As Lechia Gdańsk supporters suggested last year, even with draconian anti-pyrotechnic regulations there is chance to use flares as part of choreographies legally. All it takes is treating fans as club representatives, not fans. Will it work? Authorities are open.
Recent months saw a very ironic dialogue between Lechia Gdańsk football supporters and voivode Ryszard Stachurski. The regional official closed Lechia's fanatic section of PGE Arena Gdańsk after flares were lit.
Reacting to his penalty, fans switched sections and still came to the next game, revealing a large banner addressing the voivode. “Ty się Rysiu nie spinaj, nie ma o co” or in English “Don't you clutch Rysiu, there's no point” was the message. And, of course, fans used pyrotechnics to annoy the voivode.
This resulted with further ban and another move by supporters who this time wrote “Tell us Rysiu, is it worth it: 1 flare = 1 empty stadium?”, again with a flare lit to see what the reaction would be.
No empty stadium penalty was announced in the end. But did fans win anything? Hardly, though at least their 'game' with the official didn't cause financial losses to the club, who has enough room at the stadium to relocate supporters without anyone left out.
Currently, however, a potential solution is being discussed widely. Suggested by Lechia supporter association Lwy Północy already last year, the idea is to legalise pyrotechnics within the current legislation. All it takes is giving flares to the same people, but calling them club employees rather than supporters. While fans risk stadium ban, fines or even imprisonment when lighting flares, employees can be part of a pyrotechnics display legally.
Can this work? Apparently, yes. The idea was first taken up by Lechia Gdańsk and is now on the agenda of Gdańsk municipality, who encourage other authorities to agree. Of course any agreed pyrotechnic show would have to be carried out safely and in a controlled environment, but fans are willing to give up some of their spontaneity.
The police are open, but declare thorough control of what is carried out, should the idea pass with other institutions. The fire department asked for up to 3 weeks to analyse the issue, while the voivode ordered a legal analysis of the proposition, also declaring an open stance to find compromise.
We'll be looking into the case as it develops!