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Ultras of Levski Sofia
Ultras of Lazio

Ultras are a type of association football fans renowned for fanatical support. The term originated in Italy but is used worldwide to describe predominantly organized fans of association football teams.

The behavioural tendency of ultras groups includes the use of flares (primarily in tifo choreography), vocal support in large groups and the displaying of banners at football stadiums, all of which are designed to create an atmosphere which encourages their own team and intimidates opposing players and supporters. The use of elaborate displays in stadiums often is common, as well.

The actions of ultras groups are occasionally extreme and may be influenced by political ideologies such as conservatism or socialism, or views on racism, ranging from avowed nationalists to anti-fascist.[1] In some instances, this goes to the point where the passionate and loyal support of one's team becomes secondary to the theoretical ideology of the ultras phenomenon.[2] In recent decades, the culture has become a focal point for the movement against the commercialisation of sports and football in particular.[3]

The first signs of the phenomenon of football supporters in Italy are in 1932 when the supporters of Lazio go on to number first the birth of an organized association, with hierarchical structure, of fans. On October 23 of that year, on the occasion of the derby, an organized group called "Paranza Aquilotti" in fact staged a set design at the Stadium of the National Fascist Party [2] many supporters groups from various countries making claims solely on the basis of their dates of foundation. The level of dispute and confusion is aided by a contemporary tendency (mainly in Europe) to categorize all groups of overtly fanatical supporters as ultras. Supporters groups of a nature comparable to the ultras have been present in Brazil since 1939, when the first torcida organizada was formed (although these groups began to focus on violence in the 1970s). Inspired by the torcidas and the colourful scenes of the 1950 World Cup, supporters of Hajduk Split formed Torcida Split on 28 October 1950.[4] The group is often cited as the oldest torcida style group in Europe. But the first supporters' groups in the world formed to produce violence were barras bravas, originated in Argentina in the 1950s.

One country closely associated with the ultras movement is Italy.[5][6] The first Italian ultras groups were formed in 1951, including the Fedelissimi Granata of Torino. The 1960s saw the continuing spread and development of the culture with the formation of the Fossa dei Leoni and Boys San groups, the former often regarded in Italy as the first full-fledged ultras group (associated with violence). The term ultras was used as a name for the first time in 1969 when supporters of Sampdoria formed the Ultras Tito Cucchiaroni and fans of Torino formed the Ultras Granata. The style of support that would become synonymous with Italian football developed most during the 1970s as more groups formed including the radical S.S. Lazio Ultras in 1974 with a strong predominance of fascist slogans and chants amongst other groups such as Hellas Verona supporters. The active support of the ultras became more apparent, in contrast with the "traditional" culture, choreographic displays, signature banners and symbols, giant flags, drums and fireworks became the norm as groups aimed to take their support to higher levels.[7] The decade also saw the violence and unrest of Italian society at the time overlap with the ultras movement, adding a dimension that has plagued it ever since.[8]

The ultras movement spread across Europe, Australia, Asia and North Africa during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, starting with the countries geographically closest to Italy.[9]


United KingdomEdit

Green Brigade are an ultras group that follow Celtic F.C. and regularly make tifo displays and often voice support for a United Ireland and Free Palestine. On the other side of Glasgow are the Rangers F.C ultra group The Union Bears.[10] In England there are ultras groups at Crystal Palace F.C. (Holmesdale Fanatics) Leicester City F.C (Union FS) and Huddersfield Town F.C.[11][12][13] Several Non-League football teams in England have ultras groups that are left-wing, anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-sexist such as the fans of Dulwich Hamlet F.C. that have a group called the ComFast Chapter who are openly communist.[14][15] A Vice article claims the anti-communists Casuals United is at war with anti-fascist football ultras and have come into conflict with the Clapton Ultras and had already caused the disbandment of the anti-EDL Inter Village Firm that followed Mangotsfield United.[16][17]


B central at the initiation ceremonies of Puskás Aréna. Hungary-Uruguay 1ː2

Hungarian ultras usually sit in B central. The greatest rivalry: Fradi-Újpest. In the country: Nagyhalász-Ibrány, Diósgyőr-Nyíregyháza, Debrecen-Békéscsaba, Debrecen-Nyíregyháza, Haladás-ZTE, Nagykanizsa-ZTE, ZTE-Győr, Fehérvár-Győr, Pécs-Komló, Pécs-Fehérvár, Pécs-Kaposvár, Siófok-Kaposvár, Tatabánya-Győr, Celldömölk-Tatabánya, Celldömölk-ZTE, Szeged-Békéscsaba, Cegléd-Vecsés.



