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In front of the stadium of Slovan Bratislava


   Bridge on the river Danube         The stadium of Inter Bratislava


On the streets of Bratislava

Slovakia - Macedonia
Bratislava - 03/09/2000

For the travelling to Slovakia there were discussions during the summer 2000. After it was officially announced that it will be organized travelling of supporters, everything that remained was to wait for the departure day - September 2nd.
So expected Saturday on September 2nd came and we all gathered together in front of the City Stadium in Skopje. For this travelling 3 buses were ready to go. The 3 buses with the 150 fans, from who the most of Skopje (about 100) and a little number from Tetovo, Veles and Kavadarci somewhere at 10 AM started their 750 kilometres long journey from Skopje to Bratislava. After we passed the Macedonian - Yugoslav border, we entered Yugoslavia and we all knew that it will be the longest part of the journey because through Serbia we must pass somewhere 70% from the road. During the travelling in the bus which I was, the atmosphere was great and all of us were impatient to arrive to Slovakia. But the first problems appeared at Yugoslav - Hungarian border. The Hungarian customs officers were looking for money to pass the 3 Macedonian buses, but no one of the Macedonian supporters don't even think about it. Because of that we were enforced to wait for the permission on the rainy September night on the frontier crossing at Szeged. After a few strechings and persuasions with the Hungarian customs officers, somehow we succeed to pass on, of course after we left them some boxes of cigarettes and bottle of whisky. Certainly this can't be a reason for breaking the atmosphere between the Macedonian supporters and the 3 buses continued their journey through Hungary in the rainy September night. On the Sunday morning we were at the Hungarian - Slovakian border. The thinking of the most of us that the Slovakian customs officers are different then the Hungarian and that we will pass quick this last border, showed wrong. And here the same picture and the same problems. Again looking for money and threats with searching the buses and long waiting for passing. That happened, after the buses were searched and the Slovakian customs officers get some bottle of alcohol, Macedonian supporters were allowed to enter Slovakia.
After that we were on the way to Bratislava, which is 20 km far away from the frontier crossing. We entered Bratislava and the buses stopped at the stadium of Slovan Bratislava, which was the venue for the match. Because there were 8 hours left to the kick-off, me and 3 my friends went to the stadium of Inter Bratislava, which was near the stadium of Slovan. There was no one on the stadium so we took some photos on the stands and down on the pitch. Then we went on a sightseeing of the city. It was Sunday and also some holiday in Slovakia, so all the shops were closed. But the most of the bars were opened, so after the sightseeing of the city the Macedonian supporters spend their time in enjoying the good Slovakian beer and in company with nice Slovakian girls.
Then 8 PM came and it was time for the kick-off. After we entered the stadium and sat down on the stand which was reserved for us, we placed our banners, between the most of them were from Skopje and there were also from Tetovo and Veles. On the stand we noticed some group of Macedonians who came from Vienna to support the Macedonian national team. Including the smaller group of fans who came with the plane of the national team, on the stadium were 200 Macedonian supporters. But the situation with the Slovakian supporters was interesting. On the stands there were only 8,000 spectators and their support was very bad. It is unbelieveable that this was a start of the qualifications and the match was important for the both of teams. But probably the interest for the football in Slovakia is not so big and that can be the reason for such small crowd on the stands. From the start of the match the Macedonian fans were chanting their songs, but our players did not played very well. After one mistake of our defence in the beginning minutes of the match, Slovakia scored a goal and it was getting clear there will be nothing from winning a point or three. At the same time on the stand where we were placed on small incident with the Slovakian policemen took place. Larger number of the Macedonian supporters left the stadium in the first half and after that only a small group of us left on the stand.
In the second half the same picture on the pitch, the Macedonians played very bad and on the end we were defeated by 2:0. After the match we all went in the buses and direction - Macedonia. However this was only a start of the qualifiers for the WC 2002 and we believe that in the next qualfying matches will be much better.

                Kristijan