Football hooliganism

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Lokomotive Leipzig fans before their team's encounter with Dynamo Schwerin in the East German FDGB-Pokal in 1990

Football hooliganism refers to unruly, violent, and destructive behaviour by overzealous supporters of association football clubs, including brawling, vandalism and intimidation.[1]

Football hooliganism normally involves conflict between gangs, often known as football firms (the term derives from the British slang for a criminal gang), formed for the specific purpose of intimidating and physically attacking supporters of other teams. Certain clubs have long-standing rivalries with other clubs (usually, but not always, geographically close) and hooliganism associated with matches between them (sometimes called local derbies), is likely to be more severe.

Conflict may take place before, during or after matches. Participants often select locations away from stadia to avoid arrest by the police, but conflict can also erupt spontaneously inside the stadium or in the surrounding streets. In such cases, shop windows may be smashed, rubbish bins set on fire,[2][3] and police cars may be overturned. In extreme cases, hooligans, police, and bystanders have been killed, and body-armoured riot police have intervened with tear gas, police dogs, armoured vehicles and water cannons.[4]

Hooligan behaviour[edit]

Football hooliganism involves a wide range of behaviour, including:

  • taunting, e.g. by abusive chanting, sometimes obscene
  • spitting
  • unarmed fighting
  • throwing of objects on to the pitch, either in an attempt to harm players and officials or as a gesture of insult (as when bananas are thrown towards players of black African origin, the implication being that they are monkeys)
  • throwing of objects at opposing supporters, including stones, bricks and Molotov cocktails.[2][3]
  • use of pyrotechnic devices such as flares and smoke bombs
  • fighting with weapons including sports bats, glass bottles, rocks, rebar, knives, machetes and firearms.[5]
  • disorderly crowd behaviour such as pushing, which may cause stadium fixtures such as fences and walls to collapse. Similar effects can occur when law-abiding crowds try to flee disorder caused by hooligans.[6]

Early history[edit]

The first instance of football violence is unknown, but the phenomenon can be traced back to 14th-century England. In 1314, Edward II banned football (at that time, a violent, unruly activity involving rival villages kicking a pig's bladder across the local heath) because he believed the disorder surrounding matches might lead to social unrest, or even treason.[7] According to a University of Liverpool academic paper, conflict at an 1846 match in Derby, England, required a reading of the "riot act" and two groups of dragoons to effectively respond to the disorderly crowd. This same paper also identified "pitch invasions" as a common occurrence during the 1880s in English football.[8]

The first recorded instances of football hooliganism in the modern game allegedly occurred during the 1880s in England, a period when gangs of supporters would intimidate neighbourhoods, in addition to attacking referees, opposing supporters and players. In 1885, after Preston North End beat Aston Villa 5–0 in a friendly match, both teams were pelted with stones, attacked with sticks, punched, kicked and spat at. One Preston player was beaten so severely that he lost consciousness and press reports at the time described the fans as "howling roughs".[7] The following year, Preston fans fought Queen's Park fans in a railway station—the first alleged instance of football hooliganism outside of a match. In 1905, a number of Preston fans were tried for hooliganism, including a "drunk and disorderly" 70-year-old woman, following their match against Blackburn Rovers.[7]

Although instances of football crowd violence and disorder have been a feature of association football throughout its history[9] (e.g. Millwall's ground was reportedly closed in 1920, 1934 and 1950 after crowd disturbances), the phenomenon only started to gain the media's attention in the late 1950s due to the re-emergence of violence in Latin American football. In the 1955–56 English football season, Liverpool and Everton fans were involved in a number of incidents and, by the 1960s, an average of 25 hooligan incidents were being reported each year in England. The label "football hooliganism" first began to appear in the English media in the mid-1960s,[10] leading to increased media interest in, and reporting of, acts of disorder. It has been argued that this in turn created a 'moral panic' out of proportion with the scale of the actual problem.[11]

Causes[edit]

Moroccan football hooligans, April 2012

Football hooliganism has factors in common with juvenile delinquency and what has been called "ritualized male violence".[12] "Involvement in football violence can be explained in relation to a number of factors, relating to interaction, identity, legitimacy and power. Football violence is also thought to reflect expressions of strong emotional ties to a football team, which may help to reinforce a supporter’s sense of identity."[13] "Numerous causal factors have been offered in previous literature in relation to hooliganism," including "...alcohol and irregular tickets sales, as well as the “…criminal insouciance (disinterest) of the organisers” and the “…cowardly ineptitude” of the police. The main causes are "the media, the police, the football authorities and opposing fans."[13] Rowe (2002) states that "football violence is often explained by focusing on genetic and sociological theories."[13]

One observer stated that in the UK, "[h]igh-profile outbreaks of violence involving fans are much rarer today than they were 20 or 30 years ago. The scale of trouble now compared to then doesn't bear comparison - either in terms of the number of people involved or the level of organisation. Football has moved on thanks to banning orders and better, more sophisticated policing. And while it is too simplistic to say that the higher cost of watching football has pushed unsavoury elements out, there has been a shift in the way people are expected to behave inside grounds. Offensive chants are still way too commonplace but actual fighting doesn't happen very often."[14]

Subculture[edit]

Football hooligans often appear less interested in the football match itself than in the associated violence, engaging in behaviour which will risk their being arrested before the match, denied admittance to the stadium or ejected during the progress of the match.

Hooligan groups often associate themselves with, and congregate in, a specific part of their team's stadium, called in England an "end", and sometimes use this in naming their firms.

In the UK, 1960s and early 1970s football hooliganism was associated with the skinhead subculture. Subsequently, the "casual" subculture transformed the British football hooligan scene. Instead of wearing skinhead-style, working class clothes, which readily identified hooligans to the police, firm members began wearing designer clothes and expensive "offhand" sportswear (clothing worn without careful attention to practical considerations).[15]

Politics[edit]

Fans of the FC Karpaty Lviv football club honoring the Waffen-SS Galizien division, in Lviv, Ukraine, 2013

In a number of countries, football hooliganism is associated with nationalist and far-right politics, often at a superficial level such as crude racism. Racist abuse of non-white players is common in Europe.

International Hooliganism[edit]

Hooligans who can afford the time and money may follow the national team on its journeys to away matches and engage in hooligan behaviour against the hooligans of the home team. They may also become involved in disorder involving the general public. While national-level firms do not exist in the form of club-level firms, hooligans supporting the national team may use a collective name indicating their allegiance.

Nomenclature[edit]

Other terms commonly used in connection with hooligan firms include "army", "boys", "casuals", and "crew". Hooligan-led violence has been called "aggro" (short for "aggravation") and "bovver" (the Cockney pronunciation of "bother", i.e. trouble). To "run" opposing hooligans is to make them flee.

Anti-Hooligan Measures[edit]

Police and civil authorities in various countries with hooligan problems have taken a number of measures, including:

  • banning items that could be used as weapons or missiles in stadia, and searching suspected hooligans
  • banning identified hooligans from stadia, either formally via judicial orders, or informally by denying them admittance on the day
  • moving to all-seated stadia, which reduces the risk of disorderly crowd movement
  • segregating opposing fans, and fencing enclosures to keep fans away from each other and off the pitch
  • banning opposing fans from matches and/or ordering specific matches to be played behind closed doors
  • compiling registers of known hooligans
  • restricting the ability of known hooligans to travel overseas.

Europe[edit]

Czech police prepare for trouble after a match by suiting up in riot gear.

Belgium[edit]

Hooliganism was especially prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s, when riots between supporters of major teams, such as Club Brugge K.V., R.S.C. Anderlecht, Standard Liège, Union Royale Namur, Beerschot and Royal Antwerp F.C. were common. On May 23, 2008, riots occurred between Anderlecht hooligans and immigrant youth in Brussels. On June 3, 2011, during the Belgium-Turkey match, riots took place in the city center of Ghent, and 30 people were injured.

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Football hooliganism in Bosnia and Herzegovina is particularly associated with the supporters of clubs such as FK Sarajevo (Horde Zla), FK Željezničar Sarajevo (The Maniacs), HŠK Zrinjski Mostar (Ultrasi) and FK Borac Banja Luka (Lešinari). Other clubs with hooligans as supporters include FK Sloboda Tuzla (Fukare), NK Čelik Zenica (Robijaši), FK Velež Mostar (Red Army) and NK Široki Brijeg.

Hooliganism reflects local ethnic divisions and tensions. Bosniak oriented groups are fans of FK Sarajevo, FK Željezničar and FK Velež Mostar. Serb oriented groups are fans of FK Borac Banja Luka, FK Slavija, and FK Drina Zvornik (Vukovi). Croat oriented groups are fans of NK Široki Brijeg (Škripari) and HŠK Zrinjski Mostar.

