In my last post, I cited Cecil Parrott's memoirs as the ultimate Balkans via Bohemia books. Well, today, in Prague, we had the Balkans via Bohemia Europa League clash of the season... and in more ways than one. It was a Czech team with a red star as its symbol (Slavia Prague) against a Belgrade team with the Red Star in its name. (Red Star Belgrade.)
My two favorite cities. Bragging rights on the line. And a literal clash of heads between hooligans and cops.
Via ESPN, I read a Reuters report this afternoon about battles between Red Star Belgrade fans and Czech police in Old Town Square:
"Police detained 150 fans. Of that number, 38 ended up at the police station for further investigation. Twelve will be charged with criminal offences," Prague police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova said."
And the actual game? Slavia crushed Red Star 3-0.
A couple other Balkan and Bohemian teams played as well. Partizan Belgrade could only manage a 1-1 tie at home to Slovakian side MSK Zilina. Sarajevo also suffered the indignity of a 1-1 home draw against Romanian side CFR Cluj. Czech side Teplice lost to Hapoel Tel-Aviv at home by a 2-1 score.
And there were some crushing results. Everton smashed Sigma Olomouc 4-0. Dinamo Zagreb depantsed Edinborough's Hearts by the same scoreline. And Liberec smoked Dinamo Bucharest 2-0.