02.09.2011 | ΣΥΝΕΝΤΕΥΞΗ ΣΤΟ www.srpskatribina.net
Το μεγαλύτερο και γνωστότερο οπαδικό site και forum της Σερβίας
απόφασισε να κάνει ένα αφιέρωμα στους οπαδούς του Π.Α.Ο.Κ. και ζητήθηκε η άποψή μας.
Το www.srpskatribina.net είναι ενα καθαρά οπαδικό site που ασχολείται με όλη την Σέρβική οπαδική σκηνή και συχνά-πυκνά κάνει αφιερώματα και σε οπαδούς ανά την Ευρώπη.Είναι το πιο διαδεδομένο στην γείτονα χώρα με μερικές χιλιάδες μέλη στο forum τους.Η συνέντευξη έγινε ηλεκτρονικά.
1. Can you present yourself to me for start and say from which subgroup/club you come?
This site (http://www.1926.gr) represents all PAOK clubs in general. Of course it is not possible to ask every club’s opinion to answer your questions. So the answers are personal opinions of the fans managing the site. We try to be as objective as possible.
2. Can you tell me something about the history of your ultra group „Gate 4″( political orientation, what organization you have…)?
Gate 4 is a PAOK club established in 1976. It is one of the biggest clubs of PAOK, but it is not the same as in other teams in Greece, where all clubs have the name „Gate #“ attached to them. Gate 4 is a single club in the center of Salonica, and it has 2 sub-groups in Europe, Gate 4 Brussels and Gate 4 Zurich. Apart from Gate 4, there are also other organisations of clubs in PAOK, such as „Dytikes Synoikies“ (West Side) and „Vorioi“ (Northerners). Most PAOK Clubs are not part of an organisation and are just called Sindesmoi Filon PAOK (Fan Clubs of PAOK). Clubs do not have an official political orientation, and everyone tries to keep their political preferences to themselves, so that we can unite under the banner of PAOK, and not the banner of a political orientation , like other teams in Greece.
3. Can you mention some events that have marked the history of your group?
Unfortunately the tragedy that most marked the history of PAOK fans was the death of 6 PAOK fans on 4-10-99 when they were returning from a match in Athens, when the bus of SF PAOK Kordelio had an accident on the road. Every year on that day, we gather on the place of the accident and pay our respects to our brothers.
As for happier occasions, they are too many to mention. 2 historic moments that come to mind are showing up without tickets in Karaiskaki (1989, against Olympiacos) and Harilau (1981, against Aris) stadiums and occupying stands meant for their fans. Especially in Harilau, the stand occupied was Gate 3, the gate of their fanatics. More recently, just last August we made a historic visit to the birthplace of our Team, the city of Constantinople, for the match against Fenerbache. It was a great trip and a big victory inside the pitch and outside.
4. Can you tell me, with which ultra groups you have a friendships, and a little more about these friendships?
Our only official friendship is with Grobari of Partizan. It began with personal contacts between fans of Partizan and fans from clubs of West Thessaloniki in the mid 90s. The starting point of our friendship was the game between Partizan and Dalmatia Split in Thessaloniki in 96 where many PAOK fans went to support Partizan. In that year, the official Grobari magazine „Da Gol“ featured a tribute to PAOK fans. Over the years, more and more PAOK and Partizan fans started going to each other’s matches, but the biggest event that made the friendship into a real brotherhood was the basketball game between PAOK and Red Star in Belgrade in 2006. I think it’s recent enough for everyone to remember. Since then, our brotherhood has grown and there is even a friendly game every year between our teams. We are hoping for a friendly match in Belgrade this year. We could go on and on writing about the PAOK-Partizan brotherhood but only those who have lived it can know exactly what it is.
5. How do cops and authorities react on pyro? What punishments for pyro are there in
Pyro is illegal in Greece but nowadays there are not many arrests because of it, as in earlier years. When the law was in full effect, we used to light flares in mass numbers so that it wouldnt be visible to identify and catch the ones lighting. After many incidents with cops (both in uniform and without one) we have achieved to leave the cops outside of our stadium, so we don’t have many arrests in Toumba anymore. In the past we have had dozens of fans arrested and many in jail because of pyro. Nowadays we have arrests usually in away trips, for pyro or any other reason that the cops might think. The issue with police and justice in Greece is huge and it needs 10 interviews to analyze it. For example, we have 3 fans in jail without knowing when their trial is going to be! They have not been found guilty, just held in jail without a trial!