Stadium Club Noum
July 5, 1962 Stadium MC Alger -Ultras the Twelfth Player 2011
- Ultras Green Corsaires 2012
- Groupe Vert et Rouge 2013
-Ultras Squalo Verde 2019
-Ultras Love And Montality
Stade 20 Août 1955,
JSM Skikda - Ultras Senza Confine 13
- Ultras Ouled Russicada 2015
Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium,
CS Constantine - Ultras Loca Ragazzi 2010
- Ultras Green Army 2012
- Ultras Los Guerreros 2015
April 13, 1958 Stadium,
MC Saida

- Ultras Méga Boys 2007

20 August 1955 Stadium (Algiers),
CR Belouizdad

- Ultras Fanatic Reds 09

Stade 8 Mai 1945,
ES Setif - Ultras Inferno 10
Stade Omar Hamadi,
USM Alger - groupe Ouled El Bahdja
Ahmed Zabana Stadium,
MC Oran - Ultras Red Castle 2011
- Ultras Leones Rey 2009
Maghrebi Unity Stadium MO Bejaia - Ultras Granchio 09
- Ultras Saldae Kings 2010
- Ultras Free Men 15
- Ultras Pirate Boys 16
May 19, 1956 Stadium USM Annaba - Les indepandants de bone 12
- Ultras Sparta Rosso 2015
1 November 1954 Stadium (Tizi Ouzou),
JS Kabylie - Ultras Kabylie Boys 09
- Ultras The Leader 2013
- Ultras Samba Boys 2013
20 August 1955 Stadium (Algiers),
NA Hussein Dey

- Ultras Dey Boys 09

Mohamed Boumezrag Stadium,
ASO Chlef

- Ultras Polina 10

1 November 1954 Stadium (Batna),
CA Batna - Ultras Aurès Boys 2009
- Ultras Furia Roja 2013
Stade Imam Lyes,
O Medea - Ultras Matador 26
- Ultras Titery Army 2015
February 24, 1956 Stadium,
Sidi Bel Abbès
USM Bel Abbès

- Curva Nord

1 November 1954 Stadium (Algiers) USM El Harrach

- Grinta Curva

20 August 1955 Stadium,
Bordj Bou Arréridj
CA Bordj Bou Arréridj - Ultras Commandos 2008
- Ultras Monstros 18


Stadium Club Noum
Stade Mohamed V Raja Casablanca - Ultras Green Boys 05
- Ultras Eagles 06
- Derb Sultan
Stade Municipale Renaissance sportive de Berkane - Ultras Orange Boys 07
Stade Mohamed V Wydad Casablanca - Ultras Winners 2005
Ibn Batouta Stadium Ittihad Riadi Tanger - Ultra Hercules 2007
Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium Association Sportive des FAR - Ultras Askary 2005
- Black Army 1427
Complexe sportif de Fès Maghreb Association Sportive de Fès - Ultras Fatal Tigers 2006
Stade municipale Kenitra athletic club - Ultras Helala Boys 2007
Stade Adrar Hassania Agadir

- Ultras Imazighen 2006
- Ultras Red Rebels

Stade Saniat Rmel Moghreb Tetouan - Ultras Los Matadores 2005
- Ultras Siempre Paloma 2006
Stade Mimoun Al Arsi Chabab Rif Al Hoceima - Ultras Los Rifeños 2012
Stade El Massira Olympic Safi - Ultras Shark 2006
Stade 18 Bovembre Ittihad Zemmouri De Khemisset - Ultras Cavaliers Family 2009
Stade de Marrakech Kawkab Marrakech - Ultras crazy boys 2006
Stade d'honneur CODM Meknes - Ultras REDMEN 2008


