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Interview with Viole Maribor (Slovenia).
Greetings. Please introduce yourself to us.
I'm 35 years old Maribor supporter...I've been following Ex-YU scene for 22 years and Maribor from first day.
Viole were formed in 1989. Can you tell us in short the very beginings of your group?
In '89. the crew that gathered around our football club was more-less nothing special. Couple of young guys together with some older guys who followed the scene in the old Yugoslavia. Our club those days played in the Third division – West. Those are our beginings, our history, and we are very proud of it no matter what. First name four our group was MARINCI, but in last league round we changed it into VIOLE – which is more original. 1989. is the year in which everything started but when Slovenia got independent we can start talking about better days. People who went to matches of the big 4 clubs in Ex-YU started to go on matches in their own town, to their own club. Since then there is no sub-group of any other group in Maribor. In the years of the Yugoslavia we were too small and didn't have a contact at all with any other group.
In the end of '90s Maribor often played in Europe, you met with clubs that had a respectable supporting groups. Can you tell us some of the most interesting games from that period?
Ofcourse, with independence of Slovenia, Maribor often played in Europe and in the end of '90s even in Champions League. Our first European away match was in '93. in Romania (Gloria Bistrita). We went in Dortmund then around 80 people, year later 200 in Wien against Austria Wien, then in Greece against Olympiakos, Ajax, PSV...Then we started to have conflicts with other groups that came to us in our city, some of them lost their banners. Then in '98. we had a big conflict in Maribor against Wisla Krakow, some of us went in Krakow aswell. After that away matches against Genk and Lyon. We lit flares everywhere and we gathered experience, and ofcourse Champions League where we did a good away trips to Kiev, Rome, Leverkusen. Against Lazio 800 of us went to Rome.
Lazio - Maribor 1999./2000.
Viole today. Progress is notable on the tribune but also outside the stadium. Can you explain little how did it come to such a progress and when did it all start.
Year by year we worked good with, ofcourse, couple of problems that every group face from time to time and which are usual problems for this story, but mentality of people in town was never questionable. City itself lives for football and through our group have passed thousands of Mariborers and people from the region, and the right guys remained and all the best to the boys who are here now for a long time with no competition in the country, after all that "dry" years (supporting), who have will and strength to organize away games, korteos, pyro, marketing and stuff which is important, and because of that we don't miss a chance to have a clash with some other foreign club that plays somewhere near of passed through Maribor. But we must be real and say that look of our tribune depends on the clubs results.
Viole in 2009.
Slovenian tifo scene is not that strong, practicly you don't have any real competition, but can you tell us if you have some big rivals?
We have a rivalry with Olimpija from Ljubljana. 2 biggest towns, centralism, Ljubljana being the capital city and both clubs are the best Slovenian clubs through the history. Mostly, all Slovenian groups don't want any conflict with us. To us, our league and conflicts with our groups are not priority but our fucking reality so we made an agreement of no attacking other Slovenian groups because we want the Slovenian scene to raise up more and then if the boys from other Slovenian groups work hard for next year or two without fear of us attacking them, maybe they can raise their scene in their own town. The same applies for the boys form Ljubljana, who are not and cannot be any competition to us on the tribune or on the street.
Olimpija - Maribor 2002./2003.
Is there any group in Slovenia or abroad with which you are in a friendly relations?
We don't have friendship with any group and we don't plan to have any friendships in near future. But we still respect the old friendship with Briagada Graz, although there is no official friendship anymore between Maribor and Graz.
Little about organization. Do you have your clubs, rooms? How do you travel to away games?
We don't have any clubs or anything like that. We have membership cards Violemaribor (money from the membership is ours), our members and fans are informed via e-mails, web page, flyers, buses, schools...for bigger games even on radio stations. Away games we do like most of the groups do. With cars, vans, trains...it's very hard to get a bus for a supporters theese day in Slovenia.
Celje - Maribor 2008./2009.
What is your marketing? We see that you have a quality web site, what abour merchendise? Do you have any fanzines, DVDs?
We like to brag that our marketing is very good! Web site is good, we have our fanzine, DVD, CD with music, new DVD for 20 years of Viole Maribos will soon come out, we regularly have new shirts, t-shirts, hoodies, caps, jackets, scarfs...everything of that can be bought with our logo for everyone.
In what kind of relations are you with your clubs board?
