Qualification for the UEFA League Championships 2012
When going to a Partizan game there is always full-on heavy security. This was my second time to Stadium Partizan and I knew what to expect. For my Australian friend, who has supported Partizan since childhood, this was their first live game and they were over-awed by the police presence. There is heavy security around the ground and all roads leading to it with riot police, military police, normal everyday police with dogs and mounted police on horseback.
The South-end terrace – ‘The Jug’, is where the Partizan hard core fans stand proud on their seats and sing for all 90-minutes. It is full with fans standing in the aisles to watch. For all the security measures outside of the ground, there is no security in ‘The Jug’ so it’s like being in an animal cage where anything goes, as long as you don’t run onto the field where the luminous-vested security make a line of defence.
As the players came onto the field, the Partizan anthem was sung and all the male fans took off their t-shirts and waved them around. The Limassol fans seated on the other side of the stadium lit so many flares it looked like they had set themselves on fire. The Partizan fans around us complained why the opposition get flares inside when Partizan fans cannot.
We had a perfect view of the sunset over Belgrade skyline just before the game kicked off. It had be another hot and humid day in Belgrade. We were gasping for a drink of anything but the vendors can’t get into this area or are too scared to enter. There were no kiosks inside the ground to purchase anything.
It becomes uncomfortable standing all game on broken seats as we switch from foot to foot compensate. The game is fiery and Limassol score the only goal for the match after 23-minutes.
The Partizan fans have factions within and brawl amongst themselves. The crowd under the scoreboard got slammed off their feet down a few rows as a gang from above push down and start a fight. Welcome to Serbia, where the people are passionate and let out built-up everyday frustrations at football matches.
We left the ground before the game is over to beat the crush and any trouble. Besides, we had a three hour drive back to where we were staying in the middle of Serbia. Navigating the car out of the immediate area was difficult due to the police road blocks but the police were kind enough to point us in the right direction for the motorway.
Unfortunately my photos don’t show justice to the atmosphere. I only took my itouch as I wouldn’t dare bring a decent camera to the game.