More than 50 Dortmund fans were injured by Russian hooligans last Tuesday during their away trip in the Champions League against Zenit St. Petersburg.
According to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Russian hooligans planned their violent activities and even had patrols to find out where the German fan groups were without any police attendance.
Some of the German fans were asked about something in Russian and then were beaten if they weren’t able to answer, with the incident reported by ESPN.
Hopefully there won’t be any revenge from German hooligans in three weeks when the return match will take place in Dortmund. It would though be wrong now to judge all Russian football fans or to demand that Zenit should be banned from international football competitions, as one could read in some online discussion forums.
Instead of that, FIFA should use the time until the World Cup will take place in Russia in 2018 to create an international awareness and a public sensibility about this topic, so that the Russian authorities feel pressured to finally do something against this well and long known problem.
Pressure needs to be placed upon the country, as an upcoming World Cup host, so that international tourists can visit the games in four years without being afraid of becoming a victim of aggressive Russian hooligans.
Unfortunately both international football associations haven’t demonstrated recently that they could take social issues more serious than their economic interests. That’s why it’s so important that the media constantly reports about this kind of problem as long as it exists.