6. What is your relationship with the club (the administration)?
The relationship with the administrations has its ups and downs. Although the present administration was brought by the fans themselves, there are many problems with the mentality of the administration regarding the fans and some Clubs and fans do not go to Toymba anymore or hang banners. There are talks with the officials from time to time where we try to solve our differences. Despite our problems, we are not hostile towards the administration as they are at least more honest than the previous administrations.
7. Can you tell us something about the age structure of the group?
Although our tribune (Gate 4 of Toumpa Stadium) has fans from all age groups, we can say that the more hardcore portion of our fans are mostly those of young age, 18-25. There are of course many active older fans who bring experience and make important decisions. We are happy that we have this many active fans of young ages, it shows promise for the future.
8. How do you travel on away games?
PAOK fans usually travel by bus. In the past, many fans used to travel with train as well, but nowadays most organised trips are made with buses. Generally speaking, every mode of transportation is used, from ferries to planes and cars depending on where the match is played, but the bus is always the standard mode of transportation for PAOK clubs. It is very common for our fans to go to other cities for matches without official tickets or many more than our tickets, so many times we start the night before with buses or train to avoid the police.
9. Can you tell me which ultra groups are your biggest enemies?
Our biggest enemy is definitely gay-ros. However due to the very few chances we get to meet, as we are based in different cities, and no ticket exchange happens in all big matches in Greece, the most common incidents occur with Aris fans, which is our opponent in Thessaloniki. Rivals also include the other 2 big teams in Athens, Panathinaikos and AEK.
10. Can you explain to us how is divided parts of Thessaloniki, are strictly separated or mixed? Because according to our information Neapoli is one of the major strongholds of PAOK fans while on the super 3 we can see the flag Neapoli as one of the main ,how do you explain this ?
We really don’t want to discuss acts of violence. Let’s just say that Thessaloniki is not „divided“. Aris fans only stronghold is the area of Harilau where their stadium is. Having a fan club or a banner does not mean that someone is in control of the area. We don’t want to spread propaganda through this interview, if you live even a week in Salonica you will see that almost the whole city is black and white.
11. Can you tell me your opinion about Greek football fan scene, is progressing or regressing?
The Greek fan scene is very „dirty“. There is no (and never was) such thing as fair play or respecting your opponent. There are some trends brought to Greece from Europe , such as the choreos, the casuals and the „support your local team“ movement but the general mentality is raw. Whoever is stronger prevails. There really is no „scene“. Everybody fights for themselves and tries to be the best. Generally we believe that Greek fans are very strong in all aspects of fan life, despite being in a constant war against the state. You can ask our European opponents about us.
12. Once the ultra groups in Athens have been more dominant than those in Thessalonica, do you think that is it still so?
As we mentioned before we don’t want to go into detail describing violent incidents. It’s harder to compare ourselves with fans from Athens, because as we also said before, there is no ticket exchange in matches between the big clubs in Greece, in any sport. Beeing from a different city it is also harder to compare our strength, since we are the strongest in Salonica and northern Greece, and all the other big clubs have strength in Athens and southern Greece. One thing we can say for certain is that at least a portion of our fans travels to Athens without police escort (night buses, trains etc) and also goes to basketball or handball matches there, whereas they don’t even get to walk in Salonica. They come all together, go straight to the stadium and back to Athens at the end.
13. What do you think about Serbian football fan scene?
Due to our brothership with Partizan, we follow the Serbian scene as much as we can. We consider the Serbs as very strong fans and we see that they are also chased by the state and the police who don’t care about justice and only want to see fans in prisons. The mentality of the normal people, the state and the media against hardcore fans is very similar to that of Greece. Generally we consider Serbia a strong fan scene with many similarities to Greece.
14. Thank you for having done an interview with us and do you have a message for the fans in Serbia?
Sloboda Za Grobare!
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