Euro 2012 Chaos Fears

LONDON, England -- England fans planning to ­follow Fabio Capello’s Three ­Lions to Euro 2012 in Poland next summer were last night warned: “Go at your peril!”

Last week's “showcase” game between Poland and France.

Supporters have been told to expect chaos at the tournament after shocking scenes exposed serious concerns about the country’s ability to stage the event with host partner Ukraine.

The fears emerged after a shambolic “showcase” game between Poland and France last week descended into horror for ­supporters who feared they would be trampled to death.

One fan with a party of UEFA ­workers caught up in the chilling episode claimed he thought he would witness a disaster.

He said: “I truly thought I would see another Hillsborough tragedy.

“It was frightening. Poland isn’t ready to stage such a massive tournament and this shambles proves it.

“I would urge fans to stay away. Come to Poland at your peril. It’s not just the fact that the grounds aren’t up to scratch. The authorities and Polish FA won’t accept ­misgivings.

The drama unfolded an hour before kick-off at the friendly match at Warsaw’s Legia Stadium, a 28,000-capacity ­venue.

The Poles had to make a switch to the first division club’s ground because the originally-planned venue, in the Baltic port of Gdansk, was not ready in time.

The supporter, who didn’t want to be named, told the Daily Star Sunday: “We joined the queue at the main ­turnstile and soon realised something was wrong.

“Fans were penned in a narrow area, there were no stewards to keep about 7,000 fans calm or ­saying what was going on. There seemed to be something wrong with the electronic gates and the crowd grew as time went on.

“The crush ­intensified with men leaning back against the people ­behind, trying to stop women and kids from being crushed.

“Fans pleaded with stewards and police to open the gates but it was to no avail.

“Angry fans who later complained to ­stewards copped some ­aggressive abuse. One English guy complained but was pushed over and had his passport and ticket ­taken by the police.

“I finally got in ten minutes before half-time and I saw couples comforting each other, sitting on the concourse.

“Women were crying, scared, terrified of what so nearly happened.

“The Legia Warsaw officials wouldn’t accept that anything was wrong.

“Their mentality of, ‘the officials are always right’ is a hangover from the communist regime.

“The main stadium holds 55,000 but they couldn’t get 7,000 people into the ground quickly and safely.”

The eyewitness claims it is clear ­Poland has massive problems to deal with ahead of Euro 2012.

He added: “Poland also has massive ­issues communicating in a language other than Polish. Stewards and cops can’t talk with foreign fans.

“The worst issue is the presumption by the police that fans are scum and ­hooligans – and can be mistreated.

“All hotels in Warsaw for Euro 2012 are booked by teams and the media, so where will fans stay?”

Source: Daily Star