Poland’s testicle-biting dogs and police weaned on the sound of Soviet-era machine guns won’t back down from “a few chairs thrown by beered-up fans” during the Euro 2012 soccer championships, the Krakow Post said.
In an editorial that was equal parts preening and preventative, the English-language newspaper outlined security measures awaiting fans.
“Poland’s anti-hooligan squads are armed with: shotguns firing baton rounds that probably won’t kill you as long as you’re 30 meters (90 feet) away, a truck-mounted water cannon affectionately known as ‘the typhoon,’ a hi-tech sonic cannon that can make you wet yourself on its lowest setting (and) dogs trained to bite you directly in the testicles.”
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Poland and Ukraine are co-hosting the 16-team European soccer championship that began today and ends July 1.
Poland will play at home with Greece, Russia and Czech Republic in Group A. Group C – Spain, Italy, Ireland and Croatia – is also playing in Polish stadiums.
Fears of racism and violence – as well as anti-government protests in Ukraine – have hounded organizers.
The Post said police are prepared, and have seen it all before with local rivals often clashing in the streets.
“These lads’ mums and dads rioted under Soviet machine guns – a few chairs thrown by beered-up fans is not going to intimidate them,” the editorial said.
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The tournament began with Poland facing Greece in Warsaw.
All appeared calm in the early going, The Associated Press said.
Rain and beer that can’t legally be stronger than 3.4 percent alcohol put a damper on the frivolity.
“There’s a huge feeling of excitement here,” Polish fan Monika Misiuda told the AP. “It’s great.”