Many fans are associated with fascist ideologies, supporting and glorifying extremist movements such as Ustaše, Četnici and Nazis.[16]

Infamous 2009 Široki Brijeg football riots between supports of Bosnian Premier League club sides NK Široki Brijeg and FK Sarajevo clashed leaving Horde Zla supporter Vedran Puljić (from Sarajevo) dead from a gunshot wound.[17]

Hooliganism has also been present in lower leagues.[18] Riots have been common in Jablanica because fans of different clubs tend to meet and clash there.[19]

Bulgaria[edit]

Ultra groups are associated with teams including CSKA Sofia (Ofanziva, 14, Lulin Boys, Torcida Plovdiv, UCSH, SWCR), Levski Sofia (Sofia Zapad, South Division, HD Boys, Ultra Varna), Botev Plovdiv (CSC), Lokomotiv Plovdiv (Lauta Hools), Minyor Pernik (Teva Boys), Beroe Stara Zagora (Zara Boys), Slavia Sofia (BOYS SOFIA,La Vechia Scuola) and others. Most groups express far-right political views, especially against Roma and immigrants. There are particular rivalries between fans of CSKA and Levski Sofia (the two most successful clubs in Bulgarian football), and between those of Botev and Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

Croatia[edit]

Football hooliganism in Croatia has seen riots over inter-ethnic resentments and the politics that were reignited by the breakup of the Yugoslav federation in the 1990s.[4] Two of the best known hooligan firms are Torcida (Hajduk Split) and Bad Blue Boys (Dinamo Zagreb).[20] However, the groups are not just hooligan firms; they are more like the South American Torcida supporters groups and Ultras groups, with organised Tifos and so on.

On 13 May 1990 (before the breakup of Yugoslavia) Serbian club Red Star Belgrade was in Zagreb to play Dinamo Zagreb at the Maksimir Stadium. Red Star was accompanied by 3000 Delije, the organized supporters of the club. Before the match a number of small fights broke out. Police reinforcements soon arrived with armoured vehicles and water cannons, focusing to separate the fans. Dinamo's player Zvonimir Boban kicked one policeman, defending a Dinamo's fan beaten by the police. The fighting lasted for over an hour and hundreds of people were injured. Football hooliganism in Croatia is sometimes connected with racism and nationalism,[4] although the racist remarks, if any appear, are pointed solely to opposing club's players, never to own squad.

Ethnic tension between Croats and Serbs has also led to fighting at a football match in Australia. On 13 March 2005, Sydney United (who have a large Croatian following, and were established by Croatian immigrants) and Bonnyrigg White Eagles (who have a large Serbian following and were established by Serbian immigrants) met in Sydney in the New South Wales Premier League. About 50 fans clashed, resulting in two police officers getting injured and five fans being arrested. Football NSW held an inquiry into the events. Both clubs denied that the fight was racially motivated or that there was any ethnic rivalry.[21] P Croatian hooligans are also notorious for staging large illegal pyroshows at stadiums, where signal flares and smoke bombs are hurled onto the pitch causing postponement or cancellation of the match. A large incident occurred in 2003 in Rome during the Hajduk-Roma match when 900 Torcida fans threw signal flares at Roma fans resulting in various injuries and clashes with the police.

Another incident occurred in Genoa in 2007 when masked Torcida fans attacked the police with bricks, bottles and stones. Rioting continued in the stadium when Torcida fans threw chairs into the pitch and made nazi salutes. A riot occurred in 2006 in Osijek during the Osijek-Dinamo match. Several clashes between the Bad Blue Boys and Kohorta occurred before the match in which one Osijek fan received several stab wounds after which Osijek fans attacked the police and Dinamo fans with signal flares and stones.

A large riot occurred in 2008 in Prague prior to the Sparta Prague-Dinamo match. Riots were ignited with the support of Sparta's ultrafans to Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić.[22] Approximately 500 Bad Blue Boys rioted in the city centre breaking shops and attacking police with chairs, signal flares and stones. Approximately 300 Bad Blue Boys were detained and 8 police officer were injured. Prior to the riots some Bad Blue Boys provoked local Romani people by giving nazi salutes.

A large riot occurred in 2010 on 1.May at the Maksimir stadium when the Bad Blue Boys clashed with the police resulting in many arrests and one critically injured police officer. After the match violent clashes continued in which one Dinamo fan was shot by police officers. A large incident occurred in 2009 prior to the FC Timişoara-Dinamo match. 400 Bad Blue Boys rioted in the city centre and attacked local people. After the incident Romanian police detained a large number of Dinamo fans but the situation escalated again at the FC Timişoara stadium when 200 Bad Blue Boys tore down the pitch fence and attacked the police with chairs and bats resulting in several injured police officers. During the clash Dinamo fans fired signal missiles at FC Timişoara fans resulting in severe injuries. Many Croatian hooligan groups have also displayed nazi flags at matches and have neo-nazi skinheads in their ranks. Several incidents occurred when Bad Blue Boys and Torcida made racist chants towards opposing club's football players of black skin descent and hurled bananas in the pitch. In 2010, a Cameroon player was attacked in Koprivnica resulting in severe injuries.

In December 2010. 10-15 Tornado (Zadar) hooligans attacked an Partizan traveling coach with stones and bricks resulting in one injured person. In December 2010 30-40 Bad Blue Boys attacked an PAOK traveling coach with stones, bricks and flares setting the traveling coach on fire and inflicting injuries on several passengers.

Denmark[edit]

Football hooliganism is regarded as a serious problem in Denmark both for the sport itself and for the Danish society in general. In an attempt to control hooliganism in Denmark the Danish parliament introduced a hooligan registry in 2008.

Initially, hooligans followed an "honor code" fighting only among themselves and not using weapons, but this is no longer the case.

Hooligan groups in Denmark are often linked to radical right-wing groups such as the Danish Front.

Besides the "official" members of these groups there are also many "hangarounds" who are not permanently attached to a group.

Football hooligans reportedly have a counterpart, the Roligans, a peaceful group which opposes hooliganism.

France[edit]

This photo of a match in Lille shows the use of flares by PSV Eindhoven supporters in football hooliganism.

Football hooliganism in France is often rooted in social conflict, including racial tension. In the 1990s, fans of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) fought with supporters from Belgium, England, Germany, Italy and Scotland.[23] There is a long standing north/south rivalry between PSG (representing Paris and by extension northern France) and Olympique de Marseille (representing the South of France) which has encouraged authorities to be extremely mobilised during games between the two teams. Violent fights and post-game riots including car burning, and shop windows smashing have been a regular fixture of PSG-OM games. In 2000, the bitter rivalry turned particularly violent.[24]

On 24 May 2001, fifty people were injured when fighting broke out at a match between PSG and Turkish club Galatasaray at the Parc des Princes stadium.[25][26] PSG were initially given a record $571,000 fine, but it was reduced on appeal to $114,000. Galatasaray was initially fined $114,000 by UEFA, but it too was eventually reduced to $28,500.[27] In May 2001, six PSG fans from the Supporters Club, were arrested and charged with assault, carrying weapons, throwing items on the pitch and racism. The six were alleged to have deliberately entered a part of the Parc des Princes stadium where French fans of Turkish origin were standing, in order to attack them. The six were banned from all football stadiums for the duration of their trial.[27][28][29]

On 24 November 2006 a PSG fan was shot and killed by police and another seriously injured during fighting between PSG fans and the police. The violence occurred after PSG lost 4-2 to Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv at the Parc des Prince in a UEFA Cup match. PSG fans chased a fan of Hapoel Tel Aviv, shouting racist and anti-semitic slogans. A plainclothes police officer who tried to protect the Hapoel fan was attacked, and in the chaos, one fan was shot dead and another seriously injured. In response, the French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy held a meeting with the president of the French Football League, Frederic Thiriez to discuss racism and violence in football. The director-general of the French police, Michel Gaudin, insisted that measures against football hooliganism had reduced racist incidents to six that season from nineteen in the previous season. Gaudin also stated that 300 known hooligans could be banned from matches.[30] The fan who was shot, was linked with the Boulogne Boys, a group of fans who modelled themselves on British hooligans in the 1980s. The group's name comes from the Kop of Boulogne (KOB), one of the two main home fan stand at the Parc des Princes.

The KOB themselves held a silent memorial march attended by 300 and accused the police office of murdering the fan. They cited bias in the French press who had only given a "one-sided" account of the incident.[30] French President Jacques Chirac condemned violence that led up to the shooting, stating that he was horrified by the reports of racism and anti-Semitism. French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin called for new, tougher measures to deal with football hooligans. Prosecutors opened an inquiry into the incident, to determine whether the officer involved should face criminal charges.[31][32]

Before a home match against Sochaux on 4 January 2006, two Arab youths were punched and kicked by white fans outside the entrance to the KOB. During the match racist insults were aimed at black players and a PSG player of Indian origin, Vikash Dhorasoo was told to "go sell peanuts in the metro".[23] In the recent years, following UK's example, France's legislation has changed, including more and more banning of violent fans from stadiums. The threat of dissolution of fan groups has also tempered the outward rivalry and violence of a number of fans. Known violent fans under ban sentences are to report to the nearest Police station on nights of game, to prove they are not anywhere in proximity to the stadium.

