Football hooliganism

Football hooliganism

Football hooliganism such as brawls, vandalism, and intimidation carried out by Association football club supporters and fans.cite news |title=Another sorry outbreak of the English disease |publisher=The Independent|date=2004-06-17|url=|accessdate=2007-07-25] Fights between supporters of rival teams may take place before or after football matches at pre-arranged locations away from stadiums, in order to avoid arrests by the police, or they can erupt spontaneously at the stadium or in the surrounding streets. A football firm (also known as a hooligan firm) is a gang formed to fight with members supporters from other clubs. While some firms, especially in southern and eastern Europe, have been linked with far right politics or racism, other firms have been associated with leftist or anti-racist views. The firms' political views are not representative of all supporters of the teams.

The violent activity ranges from shouts and fistfights to riots in which opposing firms clash with bats, throw bottles or rocks, or even use knives and guns. [ [,2144,1701053,00.html] ] In some cases, stadium brawls have caused fans to flee in panic, and fans have been killed when fences or walls have collapsed [ In Brazil, fans were pushed into a perimeter fence which collapsed under the weight. [ Fence collapse hits soccer final] ] . In the most extreme cases, firm members, police, and bystanders have been killed in the violence, and riot police have intervened with tear gas, armoured vehicles and water cannons..

Football hooliganism has been depicted in films such as "I.D.", "The Firm" and "Green Street" (the latter featuring fictional firms based on West Ham's' Inter City Firm (ICF) and Millwall's Bushwackers). There are also many books about hooliganism, such as "The Football Factory" (also a film) and "Among the Thugs". Some critics argue that these media representations glamourise violence and the hooligan lifestyle. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the casual culture transformed the British football hooliganism scene. Instead of wearing working class skinhead-style clothes, which readily identified firm members to the police, gang members began wearing designer clothes and expensive casual sportswear.

Early history

Football and violence can be traced back to the Middle Ages in England. In 1314, Edward II banned football (which then was a violent free-for-all involving rival villages fly-hacking a pig's bladder across the local heath) because he believed the disorder surrounding matches might lead to social unrest or even treason.cite news |title=When did football hooliganism start?|publisher=The Guardian|date=2006-12-13|url=,9204,618130,00.html|accessdate=2007-07-25] The first recorded instances of football hooliganism in the modern game took place in the 1880s in England, a period when gangs of supporters would intimidate neighbourhoods, as well as attack referees and opposing supporters and players. In 1885, after Preston North End beat Aston Villa 5-0 in a friendly match, the two teams were pelted with stones; attacked with sticks, punched, kicked and spat at. One Preston player was beaten so severely that he lost consciousness. Press reports of the time described the fans as "howling roughs". The following year, Preston fans fought Queen's Park fans in a railway station; the first recorded instance of football hooliganism away from a match. In 1905, several Preston fans were tried for hooliganism, including a "drunk and disorderly" 70 year old woman, following their match against Blackburn Rovers.

Between the two world wars, there were no recorded instance of football hooliganism, but it started attracting widespread media attention in the late 1950s due to its re-emergence in Latin America. In the 1955-56 English football season, Liverpool and Everton fans were involved in a number of train-wrecking incidents. By the 1960s, an average of 25 hooligan incidents were being reported each year in England.

outh and Central America

In 1964 in Peru, 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 Peru in 24 May. [ [ Disasters in soccer stadiums] ] In Argentina, over 70 people died in 1968 when crowds attending a football match in Buenos Aires stampeded after youths threw burning paper on to the terraces. [ [ - Disasters in soccer stadiums - May 10, 2001 ] ] [ [ Major stadium disasters] ] In Argentina, one fan was killed and 12 people injured, including six police officers when fans of Racing Club de Avellaneda and Club Atlético Independiente clashed in February 2002,. An Independiente fan was shot dead and another fan was shot in the back and hospitalised 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. [ [ BBC News | AMERICAS |Football fan killed in Argentina ] ] In 2002, the Argentine government announced emergency security measures because the football violence continued, with three people dead and hundreds injured in two weeks. The government announced stiffer penalties for offenders, including longer jail sentences for possession of firearms or fireworks at stadiums. A survey in the national newspaper "Clarin" showed 62 percent or poll respondents wanting the football league season to be suspended following a weekend of violence at matches. At one match between River Plate and Nueva Chicago, over 12 people were hospitalised with rubber bullet injuries received when the police tried to break up fighting between rival fans. It was announced that 152 people had died since the 1930s up to that point due to football-related violence in Argentina. [ Argentina calls foul on football violence] ] In 2005, a footballer, Carlos Ezcurra, was shot and seriously wounded by a police officer, when rival fans were rioted during the Primera B match between local Mendoza rivals San Martin and Godoy Cruz. [ 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 ] ]

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 River Plate and Boca Juniors. The match was abandoned and one fan was shot dead. Boca, one of the largest clubs in Argentina, may have the largest hooligan element in the country, with their self-styled leader, Rafael Di Zeo, claiming in 2002 that they had over 2,000 members. Every major and minor football club in Argentina have Barra brava groups, some of whom are violent. [ The Boca group, known as La Doce (player number 12) have 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] ]

Football hooliganism in Brazil appears to be relatively low key compared to some countries. On 4 March, 1971, a fight broke out at a match in Salvador, killing four and injuring 1,500. [ [ Major stadium disasters] ] In December 2000, fighting between rival supporters during the final of the 2000 Copa João Havelange between Vasco da Gama and São Caetano led to a fence collapsing and over 60 injuries at the Estádio São Januário in Rio de Janeiro. [ Hundreds of fans in the upper terrace had pushed forward trying to escape from the fighting. Fans lower down were pushed into a perimeter fence which under the weight, collapsed, and fans spilled onto the pitch. Fans had panicked when fighting broke out with people falling on top of each other. Many were treated on the pitch, with helicopters taking over 50 people to local hospitals. The match was abandoned 90 minutes later by the governor of Rio de Janeiro state, Anthony Garotinho. This was despite calls by the police, who had wanted to bring in military police to encircle the pitch, to ensure that fans did not interrupt the match. [ Fence collapse hits soccer final] ] [ [ In pictures: Brazil's stadium crush] ] As well, fans of local rivals Ponte Preta and Guarani 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. [ Brazil fans plummet into pit] ]

El Salvador and Honduras had a six day military conflict in 1969 dubbed the "Football War", which arose when football hooliganism at three eliminationg matches for the 1970 FIFA World Cup escalated the already tense diplomatic relations between the two nations. Fights broke out during the first match in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. The situation worsened though at the second match in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Fans from Honduras were attacked Attacks occured during and after the match, and the Honduran flag and national anthem were insulted. This incident was the catalyst that provoked the hostilities and which gave the war its name. Tensions grew worse between the two countries. Actions against Salvadoran residents in Honduras became increasingly violent. ] and Salvadorans were killed or injured. On 27 June 1969, Honduras broke diplomatic relations with El Salvador, and on 14 July 1969 a six day war broke out. [ [ Soccer War 1969] ]

North America


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. [ [ Fatal Mexican football win] ] In June 1998, one man died and several people were injured when Mexican football fans rioted after the Mexico national football team lost to Germany in the World Cup, a result that eliminated Mexico from the tournament. [ [ One killed in Mexican World Cup riots] ] 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. Mexican fans in the United States rioted after the match in Huntington Park, Los Angeles and 40 people were arrested.

