On Saturday, several hundred football fans and supporters of the far right gathered in front of the Slovak government office in Bratislava to reject the current measures against the spread of coronavirus. Police used tear gas and a water cannon against radicals who threw stones and bottles at them, the SME daily reported. Protests by football and hockey fans are also expected in Prague on Sunday.
According to the daily SME, approximately 400 to 500 people gathered in the Slovak capital to shout vulgar insults at the address of the Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič and demand his resignation. In addition to football fans who came to Bratislava from various parts of the country, supporters of the far-right Kotlebovci-People’s Party Naše Slovensko party, led by Marian Kotleba, also arrived.
Interior Minister Roman Mikulec criticized the unauthorized demonstration and told its participants that they would not escape justice. “It is really sad that at a time when the number of people infected is alarmingly growing, a state of emergency has been declared and a collection ban has been declared, there are people who do not respect any of this,” Mikulec wrote on Facebook. According to him, the only goal of the demonstration of football hooligans and the radical right was to provoke.
On Friday, the Slovak authorities recorded the second highest daily increase in the number of coronavirus cases since the beginning of the epidemic – 1968 more infected, bringing the total balance to 28,268.
In response to the spread of the disease, the country, for example, banned mass events, closed cinemas, theaters and wellness centers, and changed secondary schools to distance learning. However, the highest competitions in five sports, including the football and hockey leagues, can continue without spectators. Prime Minister Matovic announced today that Slovakia plans to test all residents for coronavirus.
Prague will also experience fan protests
Czech fans of football and hockey clubs also want to protest against “confusing” government restrictions due to the spread of covid-19 on Sunday in Prague’s Old Town Square. According to the signatories of the statement on the hooligans.cz website, this is because anti-coronavirus regulations are announced as on the treadmill, without any background and most people do not have the opportunity to adapt to them.
According to spokeswoman Eva Kropáčová, the Prague police is preparing security measures in connection with the protest. Football and hockey fans convene the demonstration on social networks. It is not known how many will participate. The Minister of the Interior, Jan Hamáček (CSSD), called on the participants to proceed peacefully and to abide by the rules.