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Swiss ‘Hoppers Demanded To Crawl

Today’s strange and unusual conclusion to a Super League relegation battle ...

Swiss police standing by to try keep the situation under control.

You can’t say we don’t like to bring you strange stories from the world of football on

You know that calm, neutral and respectable little land-locked country, Switzerland?

Well, today in Luzern, traditional powerhouse club Grasshoppers Zurich, the most titled in the country with 27 Championships, were relegated for the first time in 70 years.

The club that produced the likes of Claudio Sulser, Stephane Chapuisat and Kubilay Turkyilmaz were made to suffer by their fanatical fans, whom I once saw in full flow during a Swiss Cup Final win in Berne over FC Basle in 2013. That day they were more ‘diss’, than Swiss, fighting running skirmishes with police, and that was before the game, which they won on penalties, had even started!

This afternoon with their side 0-4 down at Luzern after 66 mins, and relegation now a certainty, the GCZ fans moved pitch-side, threatening to storm the playing area. Their actions made it impossible to continue the game safely and referee Alessandro Dudic called a halt, lasting 20 minutes. The match was abandoned after this, as a resolution could not be reached.

The fans demanded the players hand over both shirts and socks and that they should crawl back to the changing room like dogs, cautiously and submissively, in just their shorts (at least the intention was to keep it decent!).

Grasshoppers is now facing a hefty fine and possibly a phantom match with a 0-3 result (an improvement perhaps?) which will finally confirm their relegation to the Challenge League (second-tier) for next season.

I wonder ... I just wonder ... where Marco Schallibaum was when all this was going on?

Montreal Impact v DC United
Marco Schallibaum, Montreal Impact head coach in 2013, played over a century of games for Grasshoppers Zurich in the early 80’s.
Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images