Things began to come unraveled this evening in Warsaw, where Poland is meeting Russia in that Euro 2012 meeting with so many layers of Cold War history. (The match has just kicked off.)
Reports are coming out of Poland describing rival fans clashing with one another. Earlier, a potentially provocative march of Russian fans was halted. (The video has some PG-13 scenes of violence.)
Polish riot police and attempted to create buffers between supporters from Poland and Russia – but some of the clashes were between rival clubs from the host country.
This stuff happens at every World Cup and European Championship, mostly at city centers and train stations and other places where rival fans might happen upon one another, all typically amplified by alcohol. It’s even more of an issue this time around because critics immediately worried over such possibilities, and about other, darker acts of civil incivility, when organizers awarded the tournament to Eastern European countries.