Germany[edit]

German football hooligans with masked faces in a 1990s match.

Some football hooliganism in Germany has been linked to neo-Nazism and far right groups.[33] In June 1998, after a FIFA World Cup match in France between Germany and Yugoslavia a French policeman was beaten to the point of brain damage by German fans. Following the incident, German police contacted many of the known 2,000+ German hooligans to warn them they would be arrested if they travelled to upcoming matches in France.[34] A German fan was arrested in 1998 and charged with attempted murder[35][36] and in 1999, four more Germans were convicted in the attack[37][38] In 2001, Markus Warnecke, the German fan who was accused of leading the attack, was found guilty and jailed for five years and banned from France for ten years, and from all sports facilities for five years.[39]

German police prepare for hooliganism by wearing riot gear and using police dogs.

In March 2005, German football fans fought with police and rival fans at a friendly match between Germany and Slovenia in Celje, Slovenia, damaging cars and shops, and shouting racist slogans. The German Football Association (DFB) apologised for the behaviour. As a result, 52 people were arrested; 40 Germans and 12 Slovenians.[40][41] Following a 2-0 defeat to Slovakia in Bratislava, Slovakia, German hooligans fought with the local police, and six people were injured and two were taken into custody. The DFB again apologised for fans who chanted racist slogans.[42]

In June 2006, Germany beat Poland in a World Cup Finals match in Dortmund, which led to violent clashes. The police detained over 300 people in Dortmund and German fans threw chairs, bottles and fireworks at the police. Of the 300 arrested, 120 were known hooligans.[43] In October 2006, a task force was established to deal with violence and racism in German football stadiums.[44] The worst incident took place at a Third division (North) match between the Hertha BSC Berlin B-team and Dynamo Dresden, in which 23 policemen were injured.[45][46] In February 2007 in Saxony, all German lower league matches, from the fifth division downward were cancelled after about 800 fans attacked 300 police officers (injuring 39 of them) after a match between Lokomotive Leipzig and Erzgebirge Aue II.[47] There were minor disturbances after the Germany and England match during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. An English flag was burned down amongst a mob of German supporters in Duisburg-Hamborn in Germany.[48]

Greece[edit]

The first incidents between Football fans in Greece were recorded in June 1930, after the match Aris Thessaloniki & Panathinaikos F.C. at Thessaloniki. While Panathinaikos fans where arriving at the port of Piraeus from Thessaloniki, Olympiakos fans, who had not forgotten the big loss of their team (8–2) by Panathinaikos F.C. riot with the green fans. The word "Hooliganism" was recorded at the early '60s where Greek students at the UK who had experienced the phenomenon of hooliganism there first, taught the term to the journalists who were unable to explain why the fans were fighting each other and give this situation a name. In 1962, after Panathinaikos F.C. & P.A.O.K. F.C. match incidents, newspapers wrote for first time that Hooligans(Χούλιγκανς) vandalized Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium. It was November 19, 1966 that a big Flag, at 13th gate of Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium announced the arrival of a new group on the scene. Gate 13 would be the first organized group that over the years become a part of the club by affecting club decisions and by following the club on all possible occasions.

P.A.O.K. F.C. fans made Gate 4 in 1978 and Olympiacos fans create the Gate 7 in 1981.

In 1982, between Aris FC - Paok FC match incidents, Aris Dimitriadis was stabbed and later died in Thessaloniki's hospital. In October 26, 1986, at Alkazar stadium of Larissa Charalambos Blionas was killed by flare pistol thrown by the side of Paok fans. One month later anastasios Zontos was stabbed to death at Omonoia square in the Center of Athens before the match AEK Athens F.C. & P.A.O.K. F.C..In January 1991, Before the derby of Aek F.C. and Olympiakos F.C. George Panagiotou died in the incidents between hooligans outside Nea Filadelfia's stadium hit by flare pistol. In 15 May 2005, in Thessaloniki derby Iraklis-Aris F.C., Aris' hooligans called Ierolohites invaded in the pitch while the score was 2-1 for Iraklis. A football player, Tasos Katsambis was injured during the clashes. The match was halted and Aris was punished with 4 points decrease which led to his relegation to Second Division. In April 2007, all sports stadiums were closed down in Greece for two weeks following the death of a fan in a pre-arranged fight between hooligans in Athens on 29 March. The fight involved 500 fans of rival Super League Greece clubs Panathinaikos, which is based in Athens, and Olympiacos, which is based in nearby Piraeus. The Greek government immediately suspended all team sports in Greece and severed the ties between teams and their supporters' organizations.[2] A Third Division match between Panetolikos and Ilioupoli was stopped for thirty minutes when players and fans clashed following a Panetolikos disallowed goal. Two players and a coach were sent to the hospital.[49]

On 18 April, rival fans clashed with each other and riot police in Ioannina during and after a Greek Cup semi final match between local rivals PAS Giannena and Larissa. There was trouble during the game in which Larissa won 2–0. Fans set fire to rubbish bins and smashed shop windows, while police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas.[2][3]

On 10 October 2009, a group of about 30 hooligans disrupted an "Under 17" match between local rivals PAOK and Aris Thessaloniki. Among the injured were a group of Aris Thessaloniki players and their coach, a veteran PAOK player and another official. On 7 October 2011, a group of Greek supporters firebombed the away section of a Euro 2012 qualifying match against Croatia in Athens. On March 18, 2012, during the match for the Super League Greek Championship in Athens Olympic Stadium between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos, home team Panathinaikos's fans who were inside the stadium attacked police forces with Molotov bombs, causing extended damages to the stadium, while police forces were unable to keep peace.

On 5 January 2014, in Aigaleo, a suburb in Athens, the local team Aigaleo FC was hosting AEK Athens, a Third Division match. Before the match clashes broke up between AEK and Aigaleo fans. Indeed the clashes resulted in the arrest of a security guard of the stadium who was accused of participating in the clashes among Aigaleo hooligans and also accused of committing attempted murder against an AEK fan.

Hungary[edit]

Local derbies between Budapest teams Ferencvárosi Torna Club (based in Ferencváros) and Újpest FC (based in Újpest) are frequently occasions for violence between supporters.[50] Other clubs whose supporters are reportedly involved in hooliganism include Debreceni VSC (Debrecen), Diósgyőri VTK (Miskolc), Nyíregyháza Spartacus FC (Nyíregyháza), Zalaegerszegi TE (Zalaegerszeg), Haladás VSE (Szombathely) and Videoton FC (Szekesfehervar)

Italy[edit]

The term Ultra is used to describe hooligans in Italy. In February 2001, AS Roma fans fought with police and Liverpool fans, and five English supporters were stabbed.[51]

After a weekend of violence in January 2007, the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) threatened to halt all league football. An official of amateur club Sammartinese died when he was caught up in a fight between players and fans in Luzzi, among numerous incidents of disorder in Florence, Bergamo and elsewhere.[52] In February 2007 the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) suspended all football matches after Police Officer Filippo Raciti was killed at the match between Catania and Palermo when he was struck on his liver by a piece of lavatory of the stadium[53]

Netherlands[edit]

An early case of hooliganism in the Netherlands involved rioting between fans of Rotterdam club Feyenoord and English club Tottenham Hotspur at the 1974 UEFA Cup Final.[54] Other Dutch clubs associated with hooliganism include PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, FC Utrecht, FC Groningen, Twente Enschede and ADO Den Haag.

The most violent rivalry is between Ajax and Feyenoord. A particularly serious incident was the so-called "Battle of Beverwijk" on 23 March 1997, in which several people were seriously injured and one killed.[55] The 2002-03 season was marked by similar incidents, and also by fighting between fans of Ajax and FC Utrecht.[56]

Mural on the wall near PSV's Philips Stadion

Other serious incidents include:

  • 16 June 1990, English fans were arrested for brawling in Amsterdam before a friendly international match.[57]
  • 26 April 1999, 80 fans were arrested when Feyenoord supporters rioted after a cup match with NAC Breda.[58]
  • 2006, fighting took place between Feyenoord fans and French police in Nancy.[59]

Norway[edit]

Hooliganism is less of a problem in Norway than in neighboring Sweden and Denmark, though it has increased in recent years. Hooligan and casual groups in Norway are usually small. Clubs such as Brann, Lillestrøm, Vålerenga, Rosenborg and IK Start are known to have hooligan firms associated with them.

Poland[edit]

Further information: Football hooliganism in Poland

Football hooliganism is common in Poland, occurring in almost every city; notably in Kraków where supporters of the Wisła Kraków and KS Cracovia teams have a rivalry that reportedly extends to killings of opposing fans.

One of the biggest riots occurred at a World Cup qualifying match between Poland and England on 29 May 1993 in Chorzów.

Arranged football hooligan fights in Poland are known as ustawki; they became common in Poland since the late 90s. On 30 March 2003, Polish police arrested 120 people after rival football supporters fought during a match between Śląsk Wrocław and Arka Gdynia.[60] During the riot, hooligans pelted police officers with stones and fought a running battle with knives and axes. One victim was seriously injured and later died in hospital.