The clubs in Egypt became a major political force during the uprising against Mubarak in 2011, but were known for long-standing animosity with the police.[18] When 38 members of the Ultras Devils were arrested in Shebeen al-Kom for "belonging to an illegal group" plus additional violent offences, it was seen as a crackdown on the organizations by authorities.[18] Ultras in Turkey have also played a role in the 2013 protests in Turkey, with fans of arch-rivals Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Besiktas shielding protesters and allying against police violence. Police responded with raids in the Besiktas neighbourhood, the main breeding ground of ultras of the Beşiktaş club, the Carsi Group.[19]

In 2013, the Associated Press stated that the Egyptian Ultras network was one of the most organized movements in Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood.[18]

Stadium Club Noun
Cairo International Stadium Al Ahly SC - Ultras Ahlawy
- Ultras Devils
Cairo International Stadium Zamalek SC - Ultras White Knights
Port Said Stadium Al-Masry SC - Ultras Green Eagles
Suez Stadium Suez Montakhab - Ultras Suez Fedyan
Ghazl El Mahalla Stadium Ghazl El Mahalla SC - Ultras Whales 2008
Ismailia Stadium Ismaily SC - Ultras Yellow Dragons
- Ultras Rebels
Alexandria Stadium Al Ittihad Alexandria Club - Ultras Green Magic


Stadium Club Noun
Stade Olympique de Radès ES Tunis - Curva Sud Tunis
Stade Olympique de Radès Club Africain - Curva Nord Tunis
Stade Taïeb Mhiri CS Sfaxien - Curva Nord Sfax
Stade Olympique de Sousse ES Sahel - Curva Nord Sousse
Stade 15 October CA Bizertin - Ultras Big Boss 2010 , Ultras Marines 2005



The ultras scene was introduced to Lebanon in February 2018, with Nejmeh's "Ultras Supernova".[20][21][22] Their rivals Ansar quickly followed with their own ultras group, "I Tifosi", one month later.[21] Ahed formed their own ultras group, called "Ultras Yellow Inferno", the same year.[22] Prior to the Arab Club Champions Cup game between Nejmeh and Al-Ahly of Egypt, played on 13 August 2018, seven “Ultras Supernova” fans were arrested by the Egyptian national security because of the negative connotations the word “Ultras” has in Egypt.[23] The fans have been returned to Lebanon by request of the Lebanese Ambassador to Cairo.[24]

North AmericaEdit

United StatesEdit

Stadium Club Name
Audi Field D.C. United District Ultras[25]
Avaya Stadium San Jose Earthquakes 1906 Ultras[26]


Ultras groups are usually centred on a core group of founders or leaders (who tend to hold executive control),[27] with smaller subgroups organized by location, friendship or political stance. Ultras tend to use various styles and sizes of banners and flags bearing the name and symbols of their group.[27][28] Some ultras groups sell their own merchandise to raise funds for performing displays.[27][29] An ultras group can number from a handful of fans to hundreds or thousands, with larger groups often claiming entire sections of a stadium for themselves. Ultras groups often have a representative who liaises with the club owners on a regular basis, mostly regarding tickets, seat allocations and storage facilities.[27] Some clubs provide groups with cheaper tickets, storage rooms for flags and banners and early access to the stadium before matches in order to prepare displays. These types of favoured relationships are often criticized when ultras groups abuse their power.[1]