United States

While soccer is traditionally viewed as a family friendly event, soccer related violence does occur in the United States. On July 20, 2008, in a friendly match between MLS side Columbus Crew and English Premier League side West Ham United held in Columbus, Ohio, a fight broke out between rival fans. Police estimated more than 100 people were involved. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Crew-West Ham United friendly marred by brawl between fans | date=July 19, 2008 | publisher= | url = | work =USA Today | pages = | accessdate = 2008-07-21 | language = ] That same weekend, a riot situation was narrowly avoided at a packed Giants Stadium as members of the Empire Supporters Club (dressed in Frodo shirts), the supporters club of Red Bull NY, and members of the NJSEA security force clashed over what the ESC deemed to be unfair and repeated mistreatment. This clash resulted in the ejection and permanent ban of several key ESC members. Further clashes took place in the parking area around the stadium after the game causing the New Jersey State Police to be called to quell the situation. [cite news | first=Ives | last=Galarcep | coauthors= | title=More mistreatment for Red Bulls fans at Giants Stadium | date=July 21, 2008 | publisher= | url = | work =Soccer By Ives | pages = | accessdate = 2008-07-21 | language = ]



Football hooliganism in Croatia has seen riots over inter-ethnic resentments and the politics that were reignited by the breakup of the Yugoslav federation in the 1990s.cite news |last=Podnar |first=Ozren| title=The Day Yugoslav Soccer Died |publisher=Soccerphile |url= |accessdate=2007-07-25] Two of the most well known hooligan firms are Torcida (Hajduk Split) and Bad Blue Boys (Dinamo Zagreb).cite news |last=Podnar |first=Ozren| title=The Ultra Scene in Croatia and Serbia: Football Hooliganism Balkan Style |publisher=Soccerphile |url= |accessdate=2007-07-25] However, the groups are not just hooligan firms, in that they are more like the South American Torcida supporters groups and Ultras groups, with organised Tifos and so on. On 13 May 1990, and before the break up of Yugoslavia, Serbian club Red Star Belgrade was in Zagreb to play Dinamo Zagreb at the Maksimir Stadium. Red Star brought over 3,000 fans to the game with the late Željko Ražnatović (known as Arkan) a Serbian paramilitary leader being a prominent member. Before the match a number of small fights broke out. At the match opposing fans started taunting each other. The local Croatian ultras, who were all in the North Stand, reacted by ripping down the fence between them and the pitch, and thousands invaded the pitch. Police reinforcements soon arrived with armoured vehicles and water cannons. The fighting lasted for over an hour and hundreds of people were injured. [In 2005, the Zagreb daily newspaper Večernji list marking the 15th anniversary of the event wrote, "The game that was never played will be remembered, at least by the soccer fans, as the beginning of the Patriotic War, and almost all of the contemporaries will declare it the key in understanding the Croatian cause."

Ethnic tension between Croatians and Serbs has also seen fights at a football match in Australia. On 13 March 2005, about 50 fans clashed. Two police officers were injured, and five fans arrested, with two being charged with assault. 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. Shortly before kick off, the fighting started. Football NSW held an inquiry into the events. Both clubs denied that the fight was racially motivated or that there was any ethnic rivalry.cite news |title=Football riot's stupidity, not ethnic, say clubs|publisher=Sydney Morning Herald|date=2005-03-14|url=|accessdate=2007-06-19] On 13 June 2006, there were ethnic riots in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina after the 2006 FIFA World Cup match between Croatia and Brazil in Germany. One person was shot, six police officers injured and 26 people arrested. The fighting started after the match, when Croatian fans started attacking shop windows and vehicles in the Spanish Square in Mostar, and a group of mostly Bosniaks from the Eastern part of Mostar clashed with them. The fighting lasted for hours before riot police finally threw tear gas to break up the groups.] cite news |title=Riots in Mostar after Brazil-Croatia Football Match|publisher=One World South East|date=2006-06-19|url=|accessdate=2007-07-25]


Football hooliganism in France is rooted in social conflicts and a rise in racism. In the 1990s, fans of Paris St. Germain (PSG) fought with supporters from Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, Scotland.cite news| title =Racist insults infiltrate French soccer stadium|url = | publisher =The Boston Bay State Banner| date= 2006-04-20 | accessdate = 2006-10-21] In 2000, the bitter rivalry between PSG and Marseille turned violent.cite news| title = PSG act after fan hurt
url = | publisher = BBC| date= 2000-10-18 | accessdate = 2007-04-29
] 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. [UEFA launched an immediate investigation with the possibility of serious penalties on the club.
cite news| title = PSV and PSG face Uefa wrath
url = | publisher = BBC| date= 2001-03-20 | accessdate = 2007-04-29
] PSG were initially given a record $571,000 fine, but it was reduced on appeal to $114,000 [The fine was reduced after the French club insisted that it had taken precautions to prevent a possible outbreak of fan violence during the match. Galatasaray, initially fined $114,000 by UEFA, eventually had its penalty reduced to $28,500.] cite news| title = Six PSG fans arrested for crowd trouble|url = | publisher = Turkish Daily News| date= 2004-09-26 | accessdate = 2001-05-24] 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. Initial reports after the match reported that there had been 56 injuries, of which, 55 were French. The Turkish press accused the security, media and PSG club of attempting to cover up the injuries.cite news| title =Lies, damned lies, Paris statistics|url = | publisher =Turkish Daily News| date= 2001-03-19 | accessdate = 2006-10-21]

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 in the Parc des Prince in a UEFA Cup match.PSG fans chased a French fan of Hapoel Tel Aviv, shouting racist and anti-semitic slogans. A black 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. 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.cite news| title = France faces up to football hooliganism
url = | publisher = BBC| date= 2006-11-27 | accessdate = 2007-04-29
] 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 groups name coming from the Kop of Boulogne (KOB), one of the two main Home fan stand at the Parc des Prince. 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. 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. And 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.cite news| title = Chirac condemns football violence
url = | publisher = BBC| date= 2006-11-25 | accessdate = 2007-04-29
] cite news| title = Paris fan shot dead by policeman
url = | publisher = BBC| date= 2006-11-24 | accessdate = 2007-04-29

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". On 7 March 2006, three PSG supporters were convicted for unfurling a racist banner at a match in February 2005, that was being held as part of an anti-racism campaign. The fans were banned from the stadium for three years, and fined between US$90 and $1,200. Prior to the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany, concerns were raised that the competition would attract far-right groups and racist thugs. In February 2007 Lille OSC fans were involved in disturbances with Manchester United fans at their UEFA Champions League match in Lille. Both clubs were fined by UEFA.cite news| title = Lille and Man Utd fined by Uefa
url = | publisher = BBC| date= 2007-03-22 | accessdate = 2007-04-29


