|Interview with Komiti Zapad (Vardar Skopje, Macedonia)|
|Sunday, 28 March 2010 11:24|
- Hi, please introduce yourself and your position in your group:
Hi, I am 24 years old, I represent Komiti Zapad. I have been active in our group almost 10 years, actively involved in organization of most of the stuff for 5years. I am regular to Vardar games, home and away also.
- When was Komiti Zapad founded, and why did you choose this name, some history?
The first official game where the Komiti Zapad banner appeared was against Crvena Zvezda on 4 June 1987 in Skopje. Since then we have been supporting our club and traveling where ever they play. The name Komiti Zapad was carefully chosen, after many suggestions, mainly the term Komiti was used in the late 19, 20 century. The freedom fighters and our national heroes who tried to free Macedonia from Turkish occupation were called Komiti. And Zapad signifies our West Stand. Since forming Komiti expanded very fast, and were in top 10 in Yugoslavia for many years Skopje was a dangerous place to go if you were not Vardar fan, after independence the level was maintained. But in 1996 away travels were banned so the interest fall down, many incidents were caused by us so many members were arrested, and so the overall standard was going down. Another thing is that Komiti divided in 1999, and a new fraction Loyal Fans was formed, that declined the number of the group, so there were 2 groups that supported Vardar, but the conflict after many years is now resolved.
- Please write a bit about the general scene at your club. How are your relations with other groups?
Our club went through many difficulties, few years ago we were playing Sparta Prague for entrance in the group stage in Cl, but since then everything was going down, the players were leaving and results were awful. So Komiti changed the board that was making only false promises. Instead came another investor who promised a lot but we didn’t see any results also, so after a while he left the club, saying he was under pressure from us all the time. After that came the worst period for Vardar, there was no money, so Komiti formed a Board for Saving Vardar, and tried to find money to stabilize the club. We used to make actions for collecting money like selling t-shirts, tickets etc. The players played for no money we can say, and we were in charge in the club. Bur fortunately lately a new Board took over so thing are going well, we hope that they will be fair so they won’t have any problems with us.
- Can you write a bit about your rivals and why they are your rivals?
We do not have any serious rivalry, in the past Ckembari Bitola were our biggest rivals, and lately Shvercerat Shkup, with Ckembari there is long tradition of hatred between Bitola and Skopje, so when we go to Bitola the whole town is gathering to see us like its circus.
- Do you have any friendship, and why?
We are engaged in brotherhood with Ultras Gelsenkirchen, supporters of Schalke 04, and we maintain very good relationship with their group. It all started on the game Schalke 04- Vardar in the Uefa cup, where our sub group Loyal-fans made contact with Uge. Since then we have concrete connection, they come and visit and we go and visit them. Most recent was the visit of many lads from Uge on the celebration of 10 years of Loyal fans in 2009. They stayed here 4-5 days and we had a great time in Skopje. We have also helped each other when one of the teams play some opponent, they came when we played Roeselare and we were there in Sofia against Levski. Lately we made some scarves, half red black, half white and blue, and also a flag representing our brotherhood. Few of our members were on the latest derby between Schalke 04- b. Dortmund.
- How do you travel on away trips? And how does your group stay in touch with each other when there is no football?
Unfortunately there was no away trips for a long time, we made some incident, so the police and the Football Federation allied against us, and banned away games like they did once in the past. If we were to go to away game organized we were about to face criminal charges. We still made some away trips but not organized, only by cars and regular bus relation, so we could prevent us from being stopped and criminally charged. Before the problem with the new law, we were traveling on away games by buses that we mostly paid by ourselves. Sometimes the club’s board helped in the past. When there are no games, each subgroup usually hangs with each other, but once a year we have a party where our punk band Vep Druzinata plays, so we have a great time than.
- On pictures I see you use a bit pyro. Whats the rules here?
Pyrotechnic is regulated by law so it’s not allowed, in the home games sometimes we put some pyro show but it’s ok as long as we have agreement with the police and do not throw the flares on the field and pause the game. It all depends on the police, for example 2 years ago in Bitola some of our members were charged for having flares but on the other side our opponents burned pyro, but there was no fine for them. As i said, it all depends on the police and how much they can`t stand us..
- Can you write a bit about the general scene in Macedonia?
The general scene is made up from groups that live on their tradition and groups that are actually performing, but both ways the general scene is not what it should be, whenever there is some rise police repressions slow it down.
Some other active groups are: Gavoli Kicevo (recently performing great- they support Napredok Kicevo), Ajduci Strumica, Lozari Kavadarci, Majmuni Prilep (used to be good but now it’s the same with or without them), Ribari Ohrid etc.
-Can you tell us something about the structure of the group, marketing, incidents?
Komiti Skopje are currently having a shift in generations, the older ones who are above 30 were a great team of hooligans and ultras that were respected very much and were always well prepared. Unfortunately due to problems with acab we see them more rarely on the stand, the generation between 20 and 30 is also good, lots of creative guys and very loyal..
Another is "The Club" a mix from younger and older members.
- What is your opinion of the Ultra movement in Europe, which scene are in your view the best and which scene have a good development?
I cannot exclude any scene as the best, everyone has its own goods characteristics. Germans have good numbers, south Americans are always special for their songs, eastern Europe has excellent hooligans, Italians have their own special style which they are unique with.
- Whats the best away trip?
Like in other countries in Europe same in Macedonia best away games are those that consist of good numbers, choreography, pyro, the eternal derby of Macedonia is Vardar- Pelister. There are two periods that can be separated, one is since Macedonia is independent, period from 91-93, 4 times in that period we have made away games in big number of fans going organized to Bitola. One of the most remarkable ones is the away trip by train to Bitola in june1992. From Skopje departed a train with 700 Komiti. The train departed in 8 o clock in the morning, the usual arrival time is 5 hours but of course it was lot more than that, because some of the drunken guys found it interesting to find out how to drive the train so we had many accidents on the way. Another interesting part was when we arrived on the train station where we made a total chaos, after we got on the game there were many incidents caused by both groups, field invasion fighting with police etc...Since then Komiti got the ban to go on away games with trains that lasts till today.
Another interesting away game was few years later in Bitola too, where we went 11 buses and many many cars, few troubles there too. In some period the rivality has fallen on a low level, for that main fault was to Football federation and police that banned away games, also Pelister dropped to 2cond league.
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