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FC Hansa Rostock

The Political Derby: Radical Left 3-2 Hard Right


It all started so wrong for FC St. Pauli. And air of impending doom hung over what has become Germany’s Politischen Derby with Hansa Rostock visiting. The threat of violence was once again on the cards with the neo-nazi supporters of Rostock visiting the radical left kult team of Hamburg. In fact the game was delayed for five minutes at the start of the second half when Rostock Ultras set off flares that engulfed the Millentor in a cloud of impenetrable smoke. Trainer Dieter Eilts was enlisted to calm down the visiting fans and riot police had to enter the stands. Order was restored, although further flares were set off late in the game.

Hopefully the scene after the game will remain calm unlike the reverse fixture this year.

On the pitch, Hansa Rostock, the league’s worst road teams stunned one of the Zweite’s best home sides with 2 goals in the first five minutes with goals by Henri Myntti and Fin Bartels. After that, the game turned quickly pedestrian with no team dominating and few chances (ten total outside of the goals) for the remainder of the first half.

The problem for St. Pauli was penetrations. Man-mountain Morike Sako was employed as lone forward, but Holger Stanislawski’s midfield lacked the creativity to play off long balls to him and they were equally inept at penetrating into the final third. David Hoilett, who has been a sensation since joining on loan from Blackburn, was marked out of the game in the first half by Oczipka and Retov. With changes needed, Stanislawski made a move so bold, that even Jose Mourinho would be impressed. He used all three substitutions to revamp his midfield during the break.

Björn Brunnemann, Florian Bruns and Rouwen Hennings came on for Timo Schultz, Filip Trojan and Alexander Ludwig. The impact was immense and immediate, and set the stage for 45 of the most enthralling minutes of football anywhere in Europe this year.. St. Pauli grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck with the subs leading the charge. Hansa found themselves on the back foot and defending frantically. The first goal came in the 54th when Kevin Schöneberg tripped Brunnemann in the box and Sako converted the penalty. 20 more minutes of sustained pressure followed with another blatant penalty being ignored and chances squandered by the home side.

In the 71st minute a long free kick into Hansa’s box, bounced off a defender’s head and fell to a ghosting Hoilett who leveled the game. Rather than standing on their fight back to parity, St. Pauli continued to show initiative and 12 minutes later Brunemann got free on the left and floated a cross to Hennings in the middle of the box. The ball bounced past the substitute and fell once again to a ghosting Hoilett, who fought off the goalie to slot home the winner.

St. Paul set the stall at that point, and even thought they lost Sako late to a second yellow, they were able to hold on secure the full three in one of the Zweite’s games of the season. And in doing so, they possibly put the nail in the coffin of their ideological opposites in their effort to stave off relegation.

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  1. Double Pivot

    March 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Sorry, been away. While I did take some liberties with branding the shits at HR as right wingers, my sentiment comes from the fact that they tend to get all violentey and stabbey when they face the very left-leaning St. Pauli fans. So when your mates get their faces smashed, it tends to skew your view.

    I don’t mean to imply that the club is run as a right wing one. Just that fans are douche nozzles and 88’s. And I will sure as fuck take the position that until I meet a half decent one, I will brand them all with that label.

    And other than my occasional joke of calling the more immediate rival Hamburg “the second biggest club in the city”, I have nothing but affection for HSV. Yeah, sure some of their fans are not nice towards St. Pauli, but they are the minority. I can see beyond that. It should tell you a lot, that I can’t do that with the filth of HR.

  2. astro

    March 12, 2009 at 8:46 am

    While HRO is not positioning itself as a “right wing club” they create a very friendly atmosphere for right wing people. Homophobic and racist attitudes are being ignored, a very dubious security/stewarding company contracted etc.
    Rostock is scum, no matter how many “normal” people support them. Whoever tolerates or sympathizes with racist, fascists, homophobic people is almost as bad as those who actually act.

  3. Jan

    March 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    The problem I had with the article is the way Hansa Rostock and it’s fans were portrayed and I argued against it.

    St. Pauli’s fans aren’t all (radical) leftists as you said, but the club is actually positioning and marketing itself in a way which acknowledges this part of the club, and Hansa Rostock are very clearly not positioning themselves in a way that caters to a right wing audience. I guess we can all agree on that now. But I felt that this wasn’t clear in the article, and when the article goes on to call Rostock’s fans Neo-Nazis I felt it created a fuzzy image, suggesting Rostock was a club positioning itself on the opposite side of St. Pauli and indeed attracted a mostly right wing fanbase. And this remains absolutely wrong and unfair towards the club. But I think we’re at a point in the discussion were people acknowledge that and it’s more about minorities, realities and playing up or down things.

    “It seems to me like Jan is from East Germany and cares a lot about the area, and I can respect that.”

