It was late in the afternoon on a cold and wet day in Schuettorf, Germany, Elmar Huepers from our volleyball team called me up to see if I wanted to go to a football match with a couple other guys from the team the next day in the Netherlands. Sure!
Elmar is one of the setters on the team He invited Bosko Novovic and I who live in Schuettorf to come out with them for some excitement. Football match? No not american football. In Europe soccer is football and around the world, other than America, is the real type of “foot- ball”.
It was a cold and wet night, but added to the ambiance of the Euro football match between Enschede Netherlands and Fulham FC of England in the Enschede Stadium. Shown in the photo above.
Getting there from my city in Schuettorf Germany is fairly easy, although we did cross over to another country. But that is the luxury of Europe. Although sounds far, I am just living on the west side of Germany, so to a hop onto the local train takes me across the border in about 45 minutes time.
My teammate Bosko Novovic from Serbia and I boarded a train from in the afternoon from our local Schuettorf platform and took it to the Enschede Stadium in the Netherlands.
After we cross the border the next couple stops picked up hundreds of fans as the train neared Enchede, it opened its doors let a mass of drunken hecklers and hooligans off in front of the massive Enschede stadium.
Exciting things that happened besides watching the 90 minute match:
- Witnessed several fights, Enschede and Fulham fans rioting before and during match.
- Caught in the middle of a fan based fight while eating a snack.
- Riot police on horses stampeded past having to shield in the English men, escorting them to a section of the stadium.
- Riot Police and paddy Wagons lined the parking lots before and after the match.
- Many of the the hooligans from both teams were escorted out of the match, arrested or thrown into a wagon for take away.
Wow! The chaos was exciting but nuts. I just can not understand how people were beating each other to a pulp. Makes me think why? People die like this over what, football? Different strokes for different folks. It is some people’s passion to love their team unconditionally. I am not saying anyone is right or wrong here, just that it is interesting to see how some people interact. You would never see this in an American Baseball, Basketball, or National Football League Game. I think the passion for sports is more intense in Europe. And well, I like the passion for a sports team. Just not so sure about the fighting.
In the mean time the match was exciting to watch, the stadium was packed and I surely enjoyed the roar of the crowed when the only goal was scored and the ahhhs of let down when shots were missed.
The entire night was a roller coaster of noise, visual turbulence, and wetness from the Enschede rain. I guess looking back in a few months I’ll be happy to have added this to my Euro tour experiences. It was a pretty solid match up. Then in the 89th minute of play substituted Janko made a dash and scored to win the game 1:0