Statement regarding events that took place prior to the match between 1.
FC Union Berlin and FC Sankt Pauli
On the 15th March 2013, fans of the belorusian side Partizan Minsk
attended the match between 1. FC Union Berlin and FC Sankt Pauli at the
Alten Försterei stadium. It was the first evening of a Germany-wide
friendship and solidarity tour for Partizan Minsk, which had been
organised by fan groups from Berlin, Hamburg, Babelsberg and Leipzig.
The guests from the Belorusian capital had just arrived in Berlin. Union
Berlin, in an act of kindness, had even provided free tickets for the
fans, so that they could attend the second division match. The visitors’
and our own excitement was huge. After all we wanted to spend the
evening together, and what better way, than accompanied by a good game
of football? Unfortunately it did not work out this way.
On the way to the ground, Berlin residents mingled and chatted happily
with the visiting fans from Hamburg and Minsk. No segregation or an
escort for the group of fans was offered on their arrival at the
tramstop Köpenick. Nor would it have been necessary. The visitors were
in a relaxed mood, and despite the long journey, were looking forward
getting into the ground to enjoy the atmosphere. This changed only as
the visitors and some of the organisers of the friendship and solidarity
tour reached the ground.
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In Belarus there is a very special club. Until 2010 it was called MTZ-Ripo. The club gained international attention not so much by his sporting achievements, but also by the anti-racist commitment of its fans and an active anti-fascist fan culture that was and is unique in Eastern Europe. Today the name of the club is Partizan Minsk and it is a self-managed football club. The fans have re-established the club after the bankruptcy in early 2012. They were supported by an international solidarity campaign at the beginning of last year. In numerous actions fans from european countries drew attention to the situation of Partizan Minsk and collected money to save the club.
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