Some football hooliganism in Germany has been linked to neo-Nazism and far right groups [. [ Fears of neo-Nazi return to World Cup] ] In June 1998, after a FIFA World Cup match in France [ The match was in Lens, France, between Germany and Yugoslavia] a French policeman was beaten to the point of brain damage by German fans. Following the incident in Lens, German police contacted many of the known 2,000+ German hooligans to warn them they would be arrested if they travelled upcoming matches in France. [ [ German hooligans warned] ] A German fan was arrested in 1998 and charged with attempted murder [ [ Gendarme attack suspect arrested] ] [ [ World Cup policeman out of coma] ] and in 1999, four more Germans were convicted in the attack [ 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. [ [ German football hooligans jailed] ] 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. [ [ German fan jailed for gendarme attack] ]

In March 2005, German football fans fought with police and rival fans at an friendly match between Germany and Slovenia in Celje, Slovenia, fighting police and rival fans, damaging cars and shops, shoutingracist slogans. The German Football Association (DFB) apologised for the behaviour. As a result, 52 people were arrested; 40 Germans and 12 Slovenians. [ [,2144,1531870,00.html German Hooligans Taint Slovenian Friendly] ] [ [,2144,1539291,00.html The Specter of Hooliganism Returns] ] 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. [ [,2144,1701053,00.html German Hooligans Make Mark in Bratislava] ]

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. [ [,2144,2056489,00.html Hooligan Violence Rears Its Head for Germany-Poland Game] ] In October 2006, a task force was established to deal with violence and racism in German football stadiumsTheo Zwanziger (president of the DFB) and Werner Hackmann (president of Bundesliga) held a crisis meeting following violence at several German lower-division matches. 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. [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. [ [,2144,2220570,00.html Soccer Heads Set Up Anti-Violence Task Force] ] 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. [ [,2144,2347918,00.html Germany Cancels Soccer Schedule in Saxony in Response to Riots] ]


In April 2007 all sports stadiums were closed down in Greece for two weeks following the death of a fan in a pre-arranged fight between hooligans in Athens on 29 March. The fight involved 500 fans of rival Super League Greece clubs Panathinaikos who are based in Athens and Olympiacos who are based in nearby Piraeus. The Greek government immediately suspended all team sports in Greece and severed the ties between teams and their Supporters Clubs.cite news
last = Kitsantonis
first = Niki
title = Soccer: Greece wrestles with fan violence
publisher = International Herald Tribune
date = 2007-04-19
url =
accessdate = 2007-11-24
] After a Second Division match on 15 April 2007, between Kallithea and Messiniakos, about fifty fans attacked the Messiniakos coach, Eduardo Amorin and other members of the teams coaching staff. On the same day a Third Division between Panetolikos and Ilioupoli was stopped for thirty minutes when players and fans clashed following a Panetolikos disallowed goal. Two players and a coach were sent to hospital.cite news
title = Soccer-Roundup-3-Greek police investigate lower league riots
publisher = Reuters
date = 2007-04-16
url =
accessdate = 2007-11-24
] 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 Giannina and Larissa. There was trouble during the game which Larissa won 2-0, and after fans set fire to rubbish bins and smashed shop windows with police firing tear gas in order to disperse them. At a Second Division match on 27 January, 2008 between Ethnikos Piraeus and Panserraikos, about 50 fans of Ethnikos invaded the pitch after the final whistle.


Hooliganism in Italy started in the 1970s, and increased in the 1980s and in subsequent decades. In Italian football, the ultras have well-organized groups that fight with knives and baseball bats, often driven by parochial and political tensions. [Breschi, Danilo. [ "Soccer Violence and the Culture of Illegality] , Telos Press, February 18, 2007.] Clubs associated with hooliganism include Atalanta B.C., Brescia Calcio, Hellas Verona F.C., A.S. Livorno Calcio, AS Roma, S.S. Lazio, S.S.C. Napoli, Salernitana Calcio 1919, S.S. Cavese 1919, Taranto Sport, Calcio Catania, U.S. Città di Palermo, Internazionale, F.C. Messina. Italian fans have done pitch invasions and the thrown objects onto the field, including stones and traffic signs. Italian hooligans usually hold flags and sing football chants that encourage violence and riots, and some songs are racist against black players and include ethnic slurs. In 1999, four supporters of Salernitana Calcio 1919 died on a train in a fire caused by fireworks and in 2001, a scooter was thrown down in San Siro Stadium, Milan. On February 2, 2007, a police officer was killed during a match between Calcio Catania and U.S. Città di Palermo (see 2007 Catania football violence) and 120 people were wounded.

In February 2001, AS Romas fans fought with police and with Liverpool fans, and five English supporters were stabbed. [ [ Fans recover after Rome stabbings] ] In December 2001, police tear gassed brawlers at a Champions League match between AS Roma and Liverpool, in which four Liverpool fans were stabbed. [ [ Liverpool fans stabbed in Rome] ] In March 2006 three fans of English club Middlesbrough were stabbed before the club's UEFA Cup clash against AS Roma in Rome in an attack blamed on Roman ultras. [cite news| title =English fans are stabbed in Rome|url = | publisher =BBC News| date= 2006-03-15 | accessdate = 2006-10-26]

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 and in Florence, a Livorno fan needed 20 stitches in his head after being attacked by Fiorentina fans. About 100 Atalanta fans tried to attack coaches carrying Catania fans and fought with police and at a Serie D game, a linesman was hit by a metal drum thrown from the stands. [ [ Violence could halt Italian games] ] In February 2007 the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) suspended all football matches after a policeman was killed at the Serie A match between Catania and Palermo. The policeman, Officer Filippo Raciti, died when he was struck in the face by a small explosive as the police were trying to deal with the fighting outside the ground. [cite news| title =Italian league halted by violence|url =| publisher =BBC News| date= 2007-02-02 | accessdate = 2007-04-28] On 4 April 2007 AS Roma and Manchester United fans fought during UEFA Champions League match. A Manchester United fan was stabbed and eleven fans taken to hospital. Two Roma fans also received hospital treatment. T, The head of Rome police, Achille Serra, claimed that the police action was justified and that there would be no inquiry. [cite news| title =Fans in hospital after violence |url = | publisher =BBC News| date= 2007-04-05 | accessdate = 2007-04-06]


