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Football hooliganism

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Title: Football hooliganism  
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Football hooliganism

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

Football hooliganism[1] refers to unruly, violent, and destructive behaviour by overzealous supporters of association football clubs, including brawling, vandalism and intimidation.[2]

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. Other terms commonly used in connection with hooligan firms include "army", "boys", "casuals", and "crew". 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,[3][4] 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.[5] 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.

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.


  • Behaviour 1
  • Early history 2
  • Causes 3
  • Subculture 4
  • Anti-hooligan measures 5
  • Europe 6
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina 6.1
    • Croatia 6.2
    • Cyprus 6.3
    • France 6.4
    • Germany 6.5
    • Greece 6.6
    • Hungary 6.7
    • Italy 6.8
    • Montenegro 6.9
    • Netherlands 6.10
    • Poland 6.11
    • Russia 6.12
    • Serbia 6.13
    • Sweden 6.14
    • Spain 6.15
    • Switzerland 6.16
    • Turkey 6.17
    • United Kingdom 6.18
    • Ukraine 6.19
  • South America 7
    • Argentina 7.1
      • 1920s 7.1.1
      • 1930s 7.1.2
      • 1940s 7.1.3
      • 1950s 7.1.4
      • 1960s 7.1.5
      • 1980s 7.1.6
      • 1990s 7.1.7
      • 2000s 7.1.8
      • 2010s 7.1.9
    • Brazil 7.2
  • North America 8
    • El Salvador 8.1
    • Mexico 8.2
    • United States 8.3
  • Asia 9
    • Bangladesh 9.1
    • China 9.2
    • India 9.3
    • Indonesia 9.4
    • Jordan 9.5
    • Israel 9.6
    • Malaysia 9.7
    • Nepal 9.8
    • North Korea 9.9
    • Syria 9.10
  • Africa 10
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo 10.1
    • Egypt 10.2
    • Equatorial Guinea 10.3
    • Gambia 10.4
    • Ghana 10.5
    • Côte d'Ivoire 10.6
    • Kenya 10.7
    • Libya 10.8
    • Mali 10.9
    • Mauritius 10.10
    • Mozambique 10.11
    • South Africa 10.12
    • Zimbabwe 10.13
  • Oceania 11
    • Australia 11.1
  • Media portrayal 12
  • See also 13
  • Further reading 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


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 racist implication being that they are "monkeys")
  • throwing of objects at opposing supporters, including stones, bricks, flares and Molotov cocktails.[3][4]
  • fighting with weapons including sports bats, glass bottles, rocks, rebar, knives, machetes and firearms.[6]
  • 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.[7]

Early history

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.[8] 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.[9]

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".[8] 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.[8]

Although instances of football crowd violence and disorder have been a feature of association football throughout its history[10] (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,[11] 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.[12]


Moroccan football hooligans, April 2012

Football hooliganism has factors in common with juvenile delinquency and what has been called "ritualized male violence".[13] "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."[14] "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."[14] Rowe (2002) states that "football violence is often explained by focusing on genetic and sociological theories."[14]

Writing for the 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."[15]


Football hooligans often appear to be less interested in the football match than in the associated violence. They often engage in behaviour that risks their being arrested before the match, denied admittance to the stadium, ejected from the stadium during the match or banned from attending future matches. Hooligan groups often associate themselves with, and congregate in, a specific section (called an end in England) of their team's stadium, and sometimes they include the section's name in the name of their group. In the United Kingdom, 1960s and early 1970s football hooliganism was associated with the skinhead subculture. Later, the casual subculture transformed the British football hooligan scene. Instead of wearing working class skinhead-style clothes, which readily identified hooligans to the police, hooligans began wearing designer clothes and expensive "offhand" sportswear (clothing worn without careful attention to practical considerations), particularly Stone Island, Prada, Burberry, CP Company, Sergio Tacchini and Adidas .[16]

Fans of the FC Karpaty Lviv football club honoring the Nazi 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 occurs in Europe.

