Initiative came from supporters’ association of Lechia Gdansk, but was soon caught up by Ministry officials who registered for the event. First ever conference about pyrotechnics will present two models of possible legal use inside stadia.
Current status of pyrotechnics in Polish stadiums is a real problem for football supporters. From misdemeanor of secondary importance just several years back it became a criminal offense in 2009 and has since then been penalized very strongly.
In some cases police even used DNA sampling and fingerprint collecting to identify people who used flares. This added to strict CCTV regulations and increased penalties (high fines combined with stadium bans of up to 6 years) shows that authorities are taking it seriously.
Far too seriously, say many supporters who have been protesting numerous times against what they see as negative tendency. Those from Gdansk presented a large banner during their away game in Krakow in late September, saying ‘Pyrotechnics are safe’. Now, using their association Lwy Polnocy and fan project Kibice Razem, they decided to make a step forward and convince authorities that they have a reasonable solution to the issue.
More than one, actually. During the “Part of fan culture or a crime?” conference planned for November 8 two models of legal pyrotechnics use are to be presented. First one, already functioning in Norway, will be shown by Arne Christian Eggen, Supporters Liaison Officer at Rosenborg BK and member of Tifo Trondheim 05. Second model has been developed independently by Lechia Gdansk fans and is to be disclosed on the day of the conference.
The event at Euro 2012 host stadium PGE Arena Gdansk could have been ‘just another conference’ if it wasn’t for the fact that authorities at Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Sports and Tourism are sending their officials to see what fans have to offer. Lechia’s supporters are backed by national supporters association OZSK, their mother club and league body Ekstraklasa SA, who are examining the chances to introduce legal pyrotechnics as well.