Following the chaotic scenes during last week’s Widzew Łódź vs Śląsk Wrocław cup-tie, Śląsk have been handed numerous punishments by PZPN.
The aforementioned match had to be halted after just 3 minutes as a result of the Śląsk Wrocław ultras lighting up flares and setting off firecrackers. An army of riot police then moved in and used water cannon, batons and pepper spray to contain the fans, some of whom tried to enter the home sector.
The mayhem that broke out in the stands has resulted in WKS being handed a number of punishments by the Polish Football Association.
Firstly, fans of the Wrocław side will be banned from away travel at every Polish Cup match next season (it would have been this season had WKS gone through). Śląsk fans have also been banned from every away game until the end of the year (apart from ‘friends’ fixtures, when the ban is tough to enforce). Last but not least, Śląsk’s next home game in the Polish Cup will have to be played behind closed doors.
In an official statement regarding last week’s fan antics in Łódź, Śląsk Wrocław stated that they “condemn all acts of law-breaking” that occurred in the stadium. The club also added that they “feel obliged to take further actions aimed at improving safety at all stadiums in Poland.”
However the most talked-about part of the statement was the news that the club had suspended cooperation with the “Wielki Śląsk” fans association. For those not so familiar with Wielki Śląsk, they are the main group of ultras who organise the chanting, banners and displays at WKS fixtures, whether it be home or away.
Despite being somewhat responsible for landing their football club with fines amounting to around 1 million zł, Wielki Śląsk have continued to enjoy a relatively cushy relationship with WKS – until now.
It remains to be seen whether Śląsk Wrocław’s decision will result in a rift between the hardcore WKS support and the club. It may be the case that Wielki Śląsk are simply replaced by another ultras group, who would then cooperate with the club instead – even if they behave in the same way as their predecessors.
Meanwhile, Śląsk’s stunning start to the season unfortunately appears to be falling apart at the seams. WKS lost to second-bottom side Korona Kielce on Friday, just a few days after they had crashed out of the cup against Widzew. Śląsk have now gone 6 games without a win and some fans fear that the team are now stuck in a rut.
On the positive side, yesterday the club finally secured a primary shirt sponsorship deal. The exact value of the 3 year deal is not officially known, however it is believed to be worth just shy of one million zł.