Tampere has a large number of Hungarian fans. One of them recognized the colors of Russia.
A group of loud fans traveling from Hungary cheered the puck crowd in Tampere, but one of the members of the cheering group decided to stage a brazen incident at the Nokia Arena during a Hungarian preliminary series match.
The Hungarian fan wore a Russian jersey for the match and apparently entered the Nokia Arena wearing it. According to Ville Ketonen, the security manager for the World Cup, the base of the shirt was white, and was therefore difficult to distinguish from Hungarian fan shirts.
The white shirt had Russia written on it, but there was no team logo on it, Ketonen says.
The Finnish Olympic Committee has ruled that the symbols of Russia and Belarus do not currently belong to sporting events.
The organizers intervened and asked the Hungarian fan to take off his Russian jersey.
– The situation ended with a spectator deciding to watch the end of the match without wearing the Russian jersey. We’ve arrived at a solution that pleases all parties, says Ketonen.
Emotions ran high in the stands even before the Hungarian fan pulled his shirt down.
– At events, we make decisions based on safety and orderliness. We had already heard the shirt after seeing the outrage in the stands. We realized that it was also a security issue for the shirt wearer to interfere, says security manager Ketonen.
According to the security manager, the Tampere WC tournament has proceeded peacefully, except for isolated incidents. Even the Hungarian fan group has not employed security guards.
– There is a huge group of fans in Hungary. They’re loud, as slush fans should be. As a group, there is no problem with them, says Ketonen, but in the same way as citizens of any other country, there is always one hono in a large group.