Football hooliganism in the Netherlands began after rioting between supporters of Feyenoord and English club Tottenham Hotspur at the 1974 UEFA Cup Final.Fact|date=July 2007 Since then, several Dutch clubs have been associated with hooliganism, such as AFC Ajax, Feyenoord, FC Utrecht and Ado Den Haag. The biggest rivalry is between Ajax and Feyenoord.Fact|date=July 2007 On 16 June, 1990, English fans were arrested for brawling in Amsterdam before a friendly match. [ [ English Soccer Fans Riot Before Match Against the Netherlands] ] The most violent football hooligan encounter has been the Battle of Beverwijk on 23 March, 1997, in which several people were seriously injured and Carlo Picornie was killed. [cite news| title =The battle that undermines Ajax's search for beautiful game |url = | publisher =Times Online| date= 2007-02-06 | accessdate = 2007-05-26] On 26 April, 1999, 80 football fans were arrested when Feyenoord supporters rioted after a cup match with NAC Breda. [ [ CNN - One critically wounded during Rotterdam soccer riot - April 26, 1999 ] ] The 2002-03 season was marked by continued fighting between fans of Ajax and FC Utrecht, and between fans of Ajax and Feyenoord. [] In 2006, a riot broke out between Dutch (Feyenoord) and French (AS Nancy) football fans. [ [,8659,20852578-23215,00.html Match suspended after riot - Football - Fox Sports ] ]


Arranged football hooligan fights in Poland are known as "". They became common in Poland in the late 1990s.Fact|date=June 2007. On 30 March, 2003, it was reported that Polish police arrested 120 people because rival football supporters fought during a match between Śląsk Wrocław and Arka Gdynia. cite news
title = Man killed in Polish football riot
publisher = BBC News
date = 2003-03-30
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-02
] During the riot, hooligans pelted police officers with stones and fought a running battle with knives and axes. One victim was found lying seriously injured at the scene, and later died in hospital. During the UEFA Cup 1998-99, Italian footballer Dino Baggio, from Parma F.C. was hit with a knife in the head by Wisła Kraków supporters. [ [,3402.html W krainie latających noży ] ]


Football hooliganism has become prevalent in Russia since the beginning of the 80s. Russian hooligans often have an underlying resentment towards Russia's perceived political rivals. [ [ BBC NEWS | World | Europe |In pictures: Moscow football riot ] ] [ [ BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals |Croatia top after win in Israel ] ] [ [ BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals |Croatia top after win in Israel ] ] [ [ BBC NEWS | World | Europe |Moscow riot prompts World Cup rethink ] ] [] [ [ - Disasters in soccer stadiums - May 10, 2001 ] ]


Football hooligans associated with the former Yugoslav states rioted over the inter-ethnic resentments that were re-ignited by the breakup of the Yugoslav federation in the 1990s. The most prominent groups of hooligans are associated with Belgrade and Serbia's two main clubs, FK Partizan and Red Star Belgrade. They are known as the "Grobari" (Undertakers) and "Delije" (Heroes) , respectively. These two terms also refer to the supporters of the two clubs. FK Rad is a less-successful Belgrade club, whose associated hooligans, known locally as "United Force", have notoriously been involved in many violent incidents. This group is also known as supporters of Nazi ideas. [ [,,1123137,00.html Football, blood and war | Sport |The Observer ] ] [ [,,1123137,00.html Football, blood and war | Sport |The Observer ] ]

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. 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.cite news
last = Milosavljevic
first = Zoran
title = Soccer-Serbian government to take tougher stance on hooligans
publisher = Reuters
date = 2007-12-03
url =
accessdate = 2007-12-04
] On April 14, 2008 a football fan was killed near Novi Sad after clashes between FK Partizan's Grobari and fans of FK Vojvodina. [ [ Soccer-Serbian FA issues anti-hooliganism appeal] ] That same week, after a Red Star Belgrade-Partizan cup match, three people were injured and a bus destroyed by hooligans. [ [ B92 - Vesti - Nova divljanja huligana - Internet, Radio i TV stanica; najnovije vesti iz Srbije ] ]

On September 19, 2008 a Serbian football hooligan was sentenced to ten years in jail for an attack against a police officer at a Red Star Belgrade-Hajduk Kula game. [ [ Serbian fan gets 10 years for attempted murder] ]

candanavian countries

Hooliganism in Denmark appears to be low level, with some football-related violence, but on a smaller scale than in some countries. In Denmark, the non-violent roligan fan culture has grown, which has led to a reduction in hooligan activity. [ [ Football violence in Europe - Executive summary] ] [ [ Football violence in Europe - Media coverage] ] A study on football in Denmark by H Eichberg, in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, included a section analyzing the differences between roligans and hooligans. [ [ Crisis and grace: soccer in Denmark Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 2 (3), pages 119–128] ]

Brawling is a rare phenomenon in Norway.Fact|date=February 2007 Teams such as Vålerenga I.F., Lillestrøm S.K., Hamarkameratene, Tønsberg, S.K. Brann, Viking F.K. and Fredrikstad F.K. are said to have some form of hooligan firms or casuals.In Oslo, there are sometimes incidents of hooliganism related to inter-city matches (Vålerenga, FC Lyn Oslo, Stabæk I.F. and Lillestrøm S.K.) and matches between Vålerenga and Brann.Fact|date=February 2007 There have been incidents of racism, such as when the black American player, Robbie Russell, was spat at by angry Brann fans, while playing for Sogndal in a Norwegian Premier League match.Fact|date=February 2007

Hooliganism began in Sweden in 1970 when fans of IFK Göteborg invaded the pitch, destroyed the goalposts and fought the police at the end of a match that relegated Göteborg from the Allsvenskan, although fans of AIK and Djurgården have been reported fighting after games since the beginning of the 20th century in Stockholm.Fact|date=July 2007 Hooliganism in Sweden became a growing problem in the 1980s, but pitch invasions and violence at football grounds decreased in the late 1990s; when hooligan firms started pre-arranging their fights away from the grounds and the regular supporters. Five clubs that have large organised hooligans firms are AIK (Firman Boys), IFK Göteborg (Wisemen) Djurgårdens IF (DFG) Hammarby IF (KGB) Helsingborgs IF (Frontline). But several other football and ice hockey clubs have active hooligan followings. [cite news| title =First Swedish football death |url= | publisher =BBC News| date= 2002-08-02 | accessdate = 2007-04-28] In July 2002, a member of Wisemen was killed after a pre-arranged fight against Firman Boys. [cite news| title =First Swedish football death |url= | publisher =BBC News| date= 2002-08-02 | accessdate = 2007-04-28] In November 2002, 12 members of the Wisemen stood trial for inflicting life-threatening injuries on a Hammarby fan in 2001. [cite news| title =First Swedish football death |url= | publisher =BBC News| date= 2002-08-02 | accessdate = 2007-04-28]


Football hooliganism in Spain is sometimes linked to racism, and some black players have been victims of ethnic slurs. Samuel Eto'o, an FC Barcelona player from Cameroon, has denounced the problem. The strong rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona has led to hooliganism, During the next appearance of former Barcelona player Luís Figo (who transferred from Barça to Real Madrid) in Barcelona's Nou Camp Stadium the crowd threw bottles, mobile phones and other things (for a example: a pig's head). Although nobody was injured the match was followed by a large discussion on fan violence in the Spanish Primera División (fan fights, attacks on team buses or attacks on players during the match or during training sessions).

