Outside the Stadium

  • Abstract:

    Before FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa a great international media debate occurred to discuss the problems: is it reasonable to organize expensive ‘party’ in a poor country? Can state with a high crime rate protect thousands of football fans against the gangs? Finally, can the periphery succeed? To some extent, the same questions preoccupy Europeans since the information about host countries of UEFA Cup 2012 has arrived. Newspapers, magazines and websites became full of speculations which are not necessarily connected with football, much more with the common views of Poland and Ukraine. As both countries have not yet organized such event, many observers focus on tournaments preparations, declaring their skepticism or trusting in success. Interestingly, opinions expressed in Polish media don’t seem to be euphoric. Particularly in the beginning of preparations, many columnists argued that ‘only miracle’ can help Poles to organize this event. The main aim of this paper is to discuss the views and opinions on Euro 2012 articulated in Polish media. Taking into account bitter notions represented by many journalists concerning Polish development disabilities one can conclude there is terrifying lack of self-confidence among Poles. Even if these notions have been changing with the course of time the traces of self-depreciation are still present in Polish public discourse. This raise many questions: is complex of ‘younger brother of old Europe’ still present in Poland? How the concept of ‘worse part of Europe’ has been internalized in Eastern Europe? Is Poland a periphery of EU, despite of fast-developing and not harmed by crisis economy? And finally, where is a real centre of Europe?