Anti-hooligan measures

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.


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

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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 (Škripari).

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 the Ustaše, Chetniks and Nazis.[17]

In 2009 riots between supports of Bosnian Premier League club sides NK Široki Brijeg and FK Sarajevo left Horde Zla supporter Vedran Puljić (from Sarajevo) dead from a gunshot wound.[18]

Hooliganism has also been present in lower leagues.[19] Riots have been common in Jablanica because fans of different clubs tend to meet and clash there.[20]


Football hooliganism in Tifos and so on.

On 13 May 1990 (before the breakup of Yugoslavia) Serbian club 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,[5] 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.[22] 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.[23] 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.

In November 2014, during a Euro 2016 qualifying game in Milan, Italy hooligans from Croatia threw flares and fireworks onto the field and the game had to be briefly suspended.[24]


Football hooliganism in Cyprus has been an issue for the past few decades and incidents are generally associated with the 5 major Cypriot clubs.

Anorthosis Famagusta FC fans have been in involved in many incidents on most occasions involving their ultras group "Mahites".[25] The two clubs in Limassol, AEL Limassol and Apollon Limassol have also been involved in numerous incidents, especially in recent years.[26][27][28][29]

Supporters of 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.[108] 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.[109][110]

Trouble has arisen during matches between Istanbul rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe.[109] 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.[111] 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.[112] Despite reports from the Turkish Football Federation, the Turkish police believe that football hooliganism is not a major threat and are "isolated incidents".[113]

Before Galatasaray's semi-final UEFA Cup match with Leeds United in 2000, two Leeds fans, Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, were stabbed to death in Istanbul following street fights between Turkish and British hooligans.[108] 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.[114] 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".[115] He also revealed that his teams' players had received death threats before the match.[116]

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.[113] 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".[108] 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.[117] 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".[117] 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[118] in which a Galatasaray fan, an Arsenal fan and a Dane were said to have been stabbed.[119] 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 3 June 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 . 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.[120]

Bursaspor fans clashed with policemen at a match against Samsunspor match in the Süper Lig 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[121] They also fought with craftsmen of Gölcük during their journey to Adapazarı.[122] 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.[123] 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.

The 1967 Kayseri Atatürk Stadium Disaster was the worst hooliganism event that has ever happened in Turkey. It resulted in 40 deaths and some 600 were 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 the 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.[124]

In 2015, confectioners Ülker–previously "one of Turkish football's biggest sponsors"–ceased their support, reportedly due to "low crowds, violence and poor atmosphere at matches".[125]

United Kingdom

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.[126][127][128][129] From the 1970s, many organised hooligan firms sprang up. As a result of the Heysel Stadium disaster of 1985, where 39 Juventus fans were killed by Liverpool hooliganism, English clubs were banned from all European competitions until 1990, with Liverpool banned for an additional year.[130] 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.[131] This has also been confirmed in numerous other articles on the subject.[132][133] 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.

English clubs who have made the headlines for the worst and most frequent cases of hooliganism include Birmingham City (whose multi racial hooligan element gained the nickname "Zulus" from fans of rival teams in the 1970s when football hooligans were almost always white British), Chelsea (whose then chairman Ken Bates installed an electric fence at the club's stadium in the mid 1980s to combat hooligans, but was refused permission to switch it on during matches), Leeds United (who were banned from European competitions following a riot after the 1975 European Cup final against Bayern München), Liverpool (whose fans rioted at the 1985 European Cup final resulting in the death of 39 spectators at Heysel Stadium in Belgium, leading to English clubs being banned from European competitions for 5 years), Manchester United (who were booted out of the European Cup Winner's Cup in 1977 after their fans rioted a game in France, although they were reinstated to the competition on appeal), Millwall (whose most notorious hooliganism incident was in 1985 when their fans rioted in an FA Cup tie at Luton), Tottenham Hotspur (who had a section of fans banned from all football grounds in England in 2008 for their racial and homophobic abuse of former player Sol Campbell) and Wolves (who had dozens of fans convicted of incidents in the late 1980s involving the Subway Army hooligan firm at matches against teams including Cardiff City and Scarborough when they were in the Fourth Division).


Football hooliganism movement in Ukraine has started in 1980s The first big fight involving football hooligans was registered in September 1987 between Dynamo Kyiv and Spartak Moscow fans in the center of Kyiv.[134] 1990s have passed in the relative silence, there was no big fights between hooligans. The origin of the football hooligans movement was started in 2000s. It then at the stadiums appeared so called English style: was established hooligan firms, casual style and first clashes of football hooligans. In the period from 2001 to 2008 new movement already gained publicity and continued to develop. Since 2005 began the first scheduled fights between football hooligans. During the Euro 2012 several leaders of football hooligans came under government pressure.[135] During the Ukrainian revolution 2014 was announced about unification of all fans and imposed a ban on any provocation as burning attributes, fighting, offensive songs.[136] During the war in eastern Ukraine many hooligans and ultras went to the defense of the state. Because of the ban internal conflicts and successes in the international stage Ukrainian hooligans pay attention to foreign fans. After the match between FC Dnipro and Saint Etienne in Kyiv several French fans were hospitalized.

Each team has its own firm and the biggest are: WBC (White Boys Club), Rodychi, Kyiv City Supporters, Albatros, Young Hope (Dynamo Kyiv), Za Boys Ultra, The Club and Pivnich 8 (Shakhtar Donetsk), Ultras'83 and Voice of North Side (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Banderstadt Ultras and Green White Ultras (Karpaty Lviv) and United Kharkiv and Pivdenna hrupa (Metalist Kharkiv). There are certain coalition between some teams as "Brotherhood coalition" (Dynamo Kyiv, Karpaty Lviv and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), "Middle-South coalition" (Shakhtar Donetsk and Vorskla Poltava) or "MChK coaliton" (Metalist Kharkiv, Chornomorets Odesa and Kryvbas Kryivyi Rih).

The principal rivals for Ukrainian hooligans it's fans from Russia. Because of historical factors fights between Ukrainian and Russian hools always especially cruel. Across Europe known Spartak Moscow–Dynamo Kyiv derby.

Typically the biggest confrontation involving Ukrainian hooligans occurring in domestic competitions. The most famous confrontation: Klasychne derby,[137] South derby and South-West derby between FC Karpaty Lviv and Shakhtar Donetsk. There are local derbys as: Donetsk derby or Kyiv derby.

South America



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.[138]


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.[139]


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.[140]


Although in

  • Chinese Nation on Alert over Soccer Riots, People's Daily Online, 4 June 2001
  • Chinese football fans riot over penalty, BBC, 25 March 2002
  • Chinese riot after Japan victory, BBC, 7 August 2004
  • Rockets, riots and rivalry, Observer Sport Monthly, 26 November 2006. Article about football hooliganism in Israel
  • Don't be a hooligan
  • [4]

External links

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  10. ^ Dunning, E, Murphy, P and Williams, J., 'The Roots of Football Hooliganism' 1988, Taylor & Francis
  11. ^ Stott, C. and Pearson, G., 'Football Hooliganism: Policing and the War on the English Disease', 2007 London: Pennant Books
  12. ^ Hall, S, 'The Treatment of 'Football Hooligans' in the Press', in Ingham et al., (1978) Football Hooliganism: The Wider Context, London: Inter-Action Inprint
  13. ^ Ramón Spaaij, Understanding Football Hooliganism: A Comparison of Six Western European Countries
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  23. ^ (Croatian) BBB se susreću s ljubiteljima Karadžića i Mladića, 8 August 2008
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  52. ^ The main defendant, Andre Zawacki, was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to ten years in jail. The other three defendants were convicted of grievous bodily harm and given jail sentences of between six months and three-and-a-half years.
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  58. ^
  59. ^ Theo Zwanziger (president of the DFB) and Werner Hackmann (president of Bundesliga) held a crisis meeting following violence at several German lower-division matches
  60. ^ Dynamo Dresden fans tried to invade the pitch, and threw missiles (including gas cartridges and plastic seats) at police. The police responded with batons and pepper spray. At a Second Division match between FC Augsburg and 1860 Munich, 21 people were arrested and police used pepper spray to disperse fans. In addition, 70 amateur and youth matches in Siegen-Wittgenstein were called off when referees refused to take to the pitch, fearing for their safety.
  61. ^
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  65. ^ Π.Α.Σ.Α. Ηρόδοτος
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  87. ^ The officer was attacked with burning flares and broken seats and he had to fire warning shots in the air in self-defence. He was treated for burns, cuts and bruises in a nearby hospital. The following day, the Football Association of Serbia requested government help to help crack down on football hooliganism in the country.
  88. ^
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  91. ^ Serbian fan gets 10 years for attempted murder
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  137. ^ On The Terraces At Football's Most Dangerous Derby
  138. ^ To 85 years of the death of Pedro Demby Pelota Afuera
  139. ^ An undesirable list who grow... La Nación
  140. ^ The shortest match of the history La Capital
  141. ^ The most dangerous hooligans of the world are in Argentina Deustche Welle
  142. ^ //
  143. ^
  144. ^ The barras appear with the industrialization of the football Página/12
  145. ^ The origins of an evil without remedy Clarín, especial "Violencia en el fútbol"
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  150. ^
  151. ^ The lost flare La Redo
  152. ^ Barrabrava jailed for the murder of another supporter Clarín
  153. ^ Nobody is taking responsibility and today are football in Racing again Clarín
  154. ^ The Boca group, known as La Doce (The Twelfth) has a long history of violence. In 2002 Diego Maradona was alleged to remain friends with the group's leaders, in spite of their reputation. Argentine hooligans revere Maradona
  155. ^ At half-time, fans had thrown rocks onto the pitch, and just before the end of the match, fans from both clubs invaded the pitch and started fighting. The players who had stayed on the pitch, including Ezcurra, tried to calm the fans, and he was shot when police tried to stop the fans by firing rubber bullets.BBC NEWS | World | Americas |Argentine footballer shot in riot
  156. ^ Agited early morning Clarín
  157. ^ Madness in Mataderos: kill a supporter of Tigre 26 Noticias
  158. ^ Camino, ex leader of the barra brava of Newell'sPimpiShot dead to La Capital
  159. ^ War of barras: 5 suspects arrested for the murder of "Pimpi" Camino Ámbito financiero
  160. ^ interned in "delicated state"Barra Perfil
  161. ^ who was beaten in South AfricabarraDied the Argentina La Razón
  162. ^ Violence in the Argentine football: 249 dead La Nación
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  166. ^ Anderson, Thomas P. The War of the Dispossessed: Honduras and El Salvador 1969. p. 105 Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981.
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  183. ^ Eden Gardens
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  199. ^ Somesh Verma (08 March 2013) "[3]". [eKantipur]. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  200. ^ Andrei Lankov (19 April 2005) "North Koreans think the unthinkable". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
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  219. ^ in soccer stadiums
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  223. ^ http://www.heraldsu
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  • Ramón Spaaij, Understanding Football Hooliganism: A Comparison of Six Western European Countries

Further reading

See also

Football hooliganism has been depicted in films such as ID, 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.

Media portrayal

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.[222] Western Sydney Wanderers fans let off a flare throughout the game and sticker bombed one plastic seat.[223] 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.[224] In December 2013, a riot between Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers broke out at a pub before the match later that day. 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 pointer was seen in use. A seat inside the stadium was deemed damaged.[225][226] 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.[227][228]

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.



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.[220] 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.[221]


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.[219]

South Africa

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.[218]


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.[217]


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.[216]


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.[215]


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.[212][213] The KPL Board has yet to announce further disciplinary measures on the club.[214] There is also a 2014 case where Gor Mahia fans are alleged to have injured Machakos residents and also vandalized property.


Fighting among fans at a match led to one death on 6 May 2001 and injured 39 people.[149][211]

Côte d'Ivoire

Ghana giant Asante Kotoko face ban after Fans assault referee in CAF confederations cup game with Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia.[210]

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.[209]


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.[207][208]


At the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, at the semi-finals between the host country Equatorial Guinea and Ghana, hooligans invaded the pitch and threw bottles and missiles at the Ghana players. The Ghana FA compared it to a war zone in a tweet.[206]

Equatorial Guinea

A melee broke out on 1 February 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. At least 79 people were killed and over 1,000 were injured from both sides in the Mediterranean port city. On 26 January 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.

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.[205]


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.[203] 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.[204]

Democratic Republic of the Congo


On 12 March 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.[201][202]


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.[200]

North Korea

Supporters at home stadium Dasarath Stadium tend to act violently in regards to International Match. Throwing objects at opposition teams has been in common practice, objects including even Cell Phones have been found during a match versus Bangladesh, coins were hurled at players at a match against Palestine.[199]


Football hooliganism in Malaysia are frequently happen be it on league or international matches since 1980, and frequently associated with the hooligan supporters from clubs such as Kedah FA, Kelantan FA, Johor Darul Takzim F.C. Pahang FA, Sarawak FA, Selangor FA and Terengganu FA.[188][189][190][191][192][193] During the 2014 AFF Championship, after Malaysia lose 1–2 to Vietnam, some Malaysian hooligan fans rushed to Vietnamese supporters area and began attacking Vietnamese fans resulting in injuries.[194] After a series of investigation, a numbers of the hooligans supporters were found out to be from the "Inter Johor Firm", one of the Johor Darul Takzim F.C. supporters and have since been disbanned from attending any matches.[193] In early 17 May 2015, during the final FA Cup, Singapore LionsXII players and their fans were stranded at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium for about five hours, after Terengganu fans turned violent over their team's failure to qualify to the Malaysian FA Cup final.[195] Also in the same year on 8 September 2015, the FIFA World Cup qualification match between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia was abandoned after Malaysian hooligan supporters disrupt the match and attacking Saudis supporters.[196] The scoreline before the match was abandoned was 1–2 in favour to Saudi Arabia.[197][198]


A number of incidents have involved Beitar Jerusalem, including racist abuse against overseas players,[187] 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 docked two points and had to play its remaining home games behind closed doors.

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.


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.[185] 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.[185][186]

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.[185]


Other famous rivalry happens between Arema FC's Aremania and Persebaya Surabaya's Bonek (Bondo Nekat) both are teams from East Java and supporters are often restrained from watching the game to avoid conflict.

Football riots often happen between clubs supporters in Indonesia. The most famous rivalries happen between Persib Bandung supporters called Bobotoh Viking and Persija Jakarta's The JakMania. Often supporters are not allowed to watch the competition between both clubs due to possibility of conflict. People from Jakarta often not allowed to visit Bandung during Persib vs. Persija due to supporters act that might attack people from Jakarta.


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.[183][184]


In June 2002, riots in Fuzhou, Fujian 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.[179] 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.[181][182] The rioting was attributed to ill-feeling toward Japan for atrocities committed before and during the Second World War.[181]

Two years earlier, following crowd trouble at a match also in Xi'an, the government demanded more action to stamp out football hooliganism.[178]

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.[178][179] 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.[180] 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.


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.[177]



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.[173] 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.[174] On 21 April 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.[175] San Jose's 1906 Ultras were subsequently banned by the club from traveling to away matches.[176] After much debate, the ban was lifted.

While soccer is traditionally viewed as a family-friendly event more specifically, played by children supported by parents, violence does occur. For junior league soccer, parents can be overzealous and be begrudged over unrelated matters and fights between parents have been documented and reported with police being called and intervening. For major league soccer, on 20 July 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.[172] 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.

United States

At the 2015 Gold Cup, Mexican hooligans threw trash and drinks in separate games against Trinidad & Tobago[170] and Panama.[171]

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.[167] In June 1998, one man died and several people were injured when Mexico football fans rioted after Mexico lost to Germany in the World Cup qualifiers.[168] 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.[169]


The war began on 14 July 1969, when the El Salvadoran military launched an attack against Honduras. The [166] This led to border clashes between the two nations.

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.[165] A play-off match took place in Mexico City on 26 June 1969. El Salvador won 3–2 after extra time.

El Salvador

North America

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. 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.[164] 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.


On 14 May 2015, in a game between River Plate and Boca Juniors at La Bombonera, hooligans sprayed a substance which irritated River Plate players' eyes, and the game was abandoned.[163]


Grêmio fans set toilets on fire in Internacional Stadium – 2006

From 1924 to 2010 there were 245 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).[162]

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.[160] He was admitted to a hospital in the city and died there on 5 July.[161]

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.[158] 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.[159]

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.[157]

During the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, there was a confrontation[156] 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 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.[155]

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).[154] 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 1997 a member of La Guardia Imperial (barra brava of Racing de Avellaneda) was murdered by an Independiente supporter.[152] In 2001, other supporter of Racing was killed, and the barra brava of Independiente was the main suspect.[153] 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).


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.[151]

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 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.[150]

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.[146] 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[147] 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.[146][148][149] 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.


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.

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.[145]

In Argentine 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, [144]

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

[143][142].Newell's Old Boys and Boca Juniors) followed by the barra bravas of La barra del Rojo (Independiente and the most powerful of them are the barras bravas of [141] According to the


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.[107][107]


supporters in Barcelona. PSG stabbed two Boixos Nois radicals; and after members of the Deportivo La Coruña In 2014, debate about eradicating Spanish hooligans arose after Frente Atlético members murdered a Riazor Blues member, [106] He was released from prison 9 January 2013 in the middle of media attention.[105] Hooligan was arrested during riots in 14-November general strike and accused of terrorism.Rayo Vallecano games. In 2012 a UEFA Cup in Portugal during Sporting Clube de Portugal and FC Porto hooligans also clashed with Atlético Madrid match.In 2009 and 2010 UEFA Cup hooligans clashed with Aberdeen FC hooligans prior to a Atlético Madrid In 2007 [104] very publicly took a stand on violence, saying it hoped to stamp out violence for good.FC Barcelona, Espanyol In 2008, after a hooligan incident versus [103] Since 2003

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.[102]

Football Boixos Nois, the Frente Atlético and the Ultras Sur, supporter groups of FC Barcelona, Atlético Madrid 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.[97] In 1992 a 13-year-old child died in Espanyol stadium before a flare impact in his thorax.[98] In 1998, Aitor Zabaleta, a supporter of Real Sociedad was killed by an Atlético Madrid hooligan[99] 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.[100] 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.[101] 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.


In August 2002, [96]

[94] fan in 2001.Hammarby In November 2002, 12 members of the Wisemen stood trial for inflicting life-threatening injuries on a [94] Hooliganism began in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century as fans of


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.[91] 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.[92] Partizan Belgrade were disqualified from the UEFA Cup, after crowd trouble in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Partizan fans threw flares and stones and fought with supporters of Zrinjski Mostar and police. Fourteen Partizan fans were convicted for the murder of Toulouse FC fan Brice Taton in Belgrade. They attacked him and other fans with baseball bats and flares while wearing surgical masks. The hooligans received up to 35 years in prison.[93]

Football firm graffiti in Prague.

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.[86] 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.[87][88] On 14 April 2008 a football fan was killed near Novi Sad after clashes between FK Partizan's Grobari and fans of FK Vojvodina.[89] That same week, after a Red Star Belgrade-Partizan cup match, three people were injured and a bus destroyed by hooligans.[90]


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

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.[80][81][82][83][84][85]

Hooligans of Spartak Moscow


Country-wide riots involving football fans were seen in 1998 in Słupsk and 2015 in Knurów, both incidents sparked by a killing of a fan by the police.