In 1998, a supporter of Real Sociedad was killed by an Atlético Madrid fan who was linked to a neo-Nazi group, 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 where thrown at them. [cite news| title =Vandal incidents in Madrid|url = | publisher =El Correo Digital| date= 2007-02-24| accessdate = 2007-02-24] 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 Spain supporters. [] There also have been local disputes between rival teams, for example between Cádiz Club de Fútbol and Xerez CD. In 2008, after a hooligan incident versus Espanyol, FC Barcelona very publicly took a stand on violence, saying it hoped to stamp out violence for good []


Football hooliganism is relatively new in Switzerland. 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 chaos in the streets that night. [.] ] [ [ ] ]


According to the Turkish Daily News, hooligan groups are well organised, have their own "leaders", and often consist of organised street fighters. These groups have a "racon" (code of conduct), which states that the intention must be to injure rather than kill and that a stab must be made below the waist.cite news | title = Chain of Fatal Mistakes Heavy on the Lighter Side | url = | publisher = Turkish Daily News| date = 2000-04-16| accessdate = 2006-10-06] 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.cite news| title = Passion of Turkish fans| url =| publisher = BBC News| date = 2000-04-06| accessdate = 2006-10-06] cite news| title = Giving perspective to football violence| url =| publisher = Soccernet| date = 2000-05-20| accessdate = 2006-10-06]

Trouble has arisen during matches between Istanbul rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe. 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.cite news| title = Istanbul ready to host final | url =| publisher = New Age Sports, Bangladesh sports newspaper| date = 2005-05-15| accessdate = 2006-10-06] 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.cite news| title = Turkish Football Federation Introduces New Series of Penalties| url =| publisher = Zaman, Turkish newspaper| date = 2006-08-09| accessdate = 2006-10-06] Despite reports from the Turkish Football Federation, the Turkish police believe that football hooliganism is not a major threat and are "isolated incidents".cite news| title = The Soccerphile World Cup 2002 Archives | url =| publisher =, World Cup Soccer and Global Football Information Website| date = 2002-05-20| accessdate = 2006-10-06]

Before Galatasaray's semi-final UEFA Cup match with Leeds United A.F.C. in 2000, two Leeds fans, Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, were stabbed to death in Istanbul following street fights between Turkish and British hooligans. 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.cite news| title = Silent tribute to Leeds fans| url =| publisher = BBC News| date = 2000-04-09| accessdate = 2006-10-06] 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".cite news| title = Four charged with murder | url =| publisher = CNN Sports Illustrated| date = 2000-04-10| accessdate = 2006-10-06] He also revealed that his teams' players had received death threats before the match.cite news| title = Football: Uefa hints Leeds must accept Turks| url =| publisher = The Independent| date = 2000-04-13| accessdate = 2006-10-06]

Ali Umit Demi 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.cite news| title = The Soccerphile World Cup 2002 Archives | url =| publisher =, World Cup Soccer and Global Football Information Website| date = 2002-05-20| accessdate = 2006-10-06] 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". 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.cite news| title = Wild scenes greet Turkey's heroes| url =| publisher = BBC News| date = 2000-04-21
accessdate = 2006-10-06
] 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". 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 and Galatasaray fans before the Final in Copenhagencite news| title = Arsenal fans fear more violence| url =| publisher = BBC News| date = 2000-05-17| accessdate = 2006-10-06] in which a Galatasary fan, an Arsenal fan and a Dane were said to have been stabbed.cite news| title = Three more stabbed in Copenhagen| url =| publisher = BBC News| date = 2000-05-18| accessdate = 2006-10-06] Galatasaray later won the match after a penalty shoot-out.

Hooliganism in Turkey is also problem in Ankara, İzmir, Eskişehir, Bursa and Adana. In 2003-2004 season, a Second League Category A, who is second level of Turkish League, match between Karşıyaka and Göztepe in February 8, Karşıyaka and Göztepe supporters clash and the match was stopper for 33 minutes due to Karşıyaka leaded 5-2 after coming back a 2-0 deficit. After Göztepe fans clash with policemen and 7 policemen were wounded and 15 Göztepe fans were guarded.cite news| title = Meydan savaşı| url =| publisher = Sabah| date = 2004-02-09| accessdate = 2008-07-19] . Also, Bursaspor fans clash with policemen at Bursaspor-Samsunspor match, which was final one of 34th Round matches of Turkcell Super League in Adapazarı in 2003-2004 season.

The match played in Adapazarı due to undesirable events in Bursapor - Çaykur Rizespor match at 32nd Round and was resulted 4-2 for Bursaspor. Bursaspor competed for avoiding from relegation with Akçaabat Sebatspor, Çaykur Rizespor and İstanbulspor. Bursaspor 1-0 won the match but relegated to Category A after rivals' winnings. Ankaragücü, who are sister club for them, were defeated by Akçaabat Sebatspor at an away match as 3-2. Also, İstanbulspor 2-0 beat Konyaspor at the away match and Çaykur Rizespor 1-0 beat Beşiktaş. Bursaspor fans dismantled and fired seats of Sakarya Atatürk Stadium after relegation of their team cite news| title = Ve çirkinlik bitti| url =| publisher = Hürriyet| date = 2004-05-16| accessdate = 2008-07-19] . They also fought with craftsmen of Gölcük during taking journey to Adapazarı.cite news| title = Fanatikler Gölcük'ü birbirine kattı| url =| publisher = Akşam| date = 2004-05-16| accessdate = 2008-07-19] . Bursaspor fans blamed Beşiktaş about their relegation in 2003-2004 season and hostility supporters among Beşiktaş and Bursaspor have begun.

United Kingdom


Football hooliganism in England dates back to the 1880s, when what were termed as "roughs" caused trouble at football matches.cite news |title=When did football hooliganism start?|publisher=The Guardian|date=2006-12-13|url=,9204,618130,00.html|accessdate=2007-07-25] Local derby matches would usually have the worst trouble, but in an era when travelling fans were not common, roughs would sometimes attack the referees and the away team's players.cite news | title =Fact Sheet 1: Football and Football Hooliganism | url= | publisher = University of Leicester| accessdate = 2006-10-07] Between the two World Wars, football hooliganism diminished to a great extent, and it started to attract media attention in the early 1960s. A "moral panic" developed because of increased crime rates among juveniles, and because of the mods and rockers conflict. Football matches started to feature regular fights among fans, and the emergence of more organised hooliganism. Fans started to form themselves into groups, mostly drawn from local working class areas. They tended to all stand together, usually at the goal-end terrace of their home football ground, which they began to identify as their territory. The development of these "ends" helped bring about national gang rivalries, focused primarily around football clubs. With the growth of fans travelling to watch their local club play away matches, these gangs became known as hooligan firms, and during matches they focused their attentions on intimidating opposing fans. Some hooligans travelled to games on the Football Specials train services.

Starting in the late 1960s in the United Kingdom, the skinhead and suedehead styles were popular among football hooligans. Eventually, the police started cracking down on people wearing typical skinhead clothing styles, so some hooligans changed their image. In the late 1970s, many British hooligans started wearing expensive European designer clothing, to avoid attracting the attention of authorities. This led to the development of the "casual" subculture. Clothing lines popular with British casuals have included: Pringle, Fred Perry, Le Coq Sportif, Aquascutum, Burberry, Lacoste, Timberland, Henri Lloyd, Lonsdale, Ralph Lauren and Stone Island.

