Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Disaster in the making

Open season for thugs at Chorzow’s Red Wreck stadium

By Ciaran Barnes, in Chorzow, Poland

Security at the crumbling stadium where Northern Ireland will play Poland is virtually non-existent. Sunday Life was able to jump over the fence and walk freely around the Silesian Stadium, Chorzow, where we take on Poland in Saturday’s match.

We strolled unhindered on to the pitch and took a dander around the stands.

Even though the ground is to host a crucial World Cup qualifier in less than a week's time, there was not a security guard on site. Football hooligans could easily scale the 7ft fence and hide a knife in the stadium ahead of Saturday’s game.

What is most noticeable about the Silesian is its lack of segregation. Nowhere in the ground are there fences to protect travelling supporters from the home fans.

To compensate for this, riot police will have to act as a protective buffer for Northern Ireland supporters.

The stadium is just a short distance away from the Rozanka district which is home to FC Ruch, Chorzow's notorious Psycho Fans hooligan firm.

Murals honouring dead thugs adorn gable walls throughout the area.

Silesian Stadium is surrounded by parkland which offers a perfect hiding place for hooligans wanting to cause trouble.

Built in 1956, the dilapidated testament to bad communist architecture has been the official home of Poland games since 1993.

Belfast Telegraph

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