Positive Grozny: Fans` trip to Chechnya a success

The football calendar once again gave Zenit fans a difficult task: to attend two away matches in a row with an interval of three days between them. Furthermore, the two cities in which Zenit played are more than 4,000 kilometers apart.

No matter what the case, about 30 fans managed to complete this crazy journey and support their team at both the away match in Brussels and the one in Grozny. Some people came from Brussels to Grozny through Moscow or Rostov, while others came through Ukraine. One person even managed to return to St. Petersburg between the two matches.

Many of the visiting fans in Grozny also went to the Zenit Youth match which took place at the same stadium as the main side`s match, but a day earlier. The Zenit fans were boisterous: about 1,000 Chechen fans listened in complete silence as the blue-white-light blue fans sang throughout the match. Even the famous Grozny stadium announcer couldn`t get the Terek-Y fans going: the Petersburg side won the match 4:0. After the final whistle the whole team went over to the guest sector and sang “Forward, for Peter” with the visiting club fans. Several players even managed to reach out to the fans to give them five in honor of the team`s victory.

Those fans who didn`t go to Brussels but who wanted to support the team in Grozny went to the Chechen capital by bus. About an hour before the match started the Petersburg visitors came to a check point where they were told that the roads and bridges that they were planning to use were closed, and that they`d have to make a detour. The bus covered the last 100 km to the match at top speed, losing its suspension and some other not-so-strong parts on the way.

Altogether about two hundred people attended the match in the guest sector. These fans sometimes shouted over the whole Grozny stadium, which was packed with more than 10,000 Terek supporters. A group of Chechen youths appeared in the neighboring sector in the second half and danced the Lezginka for the whole forty-five minutes of the half(!). That said, none of the Zenit supporters tried studying the national traditions of Chechen cheering: Zenit was still fighting to win, both on the field and in the stands.

Overall the trip to Grozny finished without any provocations or negative incidents. Furthermore, after the match the whole Zenit team went to the guest sector to thank the fans for their support in Grozny.