During the 1970s, organised hooligan firms started to emerge with clubs such as Birmingham City (Zulus), Chelsea (Headhunters), Leeds United A.F.C. (Leeds Service Crew), Manchester United (Red Army), Millwall (F-Troop), Sheffield United (Blades Business Crew) Manchester City (The Guvnors) and West Ham United (Inter City Firm). To a lesser extent, lower league clubs also had firms, such as Blackpool's (Rammy Arms Crew) and Chester City FC (Chester 192). Two main events in 1973 led to introduction of crowd segregation and fencing at football grounds in England. [cite book |last=Nicholls |first=Andy |authorlink=Andy Nicholls |title=Hooligans A-L |year=2005 |publisher=Milo Books|isbn=1 903854 41 5 |pages= 63] Manchester United were relegated to the Second Division, and the Red Army caused mayhem at grounds up and down the country, and a Bolton Wanderers fan stabbed a young Blackpool fan to death behind the Kop at Bloomfield Road during a Second Division match.cite news|title=Thirty Years Ago |publisher=Rothmans International plc |year=1975 |url= |accessdate=2005-08-13]

In March 1985, hooligans who had attached themselves to Millwall were involved in large-scale rioting at Luton when Millwall played Luton Town in the quarter final of the FA Cup. Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher's immediate response was to set up a "War Cabinet" to combat football hooliganism. [ Conservative Governments and Football Regulation] ] On 29 May 1985, 39 Juventus fans were crushed to death during the European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels; an event that became known as the Heysel Stadium disaster. Just before kick-off, Liverpool fans broke through a line of police officers and ran toward the Juventus supporters in a section of the ground containing both English and Italian fans. When a fence separating them from the Juventus fans was broken through, the english supporters attacked the Italian fans, the majority of whom were families rather than ultras who were situated in the other end of the ground. Many Italians tried to escape the fighting, and a wall collapsed on them. [122] [123] As a result of the Heysel Stadium disaster, English clubs were banned from all European competitions until 1990, with Liverpool banned for an additional year. [124] To this day, Juventus supporters refer to liverpool fans as "Murderers" and "English Animals" and famously turned their backs on an offer of friendship made by the liverpool "kop" in 2005 which they deemed to be offensive and nothing more than a token gesture after twenty years of denial.

On 11 May, 1985 a 15-year-old died when a wall collapsed at St Andrews stadium when fans rioted at a match between Birmingham City and Leeds United. [Fans started fighting when Birmingham took the lead, and riot police were called in to stop Leeds fans pulling down fencing. It was estimated that more than 1,000 fans became involved in the ensuing riot.cite website | title = 1985: English teams banned after Heysel |date=2004-04-04|url = | publisher = Sunday Mirror | accessdate = 2007-07-25] The fighting that day was described by Justice Popplewell, during the Popplewell Committee investigation into football in 1985 as more like "the Battle of Agincourt than a football match". [The Popplewell Committee was originally set up to investigate two incidents at English grounds on 11 May 1985 - the fire at Bradford City's Valley Parade (which was not hooligan-related) in which 56 people died, and the riot at the Birmingham City versus Leeds United match.cite website | title = A history of hooliganism in the trouble spots of Europe |date=1996-05-19|url = | publisher = The Independent | accessdate = 2007-07-25] Because of the other events in 1986 and the growing rise in football hooliganism during the early 1980s, an interim report from the committee stated that "football may not be able to continue in its present form much longer" unless hooliganism was reduced, perhaps by excluding "away" fans.

The government acted after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, when 96 fans died, bringing in the Football Spectators Act 1989 in the wake of the Taylor Report.cite website| title = Disasters in soccer stadiums | date=2001-05-10|url =| publisher = CNN|accessdate = 2007-07-25] cite news | title = Fact Sheet 2: Football Stadia After Taylor | url = | publisher = University of Leicester | accessdate = 2006-10-07] However, the Hillsborough Justice Campaign states: "the British Judicial system has consistently found that violence or hooliganism played no part whatsoever in the disaster".cite news | title = Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine and the Hillsborough Justice Campaign | url = | publisher = Hillsborough Justice Campaign | accessdate = 2006-10-07] On 15 February, 1995, England played Ireland. English fans started to throw items down into the stand below and rip up seats; after battles broke out between police and fans, 50 people were injured.

English and German fans have a rivalry dating back to the late 1980s. [ [,,13509-2235276,00.html England fans attacked by hooligans - World - Times Online ] ] [ [,10117,20813312-401,00.html?from=public_rss Football hooligans riot ahead of Tottenham match | ] ] [ [,20867,20813313-23109,00.html English football fans riot in Germany |The Australian ] ] [ [ English football fans riot in Cologne - Irna ] ] [ [,8659,20813314-23215,00.html English fans riot in Germany - Football - Fox Sports ] ] [ [ English football fans run riot in Germany: Mail & Guardian Online] ] Other occasional clashes have occurred with a few other teams since the mid 1980s. [ [ People's Daily Online - Portuguese police arrest 34 after riots ] ] France 98 was marred by violence as English fans clashed with the North African locals of Marseille, which led to up to 100 fans being arrested. cite news | title = England fans on rampage | url = | publisher = Daily Telegraph | date= 1998-06-15 | accessdate = 2006-10-07]

In the 2000s, English football hooligans often wear either clothing styles that are stereotypically associated with the "chav" subculture, such as items made by Shark and Burberry. Prada and Burberry withdrew certain garments over fears that their brands were becoming linked with hooliganism.cite news| title = Prada joins the Burberry set in hooligan hell | url =,,2087-1279892,00.html | publisher = The Times | date= 2004-09-26 | accessdate = 2006-10-07] English hooligans have begun using Internet forums, mobile phones and text messages to set up fight meetings or provoke rival gangs into brawls.cite news | title = Hooligans link up on the Net to plot mayhem at Euro 2000 | url =,1563,154917,00.html | publisher = The Guardian | date= 2000-04-02 | accessdate = 2006-10-07] Sometimes fight participants post live commentaries on the Internet.cite news | title = Soccer hooligans organise on the Net | url = | publisher = BBC News | date= 1999-08-09 | accessdate = 2006-10-07]

Football violence in British stadiums declined after the introduction of the Football Spectators Act, and in the 2000s much of the trouble occurred away from stadiums or away at major international tournaments. At Euro 2000, the England team was threatened with expulsion from the tournament, due to the poor behaviour of the fans. cite news | title = Aigner justifies England expulsion threat | url = | publisher = Soccernet | date= 2000-06-23 | accessdate = 2006-10-07] Following good behaviour in the Korea-Japan 2002 and Portugal 2004, the English reputation has improved. cite news | title = Hosts singing England fans' praises | url = | publisher = Soccernet | date= 2002-06-18 | accessdate = 2006-10-07] At the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, there were limited incidences of violence, with over 200 preventative arrests in Stuttgart (with only three people being charged with criminal offences) 400 others taken into preventative custody. cite news | title = Fan fears grow ahead of England match | url =,,1805689,00.html | publisher = The Guardian | date= 2002-06-25 | accessdate = 2006-10-07] cite news | title = Hooligans | url = | publisher = Panorama, BBC | date= 2006-08-01 | accessdate = 2006-10-07] During that day, Police believe that on average each rioter consumed or threw 17 litres of beer.

