Czech club cancel Roma documentary screening after fans threaten violence13 September 2016

CzechfootballclubBohemiansPraha1905havecanceledthescreeningofadocumentaryaboutaRomafootballteamafterreceivingthreatsofviolencefromfootballfans.

The documentary FC Roma, initially scheduled to be screened today 13 September, follows the Czech Roma team FC Děčín and familiarises the viewers with the struggles faced by the team in a district championship and with their fight against discrimination on and off the pitch.

Aktuálně.cz, a Czech news website, reported yesterday that threats of violence of Bohemians and Sparta Praha fans planning to attend the screening called into question the safety of the event.

To Aktuálně.cz Bohemians Praha 1905 Director, Darek Jakubowicz, said: “Some fans are not open to the artistry of the film, just the other aspect of it – the hatred against Romani people, which the film touches upon and unfortunately is also present among football fans.”

The Romani team has been fighting anti-Roma prejudice and discrimination since its start. In 2011, the club was threatened with closure because of its mounting disciplinary fines, some related to reactions to racist incidents.

In 2014, a succession of forfeits stirred up painful feelings among FC Děčín players. Five teams in the Czech Republic’s lowest official football league failed to show for matches, preferring to take a forfeit loss and a fine of €56. The team claimed discrimination.

In reaction to the latest display, FC Roma producers Rosalie Kohoutová and Tomáš Bojar said: “We understand Bohemians Praha decision – the safety of attendees should comes first.

“However, we should not back down when people use intimidation and threats to disagree with others or with projects that they define themselves as being against. Neither the producers of this film nor the organisations working with them will let themselves be intimidated. At this moment we are negotiating a new place and time for the premiere.”

The documentary was first premiered during the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July and has been nominated for a Czech film award. It will be available for the general public in the Autumn.

FC Roma

FC Roma