Poland / 28-07-2013
Football players castigated for vulgar and antisemitic songs
The events referred to occurred on June 22nd. They were described by the newspaper “Gazeta” following the youth league match for fifteen-year-olds of the Widzewa team (Łodz) against GKS (Tichi, from the town of Tichi in upper Silesia, South-west Poland) at the ChKS Stadium, where the members of these teams sang: “In Pilsudski alley there sits such a whore, whom the people of Łodz nickname Jewess.” Dozens of people heard that, among them the participants in the amateurs’ tournament at the nearby stadium, which was organized by the bureau of court employees – workers of the judicial system, notaries, lawyers, judges, prosecutors, journalists and a team of the Marshal office (in charge of ceremonies), as well as their families.
The coach of the young football players, Mariusz Przybylski, played down the significance of this incident, but the club announced that the participants would be punished. “We shall draw the conclusions. This is scandalous and warrants punishment. These things should be uprooted. We regret it has occurred.” Said Michał Antczak, GKS press spokesperson. The Łodz football association also followed the matter closely.
The football players and the coach provided clarifications, and finally a decision was made to suspend six players for three months, with conditional suspension of half a year. “Besides, the club has decided to renew the meetings with youth team players, the subject of which will be resistance and action vis-à-vis antisemitic and racist-type conducts as well as against hatred toward other sports clubs” wrote the spokesman in a formal announcement that was sent to the disciplinary department in the football association in Łodz.
To this document was added also a letter listing the players that had been punished. It expressed an apology for their behavior “… being unable to accept a defeat, we let ourselves manifest our rage in a shameful way, while forgetting the basic principles of healthy rivalry, and, most of all, of good behavior. We in the association wish, truly and with complete sincerity, to apologize for the incident regarding the Widzew players and the entire club. This includes also all the people connected to the club, who may have been offended by the insulting and unjust words that were uttered by our party. In addition, we express deep regret that the witnesses to this incident were the representatives of the court employees’ bureau and their families”, was written, inter alia, in that letter.