Jalkapallo! Football with London's Finnish fans

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Russian football fans, Famous 3 Kings, London

I went yesterday to watch football with Finnish fans. I returned to the Famous 3 Kings where the fans were gathering to watch their match against Wales.
The bar has several screens, all showing different matches, so it's always pot-luck to find fans.

Happily, when I arrived, I spied a Finnish flag draped across a fireplace. Hurrah! It turned out that 5 Finns were there.

They were surrounded by Welsh fans though. They sat quietly, one brandishing a scarf. During half-time, they took down the flag.

And then the Russians started arriving, as the kick-off to Russia -v- Germany approached. Lots of them. They were in high style, in the best-that-money-can-buy labels. Even the Russian football strip looked like D&G. My picture above just shows the Russians.

It was a veritable Russian invasion.

The Finns, in altogether more sombre and modest outfits, sat their ground, and watched their match.

When Finland scored a goal to take the lead, one man stood up and did a small dance. His friend took the flag and wore it as a bandana.

The Welsh fans started singing and chanting. The Finns stayed sitting, probably thinking "we're actually winning". I hoped they'd respond with a few bars of Hard Rock Hallelujah, but alas no.

In the end, the Finns' quiet resolution paid off. Finland beating Wales 2-1. And for all the Russian cheering, they lost out to Germany.