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By Tony Attwood
Football is full of negative stories, and yes I admit, Untold Arsenal has been part of that as we have tried to expose the problems surrounding referees, the way some clubs treat their younger players (something we are about to come back to), the way the media refuse to tackle certain key issues, the corruption of Uefa and Fifa, and the insane financial situation that the sport as a whole finds itself in.
We’ve even been critical of Swiss supporters as when they have a match at the Arsenal stadium, because of the flares being ignited through the game, and the police outside the ground and the stewards inside the ground seemingly unable to control the activities of the crowd. (Not, I would add, because we don’t like boisterous behaviour, but rather because flares ignited in enclosed spaces can be very dangerous).
So it is good to report something rather more positive about Swiss football. It is not directly connected with Arsenal but it does serve to balance the negative opinion I gained from attending Arsenal’s match with FC Zurich, and watching their fans both inside and outside the stadium.
This tale relates to the Yverdon Sport – Young Boys match. Yverdon were promoted to the top division of the Swiss League for just the fourth time in their history, at the end of last season, this season being the first time they’ve been in the top league since 2005–06. On each of the previous occasions, they have immediately been relegated again, except once, when they managed two seasons in the top league.
Unfortunately, the club has had a problem, in that Yverdon-Sport will play in Stade de la Maladiere in Neuchâtel for at least part of the 2023–24 Super League season, as the Stade Municipal didn’t apply for permission to play Super League matches and it is still being improved to the standard needed for games at this level.
So they are in a temporary stadium, as far as I understand it, because of the last-minute and perhaps unexpected nature of the club’s promotion, and it seems playing behind closed doors.
Now as we have seen, the supporters of Young Boys are pretty dedicated to following their team anywhere, so they decided to still go to the original stadium of Yverdon (the one deemed not suitable for Super League games). They gained entry (although details of how they did this are lacking) and sang, chanted, and even played on the pitch, and basically had fun – even if it was technically illegal fun (since they shouldn’t have been in the stadium.)
Then they went to the lakeside beach to watch the game (presumably on their smartphones). And the rather good news is that there was no damage done to the stadium, no hooliganism, nothing, except a bit of fun, and a unique moment in football history.
The home club was I think a bit taken aback, but still had the good grace to note “the originality of the approach” even if they didn’t fully endorse it.
The actual game between Yverdon Sport and Young Boys played in the temporary home of Yverdon Sport ended in 2-2 draw. It leaves the club with one defeat and one draw from their opening two games, in 10th place in the 12 team league.
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