During the 1998-99 UEFA Cup, a knife was thrown at Italian footballer Dino Baggio, from Parma F.C. by Polish supporters (allegedly Wisła Kraków fans), injuring him in the head.[61] Supporters of Legia Warszawa also attracted negative attention after in Lithuania during the match against Vetra Vilnius on July 10, 2007.

Portugal[edit]

Hooligan firms are associated with teams such as F.C. Porto, S.L. Benfica and Sporting Clube de Portugal. The "Big Three" have "official" and "unofficial" firms. Porto's official firm is the Super Dragões ("Super Dragons"). Benfica have an official firm, the Diabos Vermelhos ("Red Devils"), and an unofficial one, the No Name Boys. Sporting CP has three official firms: Juventude Leonina (AKA Juve Leo i.e. "Lion Youth"), the oldest Portuguese firm founded in 1976, Directivo Ultras XXI and Torcida Verde, and several "unofficial" firms such as Sporting Casuals.

Incidents between the rival factions have diminished however they still happen occasionally.

There is also a rivalry between S.C. Braga and Vitória Guimarães, involving especially the Vitória Guimarães firm White Angels.

In 1996, during the Portuguese Cup final between Sporting and Benfica, a Benfica fan launched a flare towards the Sporting fans, killing one man. An incident in 2009 saw the Benfica No Name Boys support group be accused of monitoring the lives of Juve Leo members with support from Benfica's president Luís Filipe Vieira. In 2013, members of the hooligan firm Sporting Casuals were filmed fighting against the Super Dragões at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto.

Russia[edit]

Hooligans of Spartak Moscow

Football hooliganism has become prevalent in Russia since the beginning of the 1970s, and Russian hooligans are among the most notorious in the world. Violent hooligans are associated with teams such as FC Spartak Moscow (Gladiators,Shkola, Union), FC Lokomotiv Moscow (Red-Green's, Vikings, BHZ, Trains Team), PFC CSKA Moscow (RBW, Gallant Steeds, Yaroslavka, Einfach Jugend), FC Dynamo Moscow (Capitals, 9-ka), FC Torpedo Moscow (Tubes, TroubleMakers) - all from Moscow - and FC Zenit Saint Petersburg (Music Hall, Coalition, Snakes Firm) from Saint Petersburg. Russian hooligans often show an underlying resentment towards Russia's perceived political rivals.[62][63][64][65][66][67]

The aftermath of a football riot in Bryansk, Russia: broken chairs and seats.

Serbia[edit]

The most prominent groups of hooligans are associated with Belgrade and Serbia's two main clubs, Partizan and Red Star Belgrade. They are known as the Grobari (Gravediggers) and Delije ("Heroes"), respectively. FK Rad is a less-successful Belgrade club, whose associated hooligans, known locally as "United Force", have notoriously been involved in many violent incidents.[68] On 2 December 2007, a plainclothes police officer was seriously injured when he was attacked during a Serbian Superliga match between Red Star Belgrade and Hajduk Kula.[69][70] On 14 April 2008 a football fan was killed near Novi Sad after clashes between FK Partizan's Grobari and fans of FK Vojvodina.[71] That same week, after a Red Star Belgrade-Partizan cup match, three people were injured and a bus destroyed by hooligans.[72]

Football firm graffiti in Prague.

On 19 September 2008 a Serbian football hooligan was sentenced to ten years in jail for an attack against a police officer at a Red Star BelgradeHajduk Kula game.[73] On 12 October 2010 Serbia's Euro 2012 Qualifying clash with Italy was abandoned after only 6 minutes after several Serbian fans threw flares and fireworks onto the pitch and caused severe trouble in and out of the ground.[74] Partizan Belgrade were disqualified from the UEFA Cup, after crowd trouble in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Grobari threw flares and stones and fought with supporters of Zrinjski Mostar and police. Fourteen Grobari were convicted for the murder of Toulouse fan Brice Taton in Belgrade. They attacked them with baseball bats and flares while wearing surgical masks. The hooligans received up to 35 years in prison.[75]

Sweden[edit]

Hooliganism began in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century as fans of AIK, Hammarby and Djurgården have been reported fighting after derbies in Stockholm.[citation needed] Modern hooliganism began in 1970 when fans of IFK Göteborg invaded the pitch, destroyed the goalposts and fought the police at the end of a match that relegated Göteborg from the Allsvenskan, although Hooliganism in Sweden became a growing problem in the 1980s, but pitch invasions and violence at football grounds decreased in the late 1990s; when hooligan firms started pre-arranging their fights away from the grounds and the regular supporters. Seven clubs that have large organised hooligans firms are AIK (Firman Boys), IFK Göteborg (Wisemen) Djurgårdens IF (DFG) Hammarby IF (KGB) Malmö FF (True Rockers) GAIS (Gärningsmännen) and Helsingborgs IF (Frontline). But several other football, bandy and ice hockey clubs have active hooligan followings.[76] In November 2002, 12 members of the Wisemen stood trial for inflicting life-threatening injuries on a Hammarby fan in 2001.[76]

In August 2002, Tony Deogan, a member of the Wisemen, was killed after a pre-arranged fight against Firman Boys.[76] A second fatality occurred in March 2014, when a 43-year-old Djurgården supporter was killed in Helsingborg in an assault on his way to Djurgården's opening match in the 2014 Allsvenskan against Helsingborg. After the man's death became known, Djurgården supporters invaded the pitch after 42 minutes of play, prompting officials to abandon the match.[77][78]

Spain[edit]

Football hooliganism in Spain arises from three main sources. The first is racism, as some black players have been victims of ethnic slurs. Samuel Eto'o, a former FC Barcelona player from Cameroon, has denounced the problem. The second source is the strong rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona. After transferring from Barcelona to Real Madrid, Luís Figo's appearance in Barcelona's Nou Camp Stadium triggered a strong reaction. The crowd threw bottles, mobile phones and other things (including a pig's head). Although nobody was injured the match was followed by a large discussion on fan violence in the Spanish Primera División. Hooliganism is also rooted in deep political divisions arising from the General Franco fascist regime days (some Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Espanyol, Real Betis Balompie or Valencia CF ultras are linked to franquista groups), the communist ones, (such as Deportivo La Coruña, Athletic Club Bilbao, Sevilla FC, Celta de Vigo, Rayo Vallecano) and the independentist movements in Catalonia (like FC Barcelona) and the Basque region. In Spain, organized hooligan groups are popularly called grupos ultra. Two notorious ones are the Boixos Nois and the Ultras Sur, supporter groups of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

In 1991, Frederiq Roiquier, a French supporter of Espanyol de Barcelona was killed by FC Barcelona hooligans which mistook him for an Espanyol hooligan.[79] In 1992 a 13-year-old child died in Espanyol stadium before a flare impact in his thorax.[80] In 1998, Aitor Zabaleta, a supporter of Real Sociedad was killed by an Atlético Madrid hooligan[81] who was linked to a neo-Nazi group (Bastión), just before a match between these two teams. In 2003, a supporter of Deportivo La Coruña was killed in riots by Deportivo hooligans, when he tried to protect a supporter of the opposing team, SD Compostela. Since then, authorities have made attempts to bring hooliganism more under control. In 2007, there were acts of hooliganism before a match between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid, with several cars being destroyed and policemen injured by flares and bottles which were thrown at them.[82] Many black foreign players have been racially abused, such as at a recent friendly match between Spain and England, in which black England players such as Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole endured monkey chants from Spain supporters.[83] There also have been local disputes between rival teams, for example between Cádiz Club de Fútbol and Xerez CD, Real Betis Balompie and Sevilla FC or Deportivo de La Coruña and Celta de Vigo.

Hooligan violence in Spain decreased since the late '90s due to hooligan laws which attempt fines up to 600,000 euros and bans of two years without access to stadiums.[84]

Since 2003 FC Barcelona hooligans, the Boixos Nois are not allowed to enter in Camp Nou. The hardcore of Barcelona hooligans subgroups were involved in police operations against organized crime.[85] In 2008, after a hooligan incident versus Espanyol, FC Barcelona very publicly took a stand on violence, saying it hoped to stamp out violence for good.[86] In 2007 Atlético Madrid hooligans clashed with Aberdeen FC hooligans prior to a UEFA Cup match.In 2009 and 2010 Atlético Madrid hooligans also clashed with FC Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal in Portugal during UEFA Cup games. In 2012 a Rayo Vallecano Hooligan was arrested during riots in 14-November general strike and accused of terrorism.[87] He was released from prison 9 of January 2013 in the middle of media attention.[88]

Switzerland[edit]

One incident, dubbed the 2006 Basel Hooligan Incident, 13 May 2006, occurred on the last day of the 2005-06 season, when FC Zürich defeated FC Basel at St. Jakob Park to win the Swiss championship with a last-minute goal. After the final whistle, angry Basel hooligans stormed the field and attacked Zürich players. The Zürich team were forced to celebrate in the upper deck of the stands while the fighting continued. There was similar fighting in the streets that night.[89][89]

United Kingdom[edit]

There are records of football hooliganism in the UK from the 1880s, and from no later than the 1960s the UK had a worldwide reputation for it – the phenomenon was often dubbed the English Disease.[90][91][92][93] From the 1970s, many organised hooligan firms sprang up. As a result of the Heysel Stadium disaster of 1985, English clubs were banned from all European competitions until 1990, with Liverpool banned for an additional year.[94] According to Manchester United hooligan Colin Blaney in his autobiography 'The Undesirables', many of the football hooligan gangs in the UK used hooliganism as a cover for acquisitive forms of crime, specifically theft and burglary.[95] This fact has also been confirmed in numerous other articles on the subject.[96][97] In the 1980s and well into the 1990s the UK government led a major crackdown on football-related violence. While football hooliganism has been a growing concern in some other European countries in recent years, British football fans now tend to have a better reputation abroad. Although reports of British football hooliganism still surface, the instances now tend to occur at pre-arranged locations rather than at the matches themselves.