There is a saying "not in the ass and not by the ass". Viole Maribos are completly independent supporters group. We function without any help from our board. Ofcourse we have some meetings about current problems or some minor problems, but nothing more.
Are Viole politically orientated?
Well now, hm...there isn't official stance if we are right, left or center. We think that we are the biggest party in the town and in the region and we don't give a fuck about politicians, but still some of them call us right-winged, but as a group we don't have any connections with any political parties.
Police. What is the situation in Slovenia regarding the law and repression? Are there special laws for supporters?
Ofcourse there is a repression against supporters, but for now there is no special law for supporters, but politicians and people from the FA are preparing it and threatening with it. For now, in Slovenia is used a law for public gathering. Regarding the flares, in practice they don't take you in when you lit a flare on the stadium and when you are in the mass. But when you leave the stadium they single you out and you get a fine of at least 400 Euros. Police sometimes busts you if you lit a flare on the streets or if you are in a smaller group. Because of that we don't practice holding flares in hand on stadiums, but in Slovenia you can easily end up in prison if you don't pay the fine. That's how the system works. When you are going to a away trip there is no way for you to enter a town even if the town dosn't have supporters. Police scaters everyone around. Alcohol? Well they don't let you in if the policeman thinks that you have been drinking. Over here police on the streets have big fucking authority and they have a special organization whose only task is Viole Maribor and that is 24 hours a day. Former director of Police Department of Maribor declared war on Viole and publicly called us hooligans. His main goal was to fuck up Maribor supporting scene, and because he failed he got fired...
Viole vs Cops
You personally, what is the best match you've ever been to?
Uuu, there were few matches. When you are older you have a different perspective to matches then when you are young and crazy...Away game at Izola (the farest away game for us) used to be my favorite. It was typical old school away match before 14-15 years ago. We went there for a whole weekend, us 20, down on the coast day before with a train. Nobody had money for cigarettes. Firt evening down there we get arrested by the cops and then stealing from the local camp for food to survive the day, some trouble with the locals, begging for money to get back home. Then you return home with a fine but went directly to sleep. In the morning you can't wait to meet with your boys to tell stories from last night in hope that we go again soon as posible. But today, good away games for me were Zurich, Slovakian national team, or London away with Slovenia, where everything is different 100 to 1 with all that time and with the time when we were young and restless. All that is OK until someone looses his life...Regarding the best game ever, to choose one, I must choose the match when we became champions for the first time in 1996-97. I cried of joy, the night before non of us slept, some of us spent the night on the stadium. We waited for that moment to come since we started in 1989. Full old south stand with 212 flares around the whole stadium, then one of the biggest pyro shows in Ex-YU, choreography, people took absent from work permition for the whole week, whole city celebrated. It was a week which is hard to repeat itself. Few days later we won the double.
Maribor champion 1996./1997.
This season you had a very good European away matches in Zurich and in Prague. What was it like?
Yes, generally, this season of 2009 was the best so far regarding our league, europe and our national team. We did Zurich just like someone wanted. 500 of us went there from the morning in the middle of the summer when everyone was on leave from work. Walked without cop around us, searched for the locals...250 of us enters a metro in Zurich...corteo, incidents in the half-time, attack on the security and we pushed them away from our sector. Curva Sud Zurich just have a good foto representation via virtual world with high dose of picking for best choreography, but when you see them live you realize they're not worth it. Sparta Prague, they live in their eastern film, first match in Maribor arranged fight 50vs50 but cops showed up. It could have been all better organized if the Sparta Boys sticked to the agreement in which they had to pick up in Graz one of our boys who would lead them to the safe place without cops. But they choose to enter the town on their own. On the away match they showed that they don't have the will for anything, just for some fights few kilometers outside the town. They don't mind that away fans walk through their town whole day on a match day (from 7 AM we were in Prague)...Crew in Maribor are hungry for European matches so we travel to friendly matches in Udine and in Austria. And we did a good job with our national team aswell. Traveled to Belfast, London (friendly), Bratislava (clash with Slovan fans who retreated), San Marino, and last Fall Poland and Czehc. We still do a 10 away games per year and every away trip to Europe was good which showed uninteres in Slovenian championship but still a powerful will for Slovenian stadiums...
Maribor - Olimpija 2009./2010.
Maribor - Primorje 2008./2009.
Maribor - Olimpija 2009./2010.
Maribor - Partizan Belgrade 2006./2007.
Maribor - Nafta 2008./2009.
More photos on our forum.
Viole official web site: www.violemaribor.com