Despite hooliganism declining domestically, death threats by English hooligans have become more common in the 2000s. Rio Ferdinand was the target of death threats from Leeds United fans, as was Peter Ridsdale. cite news | title = Rio death threat horror | url = | publisher = Daily Star | date= 2006-10-04 | accessdate = 2006-10-07] cite news | title = Report: Leeds chairman Ridsdale sent death threats | url = | publisher = CNN Sports Illustrated | date= 2003-02-01 | accessdate = 2006-10-07] Swedish referee Anders Frisk quit his position after receiving death threats from Chelsea F.C. fans. cite news | title = Frisk retires after death threats | url = | publisher = CNN | date= 2005-03-12 | accessdate = 2006-10-07] Reading players Ibrahima Sonko and Stephen Hunt also received death threats from Chelsea fans in 2006. cite news | title = Reading due receive death threats| url = | publisher = BBC | date= 2006-11-16 | accessdate = 2007-04-02] A steward died after serious clashes between firms from Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers after a Carling Cup game in September 2004.cite news |last=Wells |first=Tom |title=Steward dies after clash between rival firms |publisher=icBirmingham |year=2004 |url= |accessdate=2008-02-25] It has been documented that most English hooligans are in their late teens or early twenties, although it is not uncommon for older hooligans to take part, usually as leaders. They usually come from working class backgrounds, mainly employed in manual or lower clerical occupations, or (to a lesser extent) are working in the grey market or are unemployed.


While the Scotland national team's travelling supporters, the Tartan Army, are generally not violent, hooliganism does occur in Scottish football. Pre-arranged fights between firms on match days sometimes take place away from the football grounds. [Harry Reid (2005), "The Final Whistle?", Birlinn, 104 ISBN 1-84158-362-6] Most Scottish football fans are against this behaviour, and authorities have taken several measures to reduce football hooliganism. [cite news| title =Police call for stadium ban on soccer casuals|url = | publisher =The Evening Times| date= 2004-02-11 | accessdate = 2006-10-26] Celtic and Rangers are the two biggest teams in Glasgow, and the "Old Firm" rivalry is one of the most heated football rivalries in the world. The "Old Firm" rivalry is largely motivated by religious sectarianism, and is related to the conflict between Loyalists and Republicans in Northern Ireland. In May 2008, Rangers fans were involved in a serious civil disturbance in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, England, following the technical failure of a big screen showing of the UEFA Cup final between Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg. []


Cardiff City's hooligan firm are known as the Soul Crew. In January 2002, Leeds United and Cardiff City fans, players, and Cardiff chairman Sam Hammam were hit by missiles during a match, and hundreds of Cardiff fans invaded the pitch after the final whistle to celebrate knocking the then leaders of the Premier League out of the FA Cup. Media reports dubbed the game "The Battle Of Ninian Park".Fact|date=June 2008 In May 2002, Cardiff City were fined £40,000 by the Football Association of Wales for the events that day. Hammam was criticised by the head of the English Police Spotting teams, for his comment preceding the game, which were deemed to be encouraging hooligans. Hammam had said, "It's better for us to play them at Ninian because the intimidatory factor will be so big... It's a bit like the old Den at Millwall except ten times more." Hammam at first blamed what he called a "racist English media" for exaggerating the trouble at the Leeds game. However, he then launched "a war on hooliganism."cite news
title = Hooligans - Cardiff and the hooligan element
publisher = BBC
date = 2002-05-17]
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-19
] In October 2004 a BBC report stated that Cardiff had more fans banned than any other Football League club, with 160 banning orders against its fans, more than double any other Welsh club.cite news
title = Cardiff fans 'are not hooligans'
publisher = BBC
date = 2004-10-23 | url =
accessdate = 2008-06-19
] Cardiff City and Swansea City A.F.C. also have a long standing rivalry that has erupted into violence many times since the early 1980s, including instances of Cardiff supporters being chased into the sea in 1988, then vandalising parts of Swansea City centre in 1991. In December 1993, after a large scale riot at Ninian Park involved thousands of Swansea and Cardiff fans, where seats were ripped out and thrown, as well as numerous pitch invasions, away fans were banned from the derby games until 1997. Since then a limited number of away fans have been allowed to attend via bus only, and under a heavy police presence.



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. [ [ At least 100 injured in Bangladeshi soccer riot ] ]


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.cite news |title=Chinese football fans riot over penalty |publisher=BBC News |date=2002-03-25 |url=|accessdate=2007-07-25] After a match in 2000 between Shaanxi Guoli and Chengdu Wuniu in Xi'an, Shaanxi province China football fans clashed with police who had to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Police car windows were smashed as the police tried to stop the fans attacking the match referee, who they were angry at for a decision made during the match. Eight people were arrested but later released.cite news |title=Chinese football fans clash with police|publisher=BBC News |date=2000-07-19 |url=|accessdate=2007-07-25] In March 2002 fans fought with police again as hundreds of football fans rioted at a match in Xi'an, this time between Shaanxi Guoli and Qingdao Yizhong. At the final whistle, and in response to a late penalty to the visiting team, Shaanxi Guoli fans threw missiles at the players and the police before setting fire to the stadium seats. The fans accused the referee of being corrupt and fixing the match. The fans were finally dispersed by riot police with batons and high pressure water hoses. Outside the stadium fighting broke out again, a police van and four police cars were overturned. Two years before this incident following crowd troube at a match also in Xi'an, the government had demanded more action to stamp out football hooliganism. Football hooliganism continued to rise in China partly due to allegations of corrupt referees.cite news |title=Chinese football fans go on rampage|publisher=BBC News |date=2002-06-10 |url=|accessdate=2007-07-25]

In June 2002, thousands of football fans rampaged for two hours in the streets of Fuzhou in Fujian province, overturning police cars, damaging a bus and tearing street signs down. Order was only restored when one hundred heavily armed paramilitary policemen were called in. The rampage had started when fans were unable to watch the World Cup match between China and Brazil at an outside broadcast. On 4 July 2004 fans rioted in Beijing when China lost the final of the AFC Asian Cup to Japan, 3-1, at the Workers Stadium. After the match hundreds of Chinese fans threw bottles, confronted riot police, burned Japanese flags and vandalised a Japanese Embassy official's car. The Japanese fans had to be protected by the police, and bussed to safety after they had been given a hostile reception by Chinese fans.cite news |title=Chinese riot after Japan victory|publisher=BBC News |date=2004-08-07 |url=|accessdate=2007-07-25] cite news |title=China probes football violence|publisher=BBC News |date=2004-08-24 |url=|accessdate=2007-07-25] The rioting was attributed to ill-feeling toward Japan for atrocities committed before and during the Second World War.


