The Real Football Factories International

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The Real Football Factories International
Genre Documentary
Starring Danny Dyer
Narrated by Danny Dyer
Country of origin  United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 8
Production
Location(s) Various
Running time 60 minutes (inc. commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel Bravo (United Kingdom)
CNN

The Real Football Factories International is a documentary style program about football hooliganism across the world. The Real Football Factories was the first series, where presenter and actor Danny Dyer travelled the UK, meeting some of the more notorious football firms. In this spin-off series, Dyer goes international, meeting firms from across the globe. Dyer played the main character of Tommy Johnson, a main member of a fictional Chelsea firm in the 2004 film The Football Factory.

In 'The Real Football Factories International', Dyer visits Turkey, Argentina, Italy, Croatia and Serbia, The Netherlands, Brazil, Poland and Russia.

In late 2007, The Score in Canada started to broadcast these episodes along with "The Real Football Factories." But with an altered soundtrack due to copyright issues. It was also shown on CNN and CNN International under the name The Real Soccer Factories International in 2008.

Episode guide[edit]

Episode 1: Turkey[edit]

In the first episode, Dyer goes to Turkey, one of the more notorious countries for football violence, due to the passion of their supporters. The episode is shot mainly in Istanbul, where the countries two biggest clubs and fierce rivals are Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray. Dyer meets two members of Fenerbahçe's firm, Kill For You (KFY) and learns of one of their supporters, nicknamed Rambo, who once broke into Galatasaray's Ali Sami Yen Stadium with a Fenerbahçe flag and a kebab knife. He then meets Alpaslan Dikmen(B:20.12.1965 - D:27.09.2008), the leader of Galatasarays UltrAslan Ultras group. Dyer speaks with them about their hatred of Fenerbahçe; and also their hatred of English fans, which had been exposed in 2000 when two Leeds United fans were fatally stabbed in Istanbul at a UEFA Cup semi-final match against Galatasaray.

Dyer then meets up with a few more of Fenerbahçe's KFY, before they take him to the Fenerbahçe vs Galatasaray derby match at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium. Fenerbahçe win the game 2-1 and Galatasaray fans tear apart the away section of the ground. Dyer then goes to experience lower division football in Turkey in İzmir, and meets the firms of the two main teams in the city. First he meets the Göztepe A.Ş. team and travels with their 'Yali' firm to an away game. He then meets their arch-rivals Karşıyaka S.K., whose firm are run by godfather type figures, who bring the players and management over to the fans after the game to celebrate with them.

Episode 2: Argentina[edit]

In Argentina, Dyer travels mainly around the capital city, Buenos Aires, meeting firms from all across the city and province. Buenos Aires has the most football clubs in one city in the world. Rivalry and violence between fans is never far away. First is the Avellaneda derby (Club Atlético Independiente vs Racing Club de Avellaneda), in the port town of Avellaneda in the Greater Buenos Aires (belonging to the Buenos Aires Province). This match was played in the stadium of Independiente (Libertadores de América). Dyer is taken to the popular of the stadium, a stand said to be so crazy, that even the police will allegedly not enter it. Before the game, Dyer spoke with Pablo "Bebote" (Big baby) Álvarez, the leader of the Los Diablos Rojos (The Red Devils), the barra brava of Independiente; and entered to the stadium with him.

Ten minutes into the game, the stand is jumping so much that the Independiente firm member Dyer is with takes them out of the popular and into a safer stand. Independiente take a 2-0 lead, and the Racing fans take matters into their own hands. The game is abandoned due to crowd trouble in the away section. We then meet members of Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield's firm, who take Dyer onto the pitch of their stadium and around the trophy room, something that Dyer would never get back home in his home country of England. Finally he meets Rafa Di Zeo, the leader of the La 12 firm from Boca Juniors. Dyer learns that firms are an integral part of the clubs in Argentina, and that it is very different from just the pre-arranged violence between sets of supporters in the English game.

Episode 3: Italy[edit]

Italy has a reputation for football violence, in part due to the Ultras culture. Dyer firstly travels to Turin, and meets the Drughi Ultras from Juventus. The Drughi are named after the Droogs in the cult film A Clockwork Orange. Dyer speaks with members of the Drughi about the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985, and is told of Juventus fans hatred of all English football fans.

Dyer then briefly travels to Bergamo in Lombardy, and meets a top member of Atalanta B.C.'s Curva Nord Ultras. Dyer then goes to Rome and attends the biggest derby in Italian football, the Derby della Capitale, between S.S. Lazio and A.S. Roma. The two teams share the Stadio Olimpico, with Lazio fans using the Curva Nord as their home stand, and Roma fans using the Curva Sud as their home stand.

