Rumori di Spogliatoio

The Estonian Football (Fight) Club

Angelo PalmeriComment

Rumori's own ‘The Stig’ does not drive cars, at least not for us.

He writes stories. Stories you might not know or have
forgotten.

He takes us on his second ride through the territory where football borders with physical violence (the first ride you can find here)

The Estonian Football (Fight) Club’ it is a cross club including players, managers, executives, fans. They share the passion for football. However, they have been men of action. Or unwilling victims.

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AIvar Pohlak in referee clothes

AIvar Pohlak in referee clothes

In our first chapter of the Estonian Football Fightclub, we recounted about the president of the Estonian FA Aivar Pohlak who, during an away game in Malta, rumbled with national team player Urmas Hepner.

If then he was the offender, he was now a victim.

The scenario is the home of the Pohlaks in 2004, Aivar and his wife Signe. They had been married already for 20 years, although, misunderstandings led to a serious incident as Signe hit Aivar’s hand with a knife. Pohlak commented to newsportal Delfi about the incident: ‘I never thought that this is domestic violence, Signe was just that kind of a person.

‘Misunderstandings’ between the couple were not over.

Signe stroke back. And this time to Aivar’s groins using a bowling pin. Aivar’s literal description of the episode has become popular: ‘my penis was injured after being attacked and it was dark purple,’ said Aivar who is now in happy marriage with another woman.

On her hand, Signe accused Aivar of twenty years of family violence: beatings, humiliating, taunting. With children’s support, everybody realised that it was a story made up by Signe to harm Aivar’s reputation and get his money. It was her revenge for Pohlak having a new fiancee, Triin. However, Aivar was not a rich man as he said he has only a house, some land and some islands.

Sergei Lepmets with FC Hämeenlinna jersey past in summer 2014 

Sergei Lepmets with FC Hämeenlinna jersey past in summer 2014 

Sergei Lepmets is an Estonian goalkeeper whose career has been like a rollercoaster. After a good spell at FC Levadia, he joined Romania club FC Politechnica Timisoara and he was first-choice goalie there between the sticks. After a positive period he left the club because of unpaid salary and joined top flight club CS Concordia Chianja.

After seven games, he started to have problems with his ex-wife who was not letting him see their kids. This difficult period might explain what happened later on in a local night club. Sergei was there drinking with team mates Florin Puence, Claudiu Belu and Wellington Carlos when he got into a conflict with the night club security. Lepmets hit one security guard and, in response, the security team beat him up. Because of the harm received, Lepmets had to be hospitalized. After the incident, he was trying to train with a broken ankle however the stories about his adventure at the local club already reached the team manager who decided to release him.

Lepmets accompanied at the airport on a wheelchair. His Romanian spell was officially over (prosport.ru)

Lepmets accompanied at the airport on a wheelchair. His Romanian spell was officially over (prosport.ru)

At the age of 25, Lepmets decided to quit profesional football and start to work as a chef in Ireland. He still managed to find a club in Romania, top-flight Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt, but he dd not get much playing time. He returned to Estonia and after starting with  Narva Trans, he left in the middle of season 2014 to ply trade in Finland (FC Hämenlinna). He later on returned to Estonia and now  plays as an amateur for Türi Ganvix in Estonian 3rd division.

Sander Puri's last contract was at York City FC. Without a club, he's training with FC Levadia in Tallinn.

Sander Puri's last contract was at York City FC. Without a club, he's training with FC Levadia in Tallinn.

National team player Sander Puri had an incident with referee in 2012 when he played for KuPS in Finnish Premier league. In his debut game aganist TPS he pushed the referee and got a four-game ban. ‘I want sincerly to apologize with the referee, with the club, with the Finnish FA and the Finnish football audience,’said Puri in the KuPS homepage after the incident.

