Piłka nożna! Football with London's Polish fans.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Polish football fans, Balham, London

I went to watch Saturday's Poland -v- Northern Ireland soccer match with Polish fans, at the White Eagle Social Club in Balham.

Many, many fans - mainly male - had gathered there to watch the game. I entered into a big ballroom - which was almost dark - with a screen at one end, and about 100 fans watching the match. Moments later, green disco lights came on, and I saw that the room had chandeliers, records hanging from the ceiling and tinselly curtains. How fabulous.

Moments later, a burly man wearing glowsticks around his neck walked past. How curious.

The match itself was quite boring, only made interesting by watching the Polish manager who had the arch facial expressions of a grand Shakespearean actor.

Half-time brought adverts for Nivea, Nike, Orange & Volkswagen (every country is the same), and one for a flavour powder that is sprinkled on food called Smack (every country is not the same).

I wandered to the lounge (with charming blue chenile draped in front of lamps) to watch the second half. In fact, my eyes wandered to the fit bouncer outside rather than the less-than-exciting match. As Poland equalised, the fans cheered loudly, and continued to do so, even as the match limped home to a boring draw.