Latin America[edit]

Argentina[edit]

1920s[edit]

The first murder related with the Argentine football occurred on 2 November 1924 in Montevideo (Uruguay), after the final match of the South American Championship of this year between Uruguay and Argentina. In the Colón Hotel (where the Argentina national football team was staying) broke out a fight of Uruguay supporters and Argentine fans and footballers. Consequently, a Uruguayan fan died.[98]

1930s[edit]

On 14 May 1939 at the stadium of Lanús (in the city of Lanús, in the Greater Buenos Aires), the violence claimed its first fatality in Argentine territory. In a match of the minor divisions of Boca Juniors and the local team, after a foul by a player of Lanús, players began to fight. Seeing this, the Boca Juniors fans wanted to tear down the fence and invade the pitch, prompting the police to fire shots to disperse them. But a police officer named Luis Estrella shot into the stands, killing two spectators: Luis López and Oscar Munitoli, a 9-year old.[99]

1940s[edit]

But this violence was not only among fans, footballers or the police, but also against the referees. On 27 October 1946, during a match between Newell's Old Boys and San Lorenzo de Almagro at Newell's Old Boys stadium (in the city of Rosario), local fans tried to strangle the referee Osvaldo Cossio. The match was tied on two goals when Cossio annulled a goal of the premises, and the third goal of San Lorenzo de Almagro in the next play worsened the situation. 89 minutes into the game, several Newell's Old Boys fans entered the pitch, hit the umpire and tried to hang him with his own belt.[100]

1950s[edit]

Although in Argentine football violence was already present from the beginning (late 19th century), the organized groups (barras bravas) appeared in the 1950s (barras bravas of Independiente, San Lorenzo de Almagro, Lanús, Rosario Central, Vélez Sarsfield, Racing, etc.) and 1960s (barras bravas of Belgrano, Boca Juniors, River Plate, etc.), and continued to grow in the coming decades. Every major and minor football club in Argentina has its own corresponding barra brava, and all are violent. In that country, there are the largest and strongest organized supporter groups in the world,[101] and the most powerful of them are the barras bravas of Independiente (La Barra Del Rojo) followed by the barra bravas of Boca Juniors and Newell's Old Boys.[102][103]

But this phenomenon suffered a major transformation in the late 1950s. The journalist Amílcar Romero sets 1958 as the beginning of the current barras bravas (although some had already existed for several years), with the murder by the police of Mario Alberto Linker (in a Vélez Sársfield - River Plate match at the José Amalfitani stadium). Because of the murder of this fan of Vélez Sársfield, in October 1958, the society notes the existence of this organized groups (the barras bravas). The so-called "industrialization of football" was the kickoff for this organization, because needed to control all aspects involved in the game. Before the emergence of these groups, when a team played as a visitor, was pressured by rival fans. This prompted the organization of the barras bravas in response to that pressure:

In Argentinian football, it was well established that if you played as the visiting team, you were inexorably in a tight spot. Although they were not barras bravas as we know them today, local fans would pressure you, and the police, when not looking the other way, would pressure you as well. That had to be offset by a doctrine that in the next decade became common currency: the only means by which to neutralize any effectual group with a reputation and capacity for violence, is with another, closer-knit group with as great, or greater, reputation for violence.

—Amílcar Romero, [104]

In this way, each club began having his barra brava, which was funded by the leaders of the institution. These groups were given their tickets and paid trips to the stadium, adding later other forms of financing. But the access to these "benefits" by the barra brava depended of the hierarchy inside her. For the barra brava to be prestigious, it had to be violent, so they began to increase the number of dead.[105]

After the death of Linker, in Argentine football began a phase marked by "habituation" to the violence of the barras bravas, and an increase in the number of deaths. According to Amílcar Romero, between 1958 and 1985, 103 deaths related to football violence took place in Argentina, that is, an average of one every three months. However, it also clarifies that the origin of such deaths is not always confrontation in the stadium, and range from the premeditated clash between barras bravas outside the sporting venues, police repression against disorder, infighting in a barra brava or "accidents", its analysis tends to show some kind of negligence or violation of safety standards.

1960s[edit]

In 1964 more than 300 football fans died and another 500 were injured in Lima (Peru) in a riot during an Olympic qualifying match between Argentina and Perú on 24 May.[106] On 11 April 1967 in Argentina, before a match between Huracán and Racing de Avellaneda, a Racing fan of 15 years died murdered by the Huracán barra brava[107] at the Tomás Adolfo Ducó stadium. Over 70 Boca Juniors fans died in 1968 when crowds attending a Superclásico in Buenos Aires stampeded after youths threw burning paper onto the terraces and the exit (Puerta 12) was locked.[106][108][109] In Argentina, one fan was killed and 12 people injured, including six police officers when fans of Racing Club de Avellaneda and Club Atlético Independiente clashed in February 2002.

An Independiente fan was shot dead, and another fan was shot in the back and hospitalized when about 400 rival fans fought outside Racing Clubs Estadio Juan Domingo Perón in Avellaneda before the match. Between 70 and 80 people were arrested as a result. The match started late when Independiente fans threw a smoke bomb at Racing Club goalkeeper, Gustavo Campagnuolo. That same weekend, 30 people were arrested and 10 police officers injured when fighting broke out at a match between Estudiantes de La Plata and Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata in La Plata.[110]

1980s[edit]

From the 1980s and onwards, the nuclei of the biggest barras bravas began to attend the matches of the Argentina national football team in the FIFA World Cups. That caused fights against supporters of other countries (sometimes were hooligans or ultras) and between the Argentine barras bravas themselves. Also, in the 1980s and the 1990s were recorded the highest levels of violence in the history of the Argentine football, and there was a new phenomenon: the internal fragmentation of the barras bravas. It was produced by the emergence of sub-groups with their own names inside the barras bravas. Sometimes these sub-groups fought among themselves to have the power within the barra brava to which they belonged.

An example of the violence of this years was the Roberto Basile's death. Before the start of a match between Boca Juniors and Racing in 1983 in the Bombonera stadium, this Racing supporter died after being pierced in the neck by a flare thrown from the Boca Juniors stand.[111]

1990s[edit]

In 1997 a member of La Guardia Imperial (barra brava of Racing de Avellaneda) was murdered by an Independiente supporter.[112] In 2001, other supporter of Racing was killed, and the barra brava of Independiente was the main suspect.[113] Independiente and Racing (both from the city of Avellaneda, in the Greater Buenos Aires) have a huge rivalry (they form the Avellaneda Derby), the second most important in Argentina but maybe the fiercest (noteworthy that their stadiums are apart only for about 300 meters).

2000s[edit]

A 2002 investigation into football hooliganism in Argentina stated that football violence had become a national crisis, with about 40 people murdered at football matches in the preceding ten years. In the 2002 season, there had been five deaths and dozens of knife and shotgun casualties. At one point the season was suspended and there was widespread social disorder in the country. The first death in 2002 was at a match between fierce rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate. The match was abandoned and one Boca Juniors fan was shot dead. Boca Juniors, one of the largest clubs in Argentina, may have the largest barra brava element in the country (it is similar to the barras bravas of Independiente and River Plate), with their self-styled leader, Rafael Di Zeo, claiming in 2002 that they had over 2000 members (however there are doubts about the reliability of this information).[114] In 2004, while driving up to Rosario to watch their side play Rosario Central, Los Borrachos del Tablón (River's Barra Bravas) confronted a bus of Newell's firm (one of the big rival firms) on Highway 9, in a battle that killed two Newell's fans. Up to this day, some members of Los Borrachos still face charges because of the deaths.

In 2005 a footballer, Carlos Azcurra, was shot and seriously wounded by a police officer, when rival fans rioted during a Primera B Nacional match between local Mendoza rivals (but not a derby) San Martín de Mendoza and Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba.[115]

During the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, there was a confrontation[116] between 6 members of the barra brava of Independiente and 16 members of the barras bravas of Boca Juniors and Defensa y Justicia (both were together) in the Czech Republic (the country where the three barras bravas were housed). As a result of the fight, a supporter of Boca Juniors had to be hospitalized.

