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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Riot police practise on giggling girls

Riot police training to tackle football hooligans at Euro 2012 have criticised their bosses after they were ordered to practise on a gang of giggling girl students.

The Polish police - wearing body armour and helmets and wielding batons and shields - were supposed to be undergoing a simulated riot by some of the world's most violent soccer yobs as they get ready to co-host the finals.

But instead video footage of the exercise in Szczecin showed they faced a handful of students - mostly girls - waving water bottles and chanting as they pushed forward on a police line laughing and giggling hysterically.

Only days ago the head of the Polish football association Grzegorz Lato had pledged to crack down on the country's violent fans, now said to be the worst behaved in Europe.

But the exercise has been massively condemned by dozens of Polish police on their own Police Internet Forum in 40 pages of comments.

"How this is supposed to compare to the real thing I've no idea. Hooligans will have knives, metal bars, and knuckle dusters - not water bottles," said one angry comment.

"It's an absurd, organised mess," said another. "It's us on the front line here and the exercises we're doing are more suitable for a children's tea party."

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