Sunday, 17 June 2012

Russia's going home

Not being in the least bit interested in football, I'm looking at the Euro 2012 championships through a prism of economics, transportation - and yes, patriotism. It was a sad day for Poland yesterday - something that became palpably visible today in the shops; subdued people, no laughter; the woman reading out the special offers at Auchan announced 50% off all Euro 2012 merchandise in a sombre voice reserved for the death of a well-loved statesman.

If it was sad for Poland it must have been galling for Russia - knocked out by a single goal by country that can't get its economic act together and threatens to tear down the very fabric of the European Union.

So - the 20,000 Russian fans are heading home - extra trains, extra planes laid on. At Okęcie excitement for the spotters - aircraft not normally seen over Jeziorki airspace. Below: Airbus A330 VQ-BCQ, in SkyTeam livery. Registered in Bermuda. Or on Bermuda. These little islands... one never knows whether they're large enough to count as 'in'...

Below: Transaero Boeing 737-400, EI-DDY. This Russian airliner's registered in Ireland (an island large enough to be 'in' not 'on' - in Polish 'w' rather than 'na'.

Poland and Russia, Denmark and Holland out - who's next? Tomorrow and Tuesday will settle the remaining groups. England will only get to play in Warsaw if they beat Ukraine and France loses to Sweden - unlikely.

This time five years ago:
Sun and zenith rising


Unknown said...

"the woman reading out the special offers at Auchan announced 50% off all Euro 2012 merchandise in a sombre voice reserved for the death of a well-loved statesman"

Well said Michael. Perhaps now that the dust will begin to settle people will come to reflect on the state of Polish football and why it is so poor in comparison to some other countries.

If we take a look at it, I see the failing to be squarely on the shoulders of PZPN. Their fundamental remit is to act as a prime mover in the development of football in Poland beginning with small children and running right through the 'premier' league.

I see them as a total failure. And to put a caricature on it when I think of PZPN all I conjure up is a bunch of old 'buraks' sitting in a room at the Sheraton with their suits on, ID tags around their necks voting on issues that have no importance to the organizations underlying goals - to promote the development of football in Poland. These guys must eat up a large amount of money while accomplishing nothing more than nurturing their egos.

I submit that the entire organization be cleaned out from the top (for sure) down and reformulated into one that can prove its mettle. Currently it is simply a waste of money and energy.

Poland and it's kids deserve better - it can be done but not without decisive change.

I am not a robot but often feel like one said...

Lots of people still driving around with flags on their cars, even today (Monday), but the Polska T-shirts, scarves, painted faces and other paraphernalia are gone.

I'm not 100% sure, but it looks to me as if most of the Euro 2012-themed advertising posters have also gone.

I don't have a Polish TV (the lektor dubbing makes me want to scream and most Polish programmes are as humourless as East Enders but with even crappier actors) but I wonder if there's been a fall off in TV advertising with a Euro theme?

AndrzejK said...

Just after Poland and The Ukraine were awarded the Euro 2012 I was sitting at a table in the Kuznia restaurant In Wilanow. At the next table were three elderly men one of whom I recognised as being a senior executive in PZPN. They were discussing how to make money on tickets allocated to PZPN. No comment necessary.......

Michael Dembinski said...

I profess to care little about The Beautiful Game, but one word that seems lacking in all the Polish press waffle about the national side is "passion". The Spanish, Portuguese - hell, even the Croatians have got it. In Poland, "pasja" is reserved for St. Matthew.

dovo razors said...

Interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting.