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A basic card display mosaic tifo at Montreal's old Claude Robillard Centre ground
A tifo combining held shields and multiple hoisted painted banners at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, U.S.

Tifo (Italian: [ˈtiːfo]) is the phenomenon whereby tifosi of a sports team makes a visual display of any choreographed flag, sign or banner in the stands of a stadium, mostly as part of an association football match.[1]

Tifo is most commonly seen in important matches, local derbies, and rivalries, and although the tradition originated at club teams, some national teams also have fans that organise tifo on a regular basis.[2] Tifo is primarily arranged by ultras or a supporter club to show their love to the club,[3][4][5] but are sometimes sponsored or arranged by the club itself.


The tifo culture, like the origin of its name, has its roots in Italy and Southern Europe, and has a strong presence in Eastern Europe. It has much in common with the ultras culture and appeared at the same time, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Tifo, while highly prevalent in Europe, has become more widespread and more common in all parts of the world where association football is played.[citation needed] It gained popularity in the late 2000s and early 2010s among Major League Soccer teams in the United States, with some supporters' groups spending up to $10,000 for materials.[6] The Portland Timbers–Seattle Sounders rivalry has featured some of the largest and most elaborate tifos in U.S. soccer.[3]

Some tifo are political and controversial, as observed in Poland,[7] where a tifo is known as an oprawa or oprawa meczu, and other countries.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is a tifo?". MLSsoccer.com. 1 January 2016. Archived from the original on 16 November 2020.
  2. ^ "DBU – fra leg til landshold!". Dbu.dk. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b Parker, Graham (28 June 2012). "Portland Timbers' giant tifo throws down gauntlet to Seattle Sounders". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  4. ^ Andrew Harvey (15 July 2016). "Schmid: Timbers still haven't caught Sounders". Sportspress Northwest. Retrieved 17 July 2016. Last season, Seattle fans mocked Portland with a tifo that read 'Pity'.
  5. ^ Molly Blue (17 July 2016). "Watch: Timbers Army welcomes Seattle Sounders with 'Legends Never Sleep,' Freddy Krueger-inspired tifo". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 17 July 2016. As cheers exploded, a red-and-black tifo was rolled out—'Legends Never Sleep,' a play on the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' movie franchise.
  6. ^ "U.S. Soccer Fans Turn to Tifo". Wall Street Journal. 14 September 2012. ProQuest 1039301946. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  7. ^ Klymenko, Pavel (3 August 2017). "Why Legia's spectacular contribution to celebrating the Warsaw uprising is not what it seems". Medium. Retrieved 17 May 2019.