World Cup in London: Serbia

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Or: фудбал! Football with London's Serbian fans

Serbia football fans, London

After leaving 'Slovenia', Eseld and I hotfooted it to Battersea to see Serbia play Ghana.

Paya and Horse - London's first Serbian pub - was decked out in flags and  slightly odd artwork showing horses. The bar held a happy mix of actual Serbian fans and others there to watch the match. The fans here expected to win, predicting a score of 3-0, which they'd written on a blackboard near the dartboard.

The match, it has to be said, was pretty boring. We distracted ourselves by ordering food - Serbian cuisine is meat-tastic and comes in large portions. We ate ćevapčići - basically, burgers in a sausage form. Yum.

My favourite overheard quote of the day came from an English woman watching the match: "Are these Serbians tourists or are they real proper people?," she asked. I think she meant 'residents'. Meanwhile, the woman behind the bar explained that their portions needed to be large as Serbian men are very tall.

The several Serbians there were disappointed to have a man sent off and later to concede a goal. One man slammed his fist on the table with some force. It was the most dramatic thing to happen in the whole 90 minutes.

With the final whistle, the Serbians slopped home, defeated but at least suitably stuffed with Serbian sustenance.

Next: Brazil -v- North Korea. I'll be supporting Brazil.