    No, actually I’m not, I don’t even care about Hansa Rostock. But I’m someone who might argue that a miniscule percentage of muslims radicalize their world views and become terrorists and that gay people shouldn’t be discriminated and then people presume I’m a gay muslim – and people respect that.

    “What Jan is doing is dangerous. By saying that “most” of the fans are not political, it makes the actions of the minority right seem insignificant.”

    How? When I say most people don’t murder people, it doesn’t make the actions of people who do murder people seem insignificant.

    Maybe you feel that the radical right isn’t dealt with enough. In that case it might indeed be necessary to blow their actions out of proportion to get people to move their butt. But that’s another topic.

  4. mikeK

    March 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Let’s face it: Not every St Pauli fan fits into the mold of a radical anarchist, just as not every Rostock fan is a fascist.

    Now, we can argue numbers all day, but Rostock has a vocal rightest element to their support, just as St Pauli has vocal leftist elements. Teams are going to be judged based upon these elements, no matter what percentage of fans are of a particular political viewpoint.

    What Jan is doing is dangerous. By saying that “most” of the fans are not political, it makes the actions of the minority right seem insignificant. I. for one, think one anti-semetic fascist is one too many.

    It seems to me like Jan is from East Germany and cares a lot about the area, and I can respect that. I’m sure Jan would like to have no fascist in the stands as much as I would. But the reality is that these people are there. These people attacked traveling St Pauli fans in Rostock for no reason other than their political beliefs and who came without the intention of causing trouble. Yes, the majority of Rostock fans aren’t responsible for this, but your minority does the talking, unfortunately.

  5. astro

    March 10, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Jan, your calculation is wrong. It’s not about the 2 million sympathisers, but about those who are active supporters and actually present at many home and away matches. Rostock supporters are causing problems all the time – e.g. at a friendly in Denmark, at numerous matches all over Germany and _especially_ when it’s against St.Pauli.
    It might be correct that the majority of active supporters don’t share extreme right wing views – but they don’t act against them (what is almost as bad) and even support them “morally” e.g. when the whole ground is chanting “we hate the gay Hamburger”. Xeno- and homophobia seems to be widespread amongst their support. And as a final statement: there must be something seriously wrong about a club if supporters of both HSV and St.Pauli hate them…

  6. Paul

    March 10, 2009 at 6:46 am

    If Rostock were really a far right club they would have caused all sorts of problems in the previous years at Bundesliga games. It simply hasn’t happened. Rostock are no more a right wing club than the other big Eastern Club – Cottbus. In Eastern Germany their is a general problem with these sort of people and naturally they are represented in football fan groups. But labelling any club in the first 2 Bundesliga leagues as a right wing club is just plain false.
    I was at the Dynamo Dresden v Union Berlin game on Sunday, this could also be labeled as a right v left game, but their were no problems and no display of right wing crap from the Dresden fans.
    We are all talking about a very small but vocal minority!

  7. Jan

    March 10, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Celtic fan: OK, let’s say at least 51% of all Rostock fans hold far-right wing beliefs, so that you can at least say it’s the majority of Rostock fans. That’s at least 1 million people. During the last general election in Germany out of 82 million people 61 million were eligible to vote and 77% of them voted. The two far right parties (NPD and REP) got around 1 million votes (2,2%). Now let’s quadruple that number to generously account for some possibilities: those who didn’t vote, who are xenophobe or otherwise far right leaning but vote conservative etc. Then you still get the extremely unrealistic number that a minimum of 25% of the far right in Germany would be Hansa Rostock fans – if not 50% or 100%…

  8. CelticFan1888

    March 9, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I beg to differ Jan. Rostock’s fan base is almost predominantly far-right wing. It is no minority like you suggest.

  9. Muh

    March 9, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Totally agree with Jan, branding Hansa Rostock or the very huge part of their supporters as “hard right” is just ridiculous.

  10. Juliet

    March 9, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Interesting discussion on both sides. Thanks for posting.

  11. Jan

    March 9, 2009 at 9:19 am

    It should be clearly noted that Hansa Rostock has no political agenda and as such isn’t catering to fans with specific world views/ideological beliefs. Hansa Rostock has roughly 2 million fans (seventh highest in Germany/most popular club in eastern Germany) and you can’t just lump them all together and label them as Neo-Nazis/right wing extremists like your post suggests.

    The club has problems with sections of its’ fans, but is actively fighting them with fan projects and stadium bans for members of questionable fan clubs.

    The game between St- Pauli and Rostock is also one that is getting highjacked by violence seeking hooligans from both sides, who don’t care about either of the two clubs or football for the rest of the year.

    “And in doing so, they possibly put the nail in the coffin of their ideological opposites in their effort to stave off relegation.”

    I’m repeating myself, but Hansa Rostock is fighting against relegation and not a villain in your suggested game between good and evil. It would be another bitter blow for football in eastern Germany should Rostock go down to the third division, and I for one hope it won’t happen.

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