Nogometni! Football with London's Croatian fans

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Last night, I had hoped to support Turkey, my team in the Lowculture messageboard Euro 2008 sweepstake.

I headed to Archway on the guidance of Time Out. But, yet again, their advice was wrong as the restaurant had no TV. The bloke in the Turkish shop down the road was not much help ("try the bar up the road"), and the place where the Euro2008InLondon blog guys were was fully booked. Drama!

So. I switched allegiance, decided to be Croatian, and hot-footed it to Chelsea's Cadogan Arms, where Croatians gathered during the last World Cup.

Croatian football fans, London
And there they were. Not lots, but a vocal and passionate few, singing Croatian football songs and chanting "Hrvatska!". I'd arrived in the last few minutes of the first half, but hadn't missed anything. The match was rather dull, save for a few exciting moments - to be honest, I was happily distracted by several hot Croatians.

The Croatians went ballistic with their almost-there last-minute goal - glasses flying, crazy jumping, blokes only hugging blokes. They were all visibly deflated by the penalty shoot-out end, however.

Croatian football fan, London

Male behaviour was noteworthy:
  • One middle-aged Italian bloke asked an attractive young woman where she was from. She was Bosnian. He proceeded to individually tell all his friends that she was Bosnian.
  • One non-Croatian bloke greeted his friend with "Fuck You!!!!!!" and a hug, and later shouted "Norman Foster!" into the crowd.
  • Another guy was grabbing the back and side of every guy that passed him. Lots of homosocial from the Croatians.
The result was disappointing, Croatia being the better team overall. But it means I can now support Turkey after all. So, any suggestions as to where I'll find Turks in London are welcome.

Next up:
Spain -v- Italy, and I'm supporting the Spanish.


Anonymous said...

Surely pretty much anywhere on Green Lanes in Haringey or Stoke Newington High St would be good for Turkey, seeing as both areas have huge Turkish communities.

Altough I was walking home along Old Street on Friday night just after Turkey had won, and there was a mass of Turkish fans waving flags spilling out of a bar there, so that could be a good bet too. Not sure of the name of the bar, but it was near the junction of Old Street and Curtain Road

Adrian said...

Thanks for the tip - I'll have to check out if those Turks were a one-off or will be there again.