In 2007, during the match of the promotion/relegation playoff of the 2006–2007 season between Nueva Chicago and Tigre (in the Nueva Chicago's stadium), broke out a fight between the barras bravas of both teams because, when a penalty was sanctionaty for Tigre (who was winning the match 2-1, a result that relegated to Nueva Chicago to the Second division) in the 92nd minute, the barra brava of Nueva Chicago invaded the pitch and ran on direction to the stand occupied by the supporters of Tigre to attack them. After this, were serious riots near the stadium (not only caused by the barras bravas, but also by ordinary people), and as a result of it, a fan of Tigre died.[117]

On 19 March 2010 in a bar of Rosario, the ex leader of the Newell's Old Boys barra brava (Roberto "Pimpi" Camino) was shot and later died in a hospital of that city.[118] Camino and his sub-group led the barra brava from 2002 to 2009, when they were expelled from it due to their defeat at the hands of another sub-group, which currently dominates La Hinchada Más Popular (name of the Newell's Old Boys barra brava). Some members of the now main sub-group are the suspects of the murder, and the bar's owners are suspected of helping them.[119]

In the early morning of 4 July 2010 (the next day of the match between Argentina and Germany for quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup) in Cape Town, South Africa, there was a fight between some integrants of the barras bravas of Independiente and Boca Juniors. During the brawl, one member of the Boca Juniors barra brava lost consciousness after being brutally beating by the Independiente fanatics.[120] He was admitted to a hospital in the city and died there on 5 July.[121]

From 1924 to 2010 there were 249 deaths (250 with the Argentine recently died in South Africa) related to Argentine football (if the 300 dead in Perú in 1964 aren't counted).[122]

Grêmio fans set toilets on fire in Internacional Stadium - 2006

Brazil[edit]

Fans in Brazil join in organized groups often considered criminal organizations that differ in many aspects from European hooligans. They act as the main supporters of each club and often sell products and even tickets. They have up to 60,000 members and are often involved in criminal activities other than fights such as drug dealing and threats to players. These fans establish alliances with other "torcidas organizadas" as they are called such as the alliance between Torcida Mancha Azul (Avaí Futebol Clube), Força Jovem Vasco (CR Vasco da Gama), Galoucura (Atlético Mineiro) and Mancha Verde (SE Palmeiras), the alliance between Torcida Independente (São Paulo F.C.), Torcida Jovem (CR Flamengo), Máfia Azul (Cruzeiro Esporte Clube and Leões da TUF (Fortaleza Esporte Clube) and some other alliances. They often schedule fights against rival groups where many are injured and killed.[citation needed] Fans of local rivals TJP - Torcida Jovem Ponte Preta and TFI -Torcida Fúria Independente clashed and rioted at a match in Campinas in 2002. Violence had been expected, and just before kick-off, fans started fighting. Police tried to intervene but were pelted by stones. As the fighting continued inside the stadium, a railing collapsed and numerous fans fell over 13 ft (four metres) into a pit between the stands and the pitch. Over 30 people were injured.[123] In Porto Alegre on South Brazil, Grêmio and Internacional fans, have a different way to support their teams with too much beer, no samba, no T-shirt identification, these 2 firms in this big city results in a long history of tension and conflict.

El Salvador[edit]

The Football War (Spanish: La guerra del fútbol), also known as the Soccer War or 100 hour War, was a brief war fought by El Salvador and Honduras in 1969. It was caused by political conflicts between Hondurans and Salvadorans, namely issues concerning immigration from El Salvador to Honduras. These existing tensions between the two countries coincided with the inflamed rioting during the second North American qualifying round of the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Honduras and El Salvador met in the second North American qualifying round for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. There was fighting between fans at the first game in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa on 8 June 1969, which Honduras won 1–0. The second game, on 15 June 1969 in the Salvadoran capital of San Salvador, which was won 3–0 by El Salvador, was followed by even greater violence.[124] A play-off match took place in Mexico City on 26 June 1969. El Salvador won 3–2 after extra time.

The war began on 14 July 1969, when the El Salvadoran military launched an attack against Honduras. The Organization of American States negotiated a cease-fire on the night of July 18 (hence "100 hour War"), which took full effect on July 20. El Salvadoran troops were withdrawn in early August. El Salvador dissolved all ties with Honduras, stating that "the government of Honduras has not taken any effective measures to punish these crimes which constitute genocide, nor has it given assurances of indemnification or reparations for the damages caused to Salvadorans".[125] This led to border clashes between the two nations.

North America[edit]

Mexico[edit]

Football hooliganism in Mexico appears to be low key, but there have been some incidents, such as small-scale fighting between fans of Monterrey and Morelia at a Primera División match in Monterrey in 2003.[126] In June 1998, one man died and several people were injured when Mexican football fans rioted after the Mexico national football team lost to Germany in the World Cup, a result that eliminated Mexico from the tournament.[127] After the match, hundreds of riot police were brought in to restore order because fans were looting and rioting. Fans then clashed with the police, and many fans were injured or arrested. In March 2014 dozens of Chivas supporters clashed with police during their derby with Atlas. Several police were hospitalized. As a result Chivas banned all of their supporters for the Clasico against Club America.[128]

United States and Canada[edit]

While soccer is traditionally viewed as a family-friendly event, violence does occur. On July 20, 2008, in a friendly match between Major League Soccer side Columbus Crew and English Premier League club West Ham United, in Columbus, Ohio, a fight broke out between rival fans. Police estimated more than 100 people were involved.[129] An unruly encounter occurred between Toronto FC fans in 2009, upset from a loss in the Trillium Cup, and Columbus Crew fans. One Toronto fan was tasered by Columbus police.

That same weekend, a riot was narrowly avoided at a packed Giants Stadium as members of the New York Red Bulls supporters club, Empire Supporters Club (ESC), and members of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority security force clashed over what the ESC claimed was unfair and repeated mistreatment. Clashes also took place in the parking area around the stadium after the game, involving already ejected-for-life North Jersey Firm (NJF) members, and the New Jersey State Police were called to quell the situation.[130] There were several arrests, mostly of known NJF hooligans. A rare moment of violence broke out in Seattle in March 2010 after a pre-season Portland Timbers win in Seattle, when three Sounders fans assaulted a Timbers fan, choking and dragging him with his team scarf.[131] On April 21, 2013 in Portland, a Portland Timbers supporter was assaulted by a group of San Jose Earthquakes supporters. While he was sitting in his car, he had taunted his scarf at a group of San Jose Supporters, one of which ran toward him and attacked him through his car window, breaking his car windshield and assaulting him.[132] San Jose's 1906 Ultras were subsequently banned by the club from traveling to away matches.[133] After much debate, the ban was lifted.

Asia[edit]

Azerbaijan[edit]

In Azerbaijan, the biggest problems come from fans of PFC Neftchi Baku (Flagman) (Ultra Neftchi) and Khazar Lankaran (Bosman) (12 Player).

Bangladesh[edit]

Football hooliganism in Bangladesh does not appear to be a major problem. However, in August 2001, 100 people were injured when thousands of football fans rampaged at a B-League match between Mohammedan Sporting Club and Rahmatganj Sporting Club in the Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka. When the referee disallowed a penalty, Mohammedan fans invaded the pitch, throwing stones at the police, who had to fire tear gas at the fans to try and restore order. Outside the stadium dozens of cars and buses were damaged and set on fire.[134]

China[edit]

Football hooliganism in China is often linked to accusations of corrupt refereeing, with Chinese football being plagued by allegations of match fixing in the early 2000s.[135][136] After a match in 2000 between Shaanxi Guoli and Chengdu Wuniu in Xi'an, football fans clashed with police who used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Eight people were arrested but later released.[137] In March 2002 hundreds of football fans rioted at a match in Xi'an between Shaanxi Guoli and Qingdao Yizhong, as a result of fans' suspicions of match-fixing.

Two years earlier, following crowd trouble at a match also in Xi'an, the government demanded more action to stamp out football hooliganism.[135]

In June 2002, riots in Fuzhou, Fujian province had to be put down by heavily armed paramilitary police. The disorder started when fans were unable to watch the World Cup match between China and Brazil at an outside broadcast.[136] On 4 July 2004 fans rioted in Beijing when China lost the final of the AFC Asian Cup to Japan, 3-1. Japanese flags were burned and a Japanese Embassy official's car vandalised. Japanese fans had to be protected by the police, and bussed to safety.[138][139] The rioting was attributed to ill-feeling toward Japan for atrocities committed before and during the Second World War.[138]

India[edit]

In India, most of the documented football riots have primarily taken place in Kolkata. Everytime the Calcutta derby takes place between Mohun Bagan A.C. and East Bengal F.C., tensions arise. However, it has taken the form of escalating violence twice- notably, at Eden Gardens on 16 August 1980. 16 people lost their lives that day due to a stampede. Another incident took place on 9 December 2012 at the Salt Lake Stadium. Though nobody was killed, Syed Nabi, a Mohun Bagan A.C. footballer, was injured by a brick thrown, according to the player, by Mohun Bagan A.C. supporters.[140][141]

Indonesia[edit]

Hooligan action in Indonesia marked by conflicting between supporters often occurred in several major cities, such as Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Malang. Fans club that often involved a brawl in: Persija, Persib, PSIS, Persis, PSIM, PSS, Persebaya, and Arema. It is following the clubs rivalities. For examples, Persija versus their big enemies: Persib and Persebaya. Or Indonesian El Classico, Arema contra Persebaya. While the sides of PSIS, Persis, PSIM, and PSS fight enmity between them.

