We bring you this report from the Belgian cup finals between Standard Liege and Club Club Brugge, which played out last month infront of more than 50 000 spectators at the Roi Bauduin Stadium in Brussels. Tento zápas sme absolvovali spolu s Ultras Inferno, hlavnou ultras skupinou Standardu, známu svojím antifašistickým postojom.
I visited Belgium (Liege) for the first time in November 2015 for the home derby Standard de Liege vs. Anderlecht – a hated rival, tense atmosphere and tumultuous experiences in the stands. Croky Cup final (Belgian Cup) guaranteed an equally good trip, so there was not much to think about, although the tickets were quite a problem to get. I would like to thank again to my friends from Ultras Inferno for getting them.
We came to Liege on Friday night, so we had time to adapt and enjoy Belgian beer. They drink baby beer 0.25 litre (over here we normally drink 0,5l), but better than nothing. Right from the airport we headed to the fan club, which is run by UI, where we receive a warm welcome. We met with other guests from Gate 9 and partied till morning, as it is customary in Liege (=toxic city).
On Saturday, more support to the party came – USP, Schickeria München, Ultras Hapoel and many more. Belgians held a big pizza dinner, but our group had about 80 members, and it would take ages for everyone to eat, so we created a street section while we waited for the others to finish eating. We sang chant, lit pyro but the police did not like it very much, so they forced us to go to the centre of the city, but nothing more. We all crowded in a local club and continued the party. There was no space for anybody else in the club, so we really enjoyed it.
We did not sleep much (you don’t come to Liege to sleep) and we went to the station to catch a special train at 9:00 to Brussels. We arrived in Brussels slightly after 10:00 – there the pyro hell and total invasion started. Brussels became red-white. We headed to the city centre – I estimated about 1,000 people. We settled at the Place de la Bourse, where the Brussels Stock Exchange is located – waving flags, pyro-show continued and the first clashes with police started. I would like to point out that patience of Belgian police compared to Czech and Slovak in on a very different level and most of the time they were standing idly by and let themselves get attacked by various objects. Clashes eventually intensified and the police used water cannons.
Finally, we were driven into the subway, where we waited for a special train. Over 100 people were arrested, but our group eventually gathered in front of the stadium. We met other friends from Brussels and after ignoring the sector number on our tickets we headed together towards the drums. Support began even before the match, the crowded sector was about to burst. Immediately after the start of the match a brutal pyro show started, when the smoke finally vanished, we started to watch the game. Chants were not that difficult, even if they were in French. I learned the basics last time, so now I had the courage to sing one of the more difficult, but a favourites: “Standard de Liege ohohoh, On t’aime plus que la marijuana, cocaine, heroin, aucune drogue no te remplacera! “Standard de Liege, I love you more than marijuana, cocaine, heroin, no drug you can replace you.” No dead spots, all speakers had the support under control, good team work, and the atmosphere was stunning. In the 17th minute of the match, the first goal (J.Dompe) came. Euphoria escalated and continued despite an equalizer 10 minutes later. After 52 minutes, Diaby received a red card and Club Brugge played with 10 players. In the 88. minute Santini decided the match: 2-1. WE WON THE CUP! Hugs, tears, singing together with the players.
We took the train back to Liege and most of the people went to the stadium to celebrate. Fans who did not have the chance to see the game in Brussels watched it on a screen at the stadium.
It was an amazing weekend with the football family. See you next time!