Tom Roeder looks after 40 aficionados and has first-hand knowledge of the problems, big and small, this activity entails.
Moving Around Moscow
Tom, who has been in Moscow since Saturday, is running the German Football Union’s Club of National Team Fans.
Tom faced a small challenge literally on day one as not all of the fans under his care were issued “fan passports”
“One of them had his Fan ID taken away from him just as he was going to board the plane to Russia, and without any reason to boot. Naturally enough, he couldn’t come with us. It was a real blow to the man who can now only watch the games on TV,” Tom told Sputnik.
Checking into the hotel didn’t go smoothly either because of the language barrier.
They still managed to get around that “thanks to a Russian friend who has spent the past nine years living in Germany.”
When Germany Ties Mexico 4-4…
Because organizing fans’ leisure also comes with the job, on Sunday, Tom sent his charges on a routine sightseeing tour of Moscow. As for himself, he decided to do otherwise.
“I went to two football games, though not World Cup ones. First off, we watched a friendly in Khimki between German and Mexican fans which ended in a 4-4 tie. Then I went to a League 4 match watched by about 60 fans – it was also fun,” Tom recalled.
What he liked most, however, were the final few hours leading up to the German squad’s opening game with Mexico. “First, I was really surprised to see Russians being so friendly. And the Mexicans too, were pretty friendly too, save for just a couple of moments,” Tom said.
“If Someone Has Not Had His Share Before 11 P.M….”
Tom Roeder also fancies Moscow as a city.
“I’ll put it straight: Moscow speaks for itself. The city is absolutely amazing.”
There still are some nits to pick though, including beer, which local stores stop selling after 11 p.m.
“We had to improvise. On the other hand, we spend the whole day going places. Is someone has not had his share before 11 p.m., this means that he simply blew it,” Tom laughed.