In the first half, Dyer stands in the Curva Sud with Roma's ultras, where before kick off, Roma legend Marco Delvecchio comes and greets the fans in the stand. At half time Danny goes round to the other side of the stadium to experience the derby from the Curva Nord with Lazio's Irriducibili ultras. Lazio end up winning the match 3-0, sparking wild celebrations in the Curva Nord.

Episode 4: Croatia and Serbia[edit]

In his trip to the Balkans, Dyer visits both Croatia and Serbia who fought one of the bloodiest wars in recent European history. A war which some believe began with the riot between fans of (Croatian club) Dinamo Zagreb and (Serbian club) Red Star Belgrade in May 1990. In Croatia he attends the biggest derby in their footballing calendar, Hajduk Split vs Dinamo Zagreb in Split.

He then sets off on a road formerly known as the Highway of Brotherhood and Unity into Serbia, where he gets rejected by Red Star Belgrade's fans Delije who refuse to appear on the programme, but manages to meet Partizan Belgrade’s hardcore Grobari (the Grave Diggers) ultras. Dyer is also on hand for the Belgrade derby between FK Partizan and Red Star, both the football as well as the basketball one.

Episode 5: The Netherlands[edit]

The Dutch are famous for their tolerant culture and liberal attitude to sex and drugs. Dyer begins his journey in Amsterdam where he takes in the cosmopolitan life of the capital. But Danny soon learns that Holland has a dark underbelly as he starts his journey into its fierce and secretive hooligan culture. Whilst in Amsterdam he has a secret meeting with the F -Side Firm of AFC Ajax. He learns about Ajax’s long standing rivalry with Feyenoord hooligans from Rotterdam which has seen bombings and even murder. He then travels to Rotterdam where he experiences, De Klassieker (The Classic) derby, Feyenoord against Ajax - the biggest game in Holland. We see how drugs and weapons have fueled their rivalries which have seen the firms battle around the football ground and even at clubs and raves.

Dyer then travels to The Hague to find out how the rivalries have intensified with arson attacks and the difficulties the police have in controlling the spread of hooliganism. Because he has earlier talked with Ajax, ADO Den Haag supporters would not talk to him. His final destination is Utrecht where he finds out about the hooligans' power and influence within clubs. He meets the Utrecht firm who have a base within the football club. It becomes apparent that many of the firms are deeply embedded in the clubs and violence has become a part of Dutch culture.

Episode 6: Brazil[edit]

Brazil is considered to be one of the most violent societies in the world; a society with a high murder rate. Brazilian football is rife with passion and brutality. In Rio de Janeiro Dyer visits the Raça Rubro Negra, a Torcida group from Flamengo. He learns that in Brazil the firms are waging war, with guns and shootings commonplace. In Porto Alegre he meets one more torcida group, Geral do Grêmio of Grêmio, and he attends a game between the team and Flamengo.

In São Paulo he meets the torcida group, Mancha Verde (Green Stain) of Palmeiras who he travels with to Rio de Janeiro. During the trip gun violence is experienced first hand as they come under fire from a rival group from Botafogo. In São Paulo he also meets Gaviões Da Fiel, which is the biggest firm in Brazil and a Corinthians supporter.

Episode 7: Poland[edit]

During this film Dyer visits Poland, a country which has been saddled with the yoke of oppression throughout its history. At the beginning of his journey, he heads to Gdańsk where he meets Lechia's supporters Chuligani Wolnego Miasta - a firm that helped to abolish the communist regime. He then travels on to Kraków to sample the The Holy War (pol. Święta Wojna) - the Kraków derby between Cracovia and Wisła. First he meets one of Cracovia hooligans groups - Anty Wisła, later he meets Sharks (main of Wisła's hooligans firm). On October 28, 2006, Danny experienced what The Holy War really is.

In the stadium, a fight broke out between Cracovia hooligans and the police. During the 18 months leading up the derby, eight fans have died due to football-related violence in Kraków, a city also ominously known, in hooligan circles, as The City of Knives. Dyer wanted to talk with two main groups of Polish ultras - Legia's TB'95 and Lech's LPH, but they refused to meet with him on television.

Danny leaves Poland reflecting on a country whose football violence problem appears to be stuck in a 1980s time warp.

Episode 8: Russia[edit]

In Russia, Dyer visits Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Whilst in Moscow it quickly becomes apparent that it is a city which is out of the ordinary. Moscow has its own rules, and beneath its exterior it becomes apparent that anything goes. He meets Vasilli the Killer the leader of Spartak Moscow's Gladiators firm.

Whilst in Russia his fame from the film, Football Factory precedes him when outside a game he is mobbed. He learns that the CSKA Moscow (Gallant Steeds Firm, leader - "CashPoint") and Spartak firms went to watch the film together in the same cinema, and to celebrate they took to the streets for a fight afterwards.

He also meets a female hooligan, a unique experience on his travels around the world.

External links[edit]