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Mid-Day Ticker: Violence erupts in Euro march, Cassano’s anti-gay words & more

WarsawPolice (Getty Images)

No matter how ready riot police in Warsaw were for Russian fans' march to commemorate their independence day, violence and arrests seemed inevitable, and that's exactly how the pre-match festivities between Russia and Poland played out.

According to the BBC, seven people were injured and 56 others were arrested during a march carried out by Russia supporters leading up to the Euro 2012 Group A bout between co-host Poland and first-place Russia. The off-field tension between the two nations dates back for ages, and having Russians march through the Polish captial ended up being an invitation for Polish national pride to enter the picture, as supporters from both nations entered into violent actions with one another.

According to reports, 6,000 policemen were called into action for the march, which ended with tear gas and rubber bullets being sprayed at participants.

Here are a few more items to help carry you to Guatemala-USA:


Antonio Cassano has gotten himself into hot water after making anti-gay remarks when addressing a media question.

When asked about the possibility of having metrosexuals and homosexuals on the Italian national team, Cassano reportedly responded, "Queers in the national team? That's their business. But I hope not."

The comments sparked immediate response from gay rights organizations in Italy, one of which suggested that Cassano be banned from the rest of the Euro 2012 tournament.


Racism continues to be a hot-button issue at Euro 2012, and UEFA is reportedly looking into separate incidents from the Spain-Italy and Russia-Czech Republic matches.

According to reports, Italian striker Mario Balotelli was the subject of racist chants during the Azzurri's 1-1 draw with Spain, while Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie claimed to have heard racist chants directed at him.

This comes on the heels of the Dutch national team reportedly being subjected to racist chants at a training session in the build-up to the tournament.

Neither the Italian nor Czech federations have lodged an official complaint with UEFA, which has claimed to be adopting a zero-tolerance policy on incidents of racism.


Arsenal are nearing a deal with Montpellier and French national team striker Olivier Giroud, according to reports.

Giroud would become the second major striker signing for Arsenal, which has already added German international Lukas Podolski to its attack.


What do you make of the pre-match march in Poland? Do you think Cassano should be reprimanded for his remarks? Do you think racism will continue to hang over Euro 2012? What do you think signing Giroud while already adding Podolski would mean for Clint Dempsey's chances at landing at Arsenal?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. This whole discussion here is making me LMAO. 2012: Where making a benign “Not my business but I wouldn’t feel completely comfortable showering with a gay dude” comment makes you an intolerant gibot who dared to commit the heinous thought crime of saying what basically 90% of male teamsport athletes would secretly agree with.

    But how dare he!!! Doesn’t he know freedom of conscience has been sacrificed at the altar of political correctness? This MUST be squelched. In the name of tolerance, of course. *smh*

  2. Funny you say that because based on that BBC documentary aired just before the Euros, the thugs/hooligans/morons who partake in the violence/idiocy share the same anti-Jew, pro-Arian views that Hitler held.

  3. Moral relativism has been debated by much more intelligent minds than ourselves for thousands of years. Yes Ive heard of and studied it and fundamentally, it is used as an insult much more than a point of pride. So if you abide by the philosophy of moral relativism, you’re essentially insulting yourself. To which I ask, have you ever heard of it?

  4. no it doesnt, because cassano violated the law of tolerance, not him. A law of tolerance that demanded you tolerate the intolerant would contradict itself.

  5. Polish, Russian thugs and terrorist gangs at it again. You can’t play football in an uncivilized country full of animal behaving sub-humans.

  6. In my opinion, it could have been a well thought out sentence or an unprepared answer and that would not change the fact, that at its core it is an intolerant point of view.

  7. Cassano reportedly responded, “Queers in the national team? That’s their business. But I hope not,” before grunting, scratching himself, and spraying himself with a long blast of Axe body spray.

  8. My problem with the whole thing is that it was a little bit unprofessional for the media to ask him such questions. He said that’s their business when talking about the possibility of gay teammates and was controversial with his response but there really wasn’t much of a good way to answer that question. Maybe he should have just cut his response with that’s their business, but nonetheless the question was controversial itself.

  9. Well, given Europe’s tendency for tearing themselves apart with a major war every 20 years or so before the 1950s, I’d say the unification under the Euro has at least has done more good than bad, no?

  10. Intolerance is bad no matter the context right?

    Doesn’t that mantra require you to denounce those who condemn Cassano?

  11. Cassano’s comments are pretty interesting in that they weren’t “anti-gay” so to speak, though they did allow the inference that he harbors anti-gay feelings. The worst part was probably the actual word he used (froci, translated here as queers), though in my experience, Italians are less inclined to censor or use euphemisms, so I’m not sure it would be seen as more inflammatory than carelessly descriptive.

    He’s definitely walking a pretty fine line, and the Italian National Team PR people probably shouldn’t have let him go in such an open forum. But as far as saying something deserving of punishment? Probably not. He didn’t really express his personal opinion on homosexuality or anything, just his opinion vis a vis whether anyone on the team were gay. Honestly, I think if he were better at expressing himself, he’d expound more on the tolerant tone of “that’s their business” than the implication made by saying “I hope not”. Though for his sake, I hope no one asks that follow-up question in front of a mic.

  12. You’ve got to be kidding? UEFA/FIFA talk about zero tolerance and a player competing in one of their competitions uses a slur and portrays himself as a biggot and it’s not ‘something bad?’

    There’s no difference between prejudice against race/religion/nationality and sexual orientation. I thought American sports/soccer fans were above this type of thinking, but apparently there’s at least two who are not.

  13. Intolerance is bad, no matter the context.

    I do wonder if Cassano demanded his life threatening heart issue was addressed by only straight doctors.

    I’m guessing that answer would be: no.

  14. If Arsenal sign Giroud and keep RVP they might actually have some quality depth, in the striking department at least…

  15. It’s interesting that the unification of Europe under the Euro has bred contempt and racism rather than unity. I guess it isn’t too far removed from the regional polarization at home, though.

    Humans are an interesting breed.

  16. Was talking to some belligerent Russians at a bar following their 1st match. Somehow the conversation drifted to differences in our respective societies and they just started bashing the hell out of gays, in ways that I believe even the most anti-homosexual American wouldnt do in such a public setting. So it doesn’t surprise me that, even though this was a bit of a leading question, Cassano would respond in this way

  17. Europe is falling apart. The residents don’t like what’s happening around them, politically and (especially) economically, so they use the only “weapons” they have: soccer and its racist elements — which probably constitute a greater “fringe” than we’d like to admit.

    Soccer has been a means for the public to express its social outrage for decades, now. Why should we expect anything different?

  18. I honestly don’t know if Europe will ever rid itself of discrimination. So many cultures/countries are ethnically homogeneous and have limited interaction with others. Then you throw them all into one country every 4 years and expect everyone to get along. Not to much to ask but you can see why there would be problems..

  19. I’m of Italian descent, and even though it sounds like Cassano is in the minority, things like this keep me from rooting for the Italians. That and the diving.

  20. Cassano’s remarks weren’t as bad as they were made out to be.. As the question set him up for a controversial response.


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