Sports

Euro 2008

8:43 PM




Now let's face it, I couldn't have gone without at least mentionning the Euro football cup which this year is hosted by Switzerland and Austria.
I'm really not a football fan to begin with, but on June 12 DH and I went to the "Fan Zone" in Zurich to see the end of the match between Croatia and Germany (Croatia won). Those fan zones are in all major cities, and are the only place most people can assist to the match live via giant screen as we all know the stadium tickets have been sold out eons ago, and that the black market is demanding outrageous prices. The fan zones are also a way for sponsors to sell overpriced drinks and food to hungry and thristy supporters who have been stripped of all edible stuff at the security check (no external food and drinks allowed). The only beer you get in there is Carlsberg and it cost you 6 CHF a 3dl mug (while the can in a store might cost you 1.5 - 2 CHF) a plain burger will cost you 10 CHF making you wonder if the meat is gold plated to begin with. But in all the fan zone is a fun place if you remembered to eat and drink before going, or take advantage of the half time to rush to the nearby Supermarket which exeptionaly for the football cup duration will remain open until midnight everyday (Otherwise it close at 6pm and remians closed on Sunday in good old Swiss fashion).
One thing that mightstrike you if you go there, is the amount of policemen around! The fan zone in Zurich seem to be even more heavily guarded than the one in Geneva (which I heard about and am yet to visit), regular police, special police, SWAT team, they are all there in full force along with the paramedics, private security forces and I suspect the army must not be far. My mom pointed out that Zurich might not be as used of big event crowds as theGeneva are (we survived the G8 riots in 2003 with panache) which not only has riots every now and then, but host several big scale events a year without too much of a glitch. But even then every weekend I go down to Geneva I seem to see a lot of cops around the station to make sure supporters behave in public places.
What amazed me after 4.5 years spent in India, is that while in Europe you can have thousands and thousands of people parked in a fan zone, give them alcoholic beverages, and not enforce a "no ladies allowed" we have no rapes, no big scale violence, very few drunk accidents. But have a new year party in India, you will or have several case of ladies beig raped, mobbed and molested making the news with emphasis on the fact the police didn't care. Or cities like Bangalore simply saying that Brigade Road on New Years eve evening will be closed to ladies. making me think that Indians should start taking some courses in crowd behaviour considering it's a country of 1 billion souls. And NOPE defending oneself saying that ladies who got molested in public events were looking for it as no decent Indian girls would have gone out alonewithout a male escort is no excuses gentelmen!

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