The most notable hooligan incidents happened in Kraków where supporters of the Wisła Kraków and KS Cracovia teams have a rivalry that reportedly extended to killings of opposing fans.

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.[79] Supporters of Legia Warszawa also attracted negative attention after in Lithuania during the match against Vetra Vilnius on 10 July 2007.

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.[78] 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.

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

Football hooliganism is not an exaggeratedly big problem in Poland, it is restricted to a secretive sub-culture.


  • 16 June 1990, English fans were arrested for brawling in Amsterdam before a friendly international match.[76]
  • 26 April 1999, 80 hooligans were arrested for rioting after Feyenoord won the title after having played NAC Breda.[77]

Other serious incidents include:

Mural on the wall near PSV's Philips Stadion

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.[74] The 2002–03 season was marked by similar incidents, and also by fighting between fans of Ajax and FC Utrecht.[75]

The earliest recorded case of hooliganism in the Netherlands occurred when Rotterdam club Feyenoord and English club Tottenham Hotspur met at the 1974 UEFA Cup Final, where Tottenham hooligans destroyed portions of the Feyenoord stadium tribunes. It was the first time the Netherlands encountered such destructive hooliganism.[73] Other Dutch clubs associated with hooliganism include PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, FC Utrecht, FC Groningen, Twente Enschede and ADO Den Haag.


In a Euro 2016 qualifying match in Podgorica on 27 March 2015, a few seconds in, a hooligan threw a flare at Russia goalie Igor Akinfeev injuring him. The match was then temporarily suspended. Later fighting between the teams and more hooliganism rendered the game abandoned.[72]


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.[70] 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[71]

The term Ultra is used to describe hooligans in Italy. In February 2001, A.S. Roma fans fought with police and Liverpool F.C. fans, and five English supporters were stabbed.[69]


Local derbies between Budapest teams Ferencvárosi Torna Club (based in Ferencváros) and Újpest FC (based in Újpest) are frequently occasions for violence between supporters.[68] 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 (Székesfehérvár)


On 15 September 2014, in Nea Alikarnassos, the team Herodotos[65] was hosting Ethnikos Piraeus , a Third Division match. On 75' minute of the game, a clash between the supporters of the two clubs forced the referee to stop the match. During the clash, a 45-year-old man supporter of Ethnikos Piraeus severely injured on the head and eventually died two weeks later.[66][67]

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.

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 18 March 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 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.[3][4]

[64] 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.Ilioupoli and Panetolikos match between Third Division A [3] The first incidents between Football fans in Greece were recorded in June 1930, after the match


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.[58] In October 2006, a task force was established to deal with violence and racism in German football stadiums.[59] 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.[60][61] 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.[62] 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.[63]

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.[55][56] 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.[57]

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

Some football hooliganism in Germany has been linked to neo-Nazism and far right groups.[48] 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.[49] A German fan was arrested in 1998 and charged with attempted murder[50][51] and in 1999, four more Germans were convicted in the attack[52][53] 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.[54]

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


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".[38] 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.

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.[45] 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.[46][47]

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.[45] 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.

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.[40][41] 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.[42] 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.[42][43][44]

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.[38] 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.[39]

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


The rivalry between Omonia and APOEL has its roots in politics. APOEL fans are in their majority right wing whereas Omonia fans are left wing. Communist symbols in the Omonia stand and right wing or even fascist symbols in the APOEL stand are not uncommon.[36] The Limassol rivalry between Apollon and AEL Limassol is more a matter of what team dominates over the city.[37] Hooliganism in the case of Anorthosis is also politically linked, especially when the club plays a left wing team such as Omonia. Other incidents between clubs of different cities that are of the same political orientation are ascosiated with intercity rivalries, particularly when a club from Limassol faces a club from Nicosia.[37]


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