Beware, soccer hooligans: if you want to make trouble in Krakow, Poland, you may want to think twice. Amid plenty of worries about rowdy soccer fans in the runup to the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, Krakow authorities sent a message to visiting would-be hooligans last week that troublemaking will be fought with rather strict measures.
The Krakow Post, the city’s English-language newspaper, published an article and an editorial to alert any potential rioters that “if the line is crossed, the boys in black are going to wrap it up in short order.” These measures include an impressive array of tools, including sonic cannons that can induce immediate urination, water hoses, firearms and specially-trained canines.
“Poland’s anti-hooligan squads are armed with: Shotguns firing baton rounds that probably won’t kill you as long as you’re 30m away, a truck-mounted water cannon affectionately known as ‘the typhoon’, a high-tech sonic cannon that can make you wet yourself on its lowest setting, dogs trained to bite you directly in the testicles,” the Post wrote in its editorial styled as a list of advice.
Euro 2012, which is being cohosted by Poland and Ukraine, kicked off last week, and while Krakow is not scheduled to hold any official games the city is hosting the English, Italian and Dutch squads throughout the tournament. Most media sources report that Krakow will not see exceedingly large numbers of visitors, but those fans might want to watch out, as the Krakow Post editor makes clear:
“The Polish police are going to come down on troublemakers like a bag full of anvils and you don’t want to be there when it happens… Krakow has a long history of hooligan violence — the local police have seen it all before and they will ruin your day if you try it on.”
Potential hooligans will want to be wary of more than just “the nut-cracking Alsatians” if making trouble in Krakow — the city police are also armed with regular 9mm handguns that they are prepared to use.
Despite — or perhaps because of — these conditions, the English squad has actually taken a liking to Poland’s second largest city, according to the International Business Times.