More than 30 people have been killed as a result of clash between supporters. Just in the league season 2012/2013, 10 fans were killed. In addition to clashes between supporters, also often occurred between supporter versus residents who live along the railway line. Bad habit of supporter (buying food and drink without paying along the bypassed stations), being them as a target throw stones.

Supporters had the initiative to found the Association of Indonesian Football Supporters (ASSI) to reduce that bad habit. But the association led by Sigit Nugroho did not stem the brutal action of supporter, especially without significant support from Indonesian Football Association (PSSI). Sigit has also twice held the big event called Jamboree of Indonesian Football Supporters in Bogor and Bali, but it’s only mark a peace agreement, which has not been followed by concrete action in the field.

Nevertheless the creative action at stadium by fans, at least can neutralize the bad side of Indonesian soccer. The action led by Aremania (Malang), now already mushrooming across the country. They sing, dance, and show several unique choreographies.

Jordan[edit]

Football riots in Jordan are generally regarded as an expression of tension between the country's Palestinian ethnic group and those who regard themselves as ethnically Jordanian, the two groups being of roughly equal size.[142]

In December 2010, rioting broke out following a game between rival Amman clubs Al-Wehdat and Al-Faisaly clubs. Some Al-Faisali fans threw bottles at Al-Wehdat players and their fans. About 250 people were injured, 243 of them Al-Wehdat fans, according to senior officials from the hospitals.[142] According to Al Jazeera, supporters of Al-Wehdat are generally of Palestinian origin, while Faisaly fans are of Jordanian origin. A similar riot occurred in 2009.[142][143]

Israel[edit]

In the 2000s, tensions surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict spilled over into sporadic riots between Jewish and Arab Israeli football fans. In December 2000 it was reported that every club in Israel was on a final warning following escalating violence and intimidation at matches.

A number of incidents have involved Beitar Jerusalem, including racist abuse against overseas players,[144] anti-Arab chants, use of smoke bombs and fireworks, and rioting. Beitar has a hooligan firm, La Familia, whose members consider Israeli Arabs to be their enemy. In November 2007 the Israel Football Association (IFA) ordered Beitar to play their game against the Arab club, Bnei Sakhnin behind closed doors after Beitar fans, led by La Familia, broke a minute's silence for former Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin and sang chants in praise of his assassin, Yigal Amir. After a pitch invasion led by La Familia on 13 April 2008, when Beitar were leading Maccabi Herzliya 1–0 and about to win the Israeli Premier League, the match was abandoned and the points to their opponents. Beitar was deducted two points and had to play its remaining home games behind closed doors.

North Korea[edit]

There was brief unrest from North Korean fans at an international match vs Iran in North Korea in 2005. It appears that a North Korean player got into an argument with the Syrian referee, and then things got out of hand.[145]

Qatar[edit]

Football hooliganism in Qatar stems from the many strong local-derbies held within the country as a result of the majority of the league being based in Doha. Casual football culture has been brought over to Qatar where vandals dress in casual white gowns rather than in football jerseys, making it difficult for police to make any arrests at big games.

Syria[edit]

On March 12, 2004 a fight between Arab and Kurdish supporters of rival Syrian football clubs at a match in Qamishli, 450 miles (720 km) north east of Damascus, escalated into full scale riots that left 25 people dead and hundreds injured.[146][147]

Turkey[edit]

According to the Turkish Daily News, hooligan groups are well organised, have their own "leaders", and often consist of organised street fighters. These groups have a "racon" (code of conduct), which states that the intention must be to injure rather than kill and that a stab must be made below the waist.[148] Other hooligans have fired firearms into the air to celebrate their team's victory, which has been known to accidentally kill innocent people watching the celebrations on their balconies.[149][150]

Trouble has arisen during matches between Istanbul rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe.[149] However, the Turkish Football Federation has tightened security to try and contain the hooliganism. During the 2005 Turkish cup final between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, 8,000 police, stewards and officials were employed to prevent violence.[151] In 2006, the Turkish Football Federation introduced new measures to combat the threat of hooliganism and have made new regulations that allow the Professional Football Disciplinary Board to fine clubs up to YTL 250,000 for their fans behavior. Repeat offenders could be fined up to YTL 500,000.[152] Despite reports from the Turkish Football Federation, the Turkish police believe that football hooliganism is not a major threat and are "isolated incidents".[153]

Before Galatasaray's semi-final UEFA Cup match with Leeds United A.F.C. in 2000, two Leeds fans, Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, were stabbed to death in Istanbul following street fights between Turkish and British hooligans.[148] UEFA allowed the game to proceed and Galatasaray won 2-0. Leeds complained because home fans jeered while a message of condolence was read for the victims.[154] Galatasaray's players refused to wear black arm bands. The Leeds chairman at the time, Peter Ridsdale, accused Galatasaray of "showing a lack of respect".[155] He also revealed that his teams' players had received death threats before the match.[156]

Ali Ümit Demir was arrested and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the stabbing, but the sentence was reduced to 5 years on the basis of heavy provocation, while five others were given lesser sentences of under four months.[153] The families of those accused of attacking with knives are reported to have defended their actions and approved of their children punishing the "rude British people".[148] Galatasaray fans were banned from traveling to the return match to try and avoid further clashes between fans, although there were reports of attacks by Leeds fans on Turkish television crews and the police.[157] However the Assistant Chief Constable in charge of policing the game believed that the number of arrests was "no worse than a normal high category game".[157] Hakan Şükür was hit with projectiles from Leeds United supporters and the Galatasaray team bus was stoned after driving through an underpass. The game saw Emre Belözoğlu and Harry Kewell sent off and Galatasaray sealed their way to the final with a 2-2 score.

Violence also occurred between Arsenal fans (mainly from The Herd) and Galatasaray fans before the 2000 UEFA Cup final in Copenhagen[158] in which a Galatasaray fan, an Arsenal fan and a Dane were said to have been stabbed.[159] Galatasaray later won the match after a penalty shoot-out.

On 24 May 2001, 50 people were injured when fighting broke out at a match between French club PSG and Galatasaray at the Parc des Princes stadium.[16][17]PSG were initially given a record $571,000 fine, but it was reduced on appeal to $114,000. Galatasaray was initially fined $114,000 by UEFA, but it too was eventually reduced to $28,500.[18] In May 2001, six PSG fans from the Supporters Club, were arrested and charged with assault, carrying weapons, throwing items on the pitch and racism. The six were alleged to have deliberately entered a part of the Parc des Princes stadium where French fans of Turkish origin were standing, in order to attack them. The six were banned from all football stadiums for the duration of their trial.

On June 3, 2011, after the Belgium vs. Turkey match, several riots occurred in the city center of Ghent after a 1-1 draw.30 people were injured. Hooliganism in Turkey is also a problem in Ankara, İzmir, Eskişehir, Bursa, Samsun and Adana[citation needed]. During the 2003–2004 season, a Second League Category A, match between Karşıyaka and Göztepe on 8 February 2004, involved rival Karşıyaka and Göztepe supporters clashing and the match was subsequently stopped for 33 minutes. This was due to Karşıyaka leading 5-2 after coming back from a 2-0 deficit. After the match, Göztepe fans clashed with the police, seven police officers were wounded and fifteen Göztepe fans were arrested.[160]

Bursaspor fans clashed with policemen at a match against Samsunspor match in the Turkcell Super League in Adapazarı at the end of the 2003-04 season. The match was played in Adapazarı due to events at a previous match between Bursaspor and Çaykur Rizespor. Bursaspor were playing to avoid relegation. Bursaspor won 1–0 the but were relegated to Category A after rivals won. After the match, Bursaspor fans ripped out and threw seats at the Sakarya Atatürk Stadium[161] They also fought with craftsmen of Gölcük during their journey to Adapazarı.[162] The Bursaspor-Diyarbakırspor game in March 2010 was suspended in the 17th minute after Diyarbakırspor supporters threw objects on the field. One object struck and knocked down an assistant referee.

