LOK Hools went in search of them. Which is probably just about fair enough. If you think like someone for whom brawling is a leisure activity.
What isn’t fair enough is that the police operations room didn’t respond to the information, that it came to a brawl and, among other injuries, a Sachsen fan ended up with a broken arm.
That is unacceptable. Just as is the local media’s failure to follow it up.
We’ll ignore the other events for the moment, and move on to the match and the aftermath.
What happened inside the stadium really doesn’t deserve any further comment.
Except possibly to query why the stadium is designed as it is.
Following events in Magdeburg we light-heartedly asked, why they built the stadium with seats next to the guest block.
They are a waste of space. Won’t be used. The stadium will never be at full capacity.
Exactly the same situation exists in the Leipzig Zentralstadion where the seats in the last section in Sector C before one arrives in Sector B are an eternal puffer block.
Which is ridiculous.
Quite why the stadium designers didn’t design the corners in such a fashion that would allow them to be used is a mystery. As is the question as to why Dr. Kölmel has never altered the layout.
The joke of course is that had the match been held in Alfred-Kunze Sportpark the action that happened would not have been possible.
Physically not possible.
OK, our critics will answer, but other much worse things… Not if you plan properly.
Which brings us to events outside the stadium.
One of our more entertaining days at football in Sachsen was 30.03.2008 : Lunchtime SSV Markranstädt (RIP) gegen FSV Zwickau and then in the evening LOK gegen Aue II.
After an amusing afternoon in Markranstädt with various characters from the extreme right of the wider LOK community, we dashed into the Zentralstadion.
While the match itself was forgettable in the extreme, events after the final whistle were anything but.
Having previously experienced how proficiently the police handle the departure of the LOK fans from the Zentralstadion, we made sure that at the final whistle we were safely in Sector C.
From Sector C it’s down the stairs, a quick left turn, another quick left, up over the banking and you are very quickly on the Festwiese.
On the Festwiese we were met by a line of police dog handlers – so 6 or so spread widely out – whose function it was to guide us up to Jahnalle. Once there a quick left and in two shakes of a lambs tail we found ourselves standing at the junction Jahnalle/Am Sportforum.
And not just us, all around us milled hoards of LOK fans – “normalos” on their way home and the more “event orientated”
The problem being, of course, that 300 m further down Am Sportforum the Aue fans were still boarding their buses.
And so it came to pass what must; with a line of overwound Polizei separating the LOK fans from the road and two water canons poised ready the buses moved out under blue light escort into the Leipzig evening.
Nothing happened, but it would only have taken one well aimed stone from the countless on the Arena car park, and we would have had the second Lok-Aue II riot in 13 months
The point is of course, there is no way that the LOK fans should have been allowed to reach the junction, far less hang around.
Having witnessed similar episodes a number of times, we were curious to see how the police reacted after the derby.
And so immediately after the final whistle we scurried on round to the Festwiese.
And wonders… a few police horses by the tunnel to the Arena, half a dozen or so officers next to them
And that was that for the Festwiese itself. High up on the banking by the FCS exit another half-dozen or so troops hovered.
It took about 6 minutes before the first LOKies started appearing over the banking…and then another five before the police reacted.
By which time it was far too late.
All they could do was move all fans in the same direction and hope that the fans had the sense to form themselves into the correct FCS and LOK groups.
One LOK fan who received a light doing over from unknown Sachsen fans tried unsuccessfully to get back through the police line. As we tried to inform the police that he was a LOK fan and belonged on the other side we were informed that he was unlucky and would have to stay where he was.
The unluck started with the fist in the face….
The details of what we observed aren’t relevant here, what is is the fact the once again PD Leipzig failed to perform the most basic policing tasks.
About 6 months ago we sat in an office in Dimitrovstrasse and discussed the problem of LOK fans coming out Sector C and turning left with senior police officers. Yes, they knew it was a problem and yes they were working on improving their plans.
Which makes the repetition of previous failures all the more unacceptable and all the more disturbing and problematic.
One really has to ask why in city such as Leipzig the police have such problems policing football matches.
Sadly far too few people ask such questions and so the police don’t feel required to react
(see 20.08.2009, Chemnitz for an idea of what we mean)
And so while next time LOK play in the Zentralstadion, there will be more restrictions on how the LOK fans can move after the final whistle; there was no plausible reason why there should not have been at the last.
The police knew the problem…but failed to respond professionally.
And so while all across the city smaller fires burned, our derby Sunday ended with a water cannon procession down Jahnalle, before we headed to the office to start the real work.
And at this juncture once again a big thank you to those members of the LOK family who hindered our work against the use of pepper spray. If we can’t gather the evidence, the police will keep on spraying in their current uncontrolled fashion. And that helps no-one, least of all the police who will eventually come to rely on pepper spray as a wonder panacea rather than a tool to be used ina targeted and discretionary fashion.
A picture paints a thousand words….