Fans of FK Senica and DAC Dunajská Streda show how to beat nationalism01 December 2009

FARE Slovakian partner Ludia proti rasizmu report an unusual and inspiring moment among fans of different ethnic backgrounds. Among the five-million population of Slovakia lives a hungarian minority with around 0,5 million people. Nationalism is unfortunately present also on football matches when DAC Dunajska Streda (the club from the area where the hungarian community lives) plays. Both sides – the slovakian majority and DAC fans are making nationalist statements against each other on a regular basis.
But on November 21th, something really special happened. The fan club of FK Senica football team which played that day at Dunajská Streda, suggested to the home fans (Yellow Blue Supporters) to play a friendly game before the league game.
It was a great party and wonderful match which ended with a peaceful 10:10 draw. Then the fans went together for a city tour, ate goulash cooked by home fans and finally watched the game between their teams.

Marián Nagy, the chair of Yellow Blue Supporters (YBS) of DAC said that the idea to play the friendly game came up when DAC played in Senica, a city in western Slovakia: It was fantastic experience, we had lots of fun. The idea came up from the fans of FK Senica. They sent us an email suggesting we play a friendly game in our town after we met at their stadium.

The friendly match is something really unique and unexpected in an atmosphere of nationalism.

Why did we suggest to DAC fans to play the friendly game? We wanted to show that between Slovaks and Hungarians the relations are not only based on animosity. It would be great if something similar in such a very friendly atmosphere could be done by more fan clubs, the chair of FK Senica Fanklub Zdeno Sládek said. It is hoped that this will be the start of a tradition and plan to host the game in Senica next season, he added.

Marián Nagy of YBS was really surprised when his fan club – consisting mainly of fans of hungarian origin – came to Senica to support their club at the away game.
Uniquely in Senica the home fans welcomed us warmly and did not display vulgar gestures or symbols towards us. They waved to greet us and it was only at this stadium that we weren´t abused because of our origin. This impulse started the friendship and it turned into the friendly match, stated Nagy.

Nagy is realistic as to whether this positive action can happen among DAC and other fan groups. Not all fan clubs welcomed our initiative with Senica. Some people on internet forums started to call Senica fans „Hungarians“ immediately and asked why they organized something with us. But of course we and our friends received also very positive feedback, said the chair of YBS, who also wants to continue this initiative with Senica in the future.

Fanclubs of Senica and DAC both believe that with the message the first friendly game spread out, they achieved more than politicians in parliament.

Ludia proti rasizmu