Score One for the Euro 2012 Fans

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By Filip Terlecki  Photo by Veronika K. Grishiel

First off, congrats to Italy and Spain for making it to the Euro 2012 Championship final and an extra big congrats to Spain for walking away with the trophy.

Second, big congratulations to Poland and the Ukraine for doing a splendid job as hosts of the tournament. From the messages on Facebook and Twitter as well as conversations with people who actually attended the tournament and took part in the activities it’s evident that the 3 week event was a resounding success.

The general consensus is that it was all one big happy party; with football fans from all over Europe (and beyond) coming together to celebrate the sport they love. They came, they cheered, they drank, they sang and danced, and proved the skeptics wrong.

The skeptics in this case were BBC journalists.  On the eve of the tournament the BBC exploited the occasion by airing a sensational one-sided documentary which depicted Polish and Ukrainian football stadiums as nothing but violent.

They called the pogramme “Stadiums of Hate” and aired it on its flagship documentary series Panorama.

It was a clear attempt at cashing in by eliciting controversy.

But, at the end of the day the people didn’t listen. They came and – win or lose – they had a blast.

Crowd watches game on giant screen. Photo: Best of Poland

Croatian fan at Euro 2012. Photo: Best of Poland

Irish fan at Euro 2012. Photo: Best of Poland

Fans from Spain at Euro 2012. Photo: Best of Poland

To them, what the BBC said was irrelevant, perhaps because the source it came from was irrelevant.

Major media outlets have lost their creditability – it’s not about accurate and balanced news reporting anymore but about big audience numbers and increased corporate profits.

But audiences are smarter than that and as a result they’re turning away.

Instead of listening to biased agenda filled reports, people are telling their own stories through social media and personal interactions. And such was the case in Poland and Ukraine; so for Euro 2012 score:

1 for the fans

0 for greedy media outlets

Perhaps, the Irish fans exemplified the atmosphere the best. Having watched their team lose all three of their matches the loyal Irish backers still sang and sang and sang.

They so endeared themselves in the hearts of the Polsih people that a Poznan (one of the host cities) newspaper ran the headline “The Irish! We will miss you!”

Here they are serenading a Polish cop…

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