In Israel 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. Beitar Jerusalem were attracting attention because of their fan's behaviour, with regular "Death to Arabs" banners and chants. Earlier that season Beitar were fined when their fans shouted racist abuse at PAOK FC players during a UEFA Cup match. Beitar had already been under a suspended sentence following an incident two years previously when Rangers F.C. player Rod Wallace was also the subject of racist abuse.cite news |title=200 Beitar Jerusalem - Israel |publisher=Sunday Herald |date=2000-12-24|url= |accessdate=2007-05-20]

In November 2006 it was reported that football was becoming a mirror of the country a battleground between Arab and Jewish fans. For instance in August 2005 at the start of the domestic season, 7,000 Beitar Jerusalem fans travelled to an opening day away match at Maccabi Tel Aviv. Beitar fans chanted anti Arab chants throughout the match, and later rioted in Tel Aviv. After a match in Sakhnin against Bnei Sakhnin a predominantly Arab supported club, Beitar fans rioted. Beitar have a hooligan firm, La Familia, whose members consider Israeli Arabs to be their enemy.cite news |title=200 Rockets, riots and rivalry |publisher=The Guardian |date=2006-11-26|url=,,1956563,00.html |accessdate=2007-05-20]

North Korea

There was a brief riot between Iranian and North Korean fans at an international match in 2005. It appears that a North Korean player got into an argument with the Syrian referee, and then things got out of hand. [ [] ] [ [ North Koreans think the unthinkable ] ] [ [ Asia Times Online :: Korea News and Korean Business and Economy, Pyongyang News ] ]


On March 12, 2004 a fight between Arab and Kurdish supporters of rival Syrian football clubs at a match in Qamishli, convert|450|mi|km north east of Damascus, escalated into full scale riots that left 25 people dead and hundreds injured.cite news |title='Five dead' in new Syria clashes
publisher=BBC News |date=2004-03-17 |url=|accessdate=2007-06-20
] cite news |title=Syria urged to free riot Kurds|publisher=BBC News |date=2004-04-07 |url=|accessdate=2007-06-20]


Democratic Republic of the Congo

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. [ [ Disasters at soccer stadiums] ] 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. [ [ Police 'blamed' for Congo stampede] ]


In January 2006 riot police had to protect Libyan fans in the Cairo International Stadium from missiles being thrown at them by 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 Ivory Coast and had started taunting the home supporters. The Egyptian fans responded by throwing missiles at half time, and when, despite a plea to stop, it continued into the second half, the riot police were called in. The Egyptian Football Association were fined $5,000 and the Libyan Football Federation fined $7,000 by the Confederation of African Football disciplinary Commission.cite news
title = Egypt, Libya fined for crowd violence
publisher = ezilon infobase
date = 2006-01-27
url =
accessdate = 2007-11-23


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. [] []


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. [ [ - 125 killed in Ghana soccer crush - May 10, 2001 ] ]

Ivory Coast

Fighting among fans at a match claimed one life on 6 May 2001 and injured 39 people. [ [ Disasters at soccer stadiums] ] [ [ Major stadium disasters] ]


Eight fans died and 39 were injured as troops opened fire to stop both pro and anti Gadaffi sentiments being expressed in a Tripoli stadium during a match between Al Ahli and Al Ittihad in December 1996. [ [ Disasters in soccer stadiums] ]


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. [ [ Soccer fans riot in Mali over loss] ]


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. [ [ Mauritian football riots -- seven dead] ]


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. [ [ Government apologises for football riots] ]

outh Africa

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 south west of Johannesburg. [ [ in soccer stadiums] ]


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. [ [ Zimbabwe football riot kills 12] ] 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. [ [ Criticism after Zimbabwe football deaths] ]


In 2001 following crowd violence at a home match against Perth Glory, Melbourne Knights were found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute. They were fined AUS$30,000 with a AUS$50,000 bond to pay should there be any further crowd violence, and were ordered to upgrade the safety of their stadium. Melbourne have large support from the local Croatian community, and the crowd violence was attributed to ethnic tensions and Balkan politics.cite web
last = Smith
first = Amanda
authorlink =
coauthors = Bosnjik, Marijan; Evans Chris; Young Jim; Jeffs, Sandy
title = Sports Factor: The Trouble with Soccer
publisher = Radio National
date = 2001-05-25
url =
accessdate = 2007-11-10
] In 2005 Sydney United were suspended for four matches and Bonnyrigg White Eagles matches were deferred pending an internal enquiry following violence at matches between the two clubs who both compete in the New South Wales Premier League. Sydney are backed by the local Croatian community and Bonnyrigg are backed by their local Serbian community. Tension between the two communities resulted in flares, missiles and other objects being thrown at supporters.cite conference
title = Soccer fans violence
booktitle = Hansard
pages = 16
publisher = Parliament of New South Wales
date = 2005-05-04
url =
accessdate = 2007-11-10
] Also ethnic tension lies in the Victorian Premier League. Where In 2005 Preston Makedonia and South Melbourne Hellas met, where Preston won the game 1-0, sparking pitch invasions and throwing of objects at opposing supporters. Since, the two clubs have played games to 'members only' crowds.

ee also

*2006 Basel Hooligan Incident
*2007 Catania football violence
*2008 UEFA Cup Final riots
*Collective Effervescence
*List of hooligan firms
*Major football rivalries
*Millwall brick
*Rugby league hooligans

Notes and references

Further reading

;Articles Redhead, Steve (University of Brighton) [ Emotional Hooligan: Post-Subcultural Research and the Histories of Britain’s Football Gangs] ESLJ Volume 5 Number 2 Interventions, ISSN 1748-944X. "This review essay looks anew at the connection between ‘deviant’ football hooligan literature and contemporary football hooligan subcultures. ..."

* Foer, Franklin (2005). "How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization ", Harper Perennial, ISBN 0060731427
* Hough, Ian (2007). "Perry Boys", Milo Books, ISBN 1903854652

;News articles
*Staff. [ Chinese Nation on Alert over Soccer Riots] , [ People's Daily Online] , 4 June, 2001
*Staff. [ Chinese football fans riot over penalty] , BBC, 25 March, 2002
*Staff. [ Chinese riot after Japan victory] , BBC, 7 August, 2004
*Montague,James [,,1956563,00.html Rockets, riots and rivalry] , Observer Sport Monthly, 26 November 2006. Article about football hooliganism in Israel

*Mal. [ Hooli-News] , [ about Hooli-News] , Retrieved 2008-09-10. Hooligan-related news and information from around the world.
*Staff. [ Information about stadium disasters] , [ Crowd Dynamics a Vangard Consulting company] 23 February 2005.
*Staff. [ Hooliganism Fact Sheet] Football Industry Group,Last Updated: December 2007. Fact Sheet on Hooliganism.

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