On 7 May 2011, Bursaspor supporters clashed with the police ahead of the team's match with rival Beşiktaş. 25 police officers and 9 fans were injured in the violence.[163] A Trabzonspor fan pointed a gun to the bus which carried the players of Fenerbahçe. During the Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray game at the end of 2011-2012 season Fenerbahçe fans clashed with the police the damage costed about 2 million dollars.Buses were stoned,Police cars set on fire and trees were set on fire by Fenerbahçe fans.This was described as a warzone.

1967 Kayseri Atatürk Stadium Disaster was the worst hooliganism event that has ever happened in Turkey it resulted in 40 deaths and 600 injured.The violence started following provocation of the Kayserispor fans in the half time, whose team went to leading by a goal scored in the first half.Supporters of the two teams threw rocks to each other.Some of the hooligans were also armed with bats and knives.The fleeing crowd caused a stampede in front of the stand exits.The events in the stadium were followed by vandalism in Kayseri and many-days lasting riots in Sivas. Hooliganism is also an issue in other sports like Basketball and Volleyball in Turkey.

On 13 May 2013, a Fenerbahce fan was stabbed to death after Istanbul derby. The Fenerbahce fan was on his way back home after the match between Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, when he was attacked by a group of Galatasaray fans at a bus stop, and died in hospital later.[164]

Africa[edit]

Democratic Republic of the Congo[edit]

Four died when troops opened fire at a derby match between AS Vita Club and DC Motema Pembe at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa in November 1998.[165] In April 2001, 14 people died following a stampede at a derby match between TP Mazembe and FC Saint Eloi Lupopo. When fans invaded the pitch after Mazembe had equalised, and rival fans started throwing missiles at each other, the police fired tear gas, and fans rushed to escape the effects of the tear gas. In the resulting stampede, 14 people died. Fans of the two clubs are alleged to have a history of hatred and violence to each other.[166]

Egypt[edit]

In January 2006 riot police attacked Libyan fans in the Cairo International Stadium after they threw missiles at the Egyptian fans in the tier above them during a match between the Egypt national football team and the Morocco national team. The Libyan fans had stayed on to watch the match after they had seen Libya lose 2-1 to Côte d'Ivoire and had started taunting the home supporters. The Egyptian fans responded by asking them to leave the stadium and verbally attacking them at half time, and when, despite a plea to stop, it continued into the second half, the riot police were called in. The Libyan Football Association were fined $7,000 by the Confederation of African Football disciplinary Commission.[167]

A melee broke out on February 1, 2012, after fans of Al-Masry, the home team in Port Said, stormed the field after a rare 3-1 win against Al-Ahly, Egypt's top team. Al-Masry supporters attacked the Al-Ahly players and their fans, who tried to escape, with knives, swords, clubs, stones, bottles, and fireworks.[citation needed] At least 79 people were killed and over 1,000 were injured from both sides in the Mediterranean port city. On January 26, 2013 rioting broke out in Port Said in response to the announcement of death sentences for 21 individuals involved in the February 2012 disturbance. A mob of al-Masry supporters attempted to storm the prison where the sentenced were held; in the subsequent rioting 30 people were killed, including two police officers, and some 300 injured.

Gambia[edit]

Massive riots occurred during and after a Cup of African Nations qualifying game between rival neighbours Senegal and Gambia at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium in Dakar, Senegal in June 2003. Gambian supporters hurled missiles towards Senegalese fans and were subsequently charged by soldiers. After the game, violent clashes were reported in both Gambia and Senegal. In Gambia several severe beatings of Senegalese citizens occurred, which led to over 200 Senegalese seeking shelter at their embassy. Also, there were rumours of a fatal beating of a Senegalese citizen. In Senegal a Gambian BBC reporter was attacked and robbed by a group of youths. The riots eventually led to the closing of the border between Gambia and Senegal until order was restored.[168][169]

Ghana[edit]

Up to 125 people died and hundreds were injured when football fans stampeded at a match in Accra in 2001. Accra Hearts were leading 2-1 against Asante Kotoko — with five minutes left in the match — when some fans began throwing bottles and chairs onto the pitch. Police then fired tear gas into the crowd, creating panic. Fans rushed to escape the gas, and in the ensuing crush, up to 125 people were killed.[170]

Ghana giant Asante Kotoko face ban after Fans assault referee in CAF confederations cup game with Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia.[171]

Côte d'Ivoire[edit]

Fighting among fans at a match led to one death on 6 May 2001 and injured 39 people.[109][172]

Kenya[edit]

In Kenya, the most hotly contested rivalry is the Kenya derby between AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia, both of whom have won the Kenya Premier League title a record 12 times. On 18 March 2012, a Kenya derby match was held up for over 26 minutes when a riot broke out leading to destruction of property and several people injured, after Gor Mahia midfielder Victor Abondo was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Leopards defender Amon Muchiri. Gor Mahia were banned by the Sports Stadia Management Board from playing in their facilities for the rest of the 2012 season, meaning that the club will not be able to play in neither the Nyayo National Stadium nor the Moi International Sports Centre.[173][174] The KPL Board has yet to announce further disciplinary measures on the club.[175]

Libya[edit]

Eight fans died and 39 were injured as troops opened fire to stop both pro- and anti-Muammar al-Gaddafi sentiments being expressed in a Tripoli stadium during a match between Al Ahli and Al Ittihad in December 1996.[176]

Mali[edit]

After a World Cup qualifying match between Mali and Togo on 27 March 2005, which Togo won 2-1, Mali fans rioted and went on a spree of destruction and violence. The trouble started when Togo scored the winning goal. Police fired tear gas at Mali fans who had invaded the pitch. The match was abandoned and the result awarded to Togo. The result set off a wave of violence in the capital of Mali, Bamako. Thousands of Mali fans in Bamako began chanting threats toward the Mali players, cars were set on fire, stores looted, property and monuments destroyed and a building housing the local Olympics committee burnt down.[177]

Mauritius[edit]

In May 1999, seven people died when rioting football fans threw petrol bombs into a casino, following a match in Port Louis between the Mauritian League champions, Scouts Club, and Fire Brigade SC. After the match which Fire Brigade SC won, hundreds of Scouts fans went on a rampage, attacking police vehicles and torching sugar cane fields.[178]

Mozambique[edit]

The government of Mozambique had to apologise for the violent behaviour of Mozambique fans, before, during and after a match between Mozambique team, Clube Ferroviário de Maputo and Zimbabwe team, Dynamos on 10 May 1998. Ferroviário fans attacked the Dynamo players and the referee, stoned vehicles and fought running battles with riot police outside the stadium. Fifteen people, including four Red Cross workers, needed hospital treatment.[179]

South Africa[edit]

In Johannesburg, South Africa, on 14 January 1991, forty people died when fans surged toward a jammed exit to escape rival brawling fans at a match southwest of Johannesburg.[180]

Zimbabwe[edit]

In July 2000 twelve people died following a stampede, when they were crushed, at a World Cup qualifying match between Zimbabwe and South Africa in Harare. Police fired tear gas when the crowd started throwing missiles onto the pitch, after South Africa had taken a two goal lead. After Delron Buckley scored South Africa's second goal bottles began to fly onto the pitch. The police then fired tear gas into the 60,000 crowd, who began running to the exits to escape the effects of the tear gas. The match had to be abandoned as players from both sides felt the effects of the tear gas and had to receive medical treatment. The police were condemned for firing tear gas, calling it a total over-reaction.[181] In July 2002, two fans were shot when police opened fire on rioting fans at a match in Bulawayo. Seven police officers were injured and five vehicles badly damaged.[182]

Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

Since the formation of the A-League in 2004, and the fall of the National Soccer League, football hooliganism has died off in competitions and incidents have become a one-off event during seasons.

The incident with most notoriety in Australia is the Pratten Park riot in 1985 where hundreds of fans stormed the pitch midway through a Sydney Olympic v Sydney City match. In a match between Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory in February 2013, 17 plastic seats were destroyed and flares were firing off.[183] Western Sydney Wanderers fans let off a flare throughout the game and sticker bombed one plastic seat.[184] In a match between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory in November 2013, one travelling Melbourne Victory fan was hospitalized with a stab wound by a sixteen year old civilian.[185] At an international football friendly between Australia and Serbia in Melbourne in June 2011, fans lit flares both inside and outside the stadium, and in city streets. Banners supporting Ratko Mladić, the Serbian military leader charged with war crimes by the International Court of Justice, were displayed. A laser light was seen in use. A seat inside the stadium was deemed damaged.[186][187] In February 2011, Victoria Police said they were reluctant to cover Melbourne Victory games because of unacceptable behaviour by fans. Problems included violence, anti-social behaviour and the lighting of flares.[188][189]

Media portrayal[edit]

Football hooliganism has been depicted in films such as I.D., The Firm, Cass, The Football Factory, Green Street, Rise of the Footsoldier and Awaydays. There are also many books about hooliganism, such as The Football Factory and Among the Thugs. Some critics argue that these media representations glamorise violence and the hooligan lifestyle.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Ramón Spaaij, Understanding Football Hooliganism: A Comparison of Six Western European Countries

References[edit]

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