Jaroslav Dmitrijev, midfilder of Ukrainian ascent, made his name popular around Europe after a ninja kick aganist JK Rakvere Tarvas player in 2013. Video of FC Puuma ninja-style kick (see below) was also shown on Eurosport so it had more than one million viewers. Dmitrijev has received a five month ban from football after this incident.
On top of that, he's been recently suspended for matchfixing until December 2016 

Valov (right) in action against Paide during 2014 season

Valov (right) in action against Paide during 2014 season

In 2014  pre-season tournament, there was time for two FC Infonet players to shine aganist Paide Linnameeskond. Brothers in pain, Oleg Valov and veteran Andrei Kalimullin, were both suspended even before the actual Premium Liiga started. Valov received five matchdays as suspension and Kalimullin two. Paide’s player Joel Indermitte and Infonet’s Vladimir Malinin also got red cards during this ‘friendly’ game.

When not on the piss, Frank 'Papa' Kolder is an acknowledged BBQ chef

When not on the piss, Frank 'Papa' Kolder is an acknowledged BBQ chef

Fans have always had their share of violence in the game of football. Jalgpallihaigla is the biggest fans group of Estonian national team and they have in their ranks a great fan named ‘Papa’ (aka Frank Kolde) . ‘Papa' was accused of having punched Ewert Sundja after Estonia won 4-3 against Faroe Islands (8th  of June 2008). Why he attacked the popular pop singer and leader of ‘Ewert and the Two Dragons’ band? ‘Papa’, as many other hardcore Estonian fans, was not happy with Sundja’s interpretation of the national anthem. At every national team’s game, an artist is invited to perform the anthem in the stadium. The incident happened in a taxi Sundja sat after the match. Papa noticed Sundja entering the cab, opened the door hit the famous singer a couple of times. This episode earned Papa the title of 'Jalgpallijobu' of the season 2009 by Õhtuleht - 'football jerk'.

Flora vs. Levadia. It’s a neverending rivalry since the latters rose to Premium Liiga in 1995.

In one of the 2005 derbies between FC Flora and FC Levadia, there was action on the pitch. 200cm tall Flora striker Sander Post gave a lesson to Levadia’s central defender, Lithuanian Vitoldas Cepauskas. The giant from Viljandi showed his ’skills’ with his elbow by hitting straight Cepauskas’ nose and left him stay down there with a lot of blood on his face. That incident was also filed at the police station.

The biggest rivals in Estonian football FC Levadia and FC Flora have their own rivalry also off the pitch.

Flora's fans 'kuldne trio' - golden trio, from left to right: Marko 'Ballack' Tandre, Marek 'Sen' Ventsikov, Toomas 'Rootsi Kunn' Kalmet, greeting Levadia's goalkeeper, Roman Śmiśko, upon exiting the pitch (soccernet.ee)

Flora's fans 'kuldne trio' - golden trio, from left to right: Marko 'Ballack' Tandre, Marek 'Sen' Ventsikov, Toomas 'Rootsi Kunn' Kalmet, greeting Levadia's goalkeeper, Roman Śmiśko, upon exiting the pitch (soccernet.ee)

Since Levadia reached the top-flight, they have been fighting from the start and I guess the rivalry will never end. In 2008, following a defeat in a derby against Flora, Levadia fans started to pick on an isolated Flora supporter. After that, they got beaten up by Flora fans and Flora well known fan Rootsi Kunn (aka Toomas Kalmet) commented the incident: ‘Russians, as always, can’t fight on their own so they started to call back up. We were standing together for everyone who were there, they got beaten up and then they called police who drove themselves away from there. Nothing serious for us happened, my jeans are broken and the hand is hurting.’ A gallery of the scuffle can be found here.

In 2010 Levadia fans started to pick a fight again in A. Le Coq Arena after losing to Flora. They threw empty bottles on Flora supporters and as usual, the ultras group Maardu Ultras got beaten up again.

Marek 'Sen' Ventsikov perplexed face at being accompanied out of Sillamäe ground (Postimees.ee)

Marek 'Sen' Ventsikov perplexed face at being accompanied out of Sillamäe ground (Postimees.ee)

Flora fans are themselves used to get in trouble though. In 2009 and 2012 they have had fights also with Sillamäe Kalev supporters. If the 2009 rendez-vous was favourable to the Easter Estonia fans, the 2012 clash was more equal in 2012. Recently (2013) Flora fans picked a fight with Nõmme Kalju supporters.

THE STIG