Polish football hooligans in violent clash

While ultras groups can become violent, the majority of matches attended by ultras conclude with no violent incidents. Unlike hooligan firms, whose main aim is to fight hooligans of other clubs, the main focus of ultras is generally to support their own team.[30] Some hooligans try to be inconspicuous when they travel; usually not wearing team colours, in order to avoid detection by the police. Within the ultra or hooligan culture however, those dressing to "blend in" would be referred to as casuals, which is viewed by some as a branch of hooliganism, yet still maintaining its own independence and culture. Ultras tend to be more conspicuous when they travel, proudly displaying their scarves and club colours while arriving en masse, which allows the police to keep a close eye on their movements.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "The dark heart of Italian soccer". CBC Sports. 15 April 2005. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Fan tragedy sends the fight against Ultras back to square one". The Guardian. 12 November 2007. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Are German fans really turning against the beautiful game?". The Guardian. 7 April 2008. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Povijest". (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  5. ^ "We Don't Fight, We Paint Flags Instead". In Bed With Maradona. 2 November 2010. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  6. ^ "Ultra sensitive". When Saturday Comes. April 2007. Archived from the original on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Ultras rule?". Football Italia. 28 October 2009. Archived from the original on 23 November 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  8. ^ Alberto Testa, Gary Armstrong (2010). Football, Fascism and Fandom. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-4081-2371-3.
  9. ^ "Passion, politics and violence: A socio-historical analysis of Spanish ultras". Informaworld. March 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Bakowski, Gregg (23 October 2016). "Ultra culture could help Premier League terraces take positive steps". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Palace 'ultras' causing anxiety". ESPN. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  13. ^ Barker, Matthew. "When Saturday Comes - Crystal Palace ultras under pressure from club and fans". When Saturday Comes. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Eastbourne Town's 'ultras' are game for a laugh and making football welcome to all". iNews. 16 November 2017. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  15. ^ "London's Left-Wing Utopian Non-League Ultras Are Reclaiming Football". Vice. 5 January 2015. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  16. ^ "The English Far-Right's War on Anti-Fascist Football Ultras". Vice. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  17. ^ "The FA – Kicking anti-racism out of football". Supporters Not Customers. 16 January 2014. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  18. ^ a b c el Deeb, Sarah (14 March 2013). "Egypt: 38 soccer fans charged with violence". USA Today. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  19. ^ "Ultras: The Surprise Kids ff Turkey’s Uprising" Archived 7 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Al Monitor website (posted 4 June)
  20. ^ "المدرجات لا تعترف إلا بالشجعان". Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  21. ^ a b COPA90. "Ultras Supernova: Lebanon's First Ultras Group". Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  22. ^ a b "مباريات قويّة في الجولة العاشرة". الأخبار (in Arabic). Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  23. ^ "قضية مشجعي "النجمة" الموقوفين في مصر... ماذا جرى معهم؟". LBCI Lebanon (in Arabic). Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  24. ^ "Lebanese Nejmeh fans to be deported days after arrest at Borg al-Arab Stadium | MadaMasr". Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  25. ^ "District Ultras - Home".
  26. ^ "San Jose Ultras - Home".
  27. ^ a b c d "Ultras pull the strings as Italy descends into chaos". The Guardian. 4 February 2007. Archived from the original on 2 October 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  28. ^ "Gruppi". (in Italian). Archived from the original on 12 February 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  29. ^ "AS Roma Ultras". (in Italian). Archived from the original on 13 February 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  30. ^ "Ultra vires". Spiked. 9 February 2007. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.

Further readingEdit

  • Dyal, Mark. (2018) Hated & Proud: Ultras Contra Modernity, London, Arktos.
  • Guerra Nicola (2014). "Il discorso e la lingua speciale del calcio, una definizione inclusiva. I meccanismi di creazione dei neologismi e le dinamiche di contatto e interferenza" Annals of the University of Craiova "[1]". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  • Guerra Nicola (2011). "Meccanismi e significati linguistici di un'identità contemporanea: analisi dello spazio linguistico di una tifoseria ultras di calico" Annals of the University of Craiova"[2]". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  • Guerra Nicola, Valentina Imperi, Claudia Vardanega (2010). "I Poeti della Curva: Un'analisi sociolinguistica degli striscioni allo stadio" Aracne"[3]". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  • Prof. Dr. Gunter A. Pilz: "International Conference on Ultras. Overview of the Ultra culture phenomenon in the Council of Europe member states in 2009" (PDF). (195 KB) Leibniz University Hanover, 18 January 2010.
  • Testa, A. and Armstrong, G. (2008). "Words and actions: Italian ultras and neo-fascism" Social Identities, vol. 14 (4), pp. 473 – 490
  • Testa, A. (2009) "UltraS: an Emerging Social Movement", Review of European Studies, vol. 1 (2), 54-63
  • Testa, A. (2010). Contested Meanings: the Italian Media and the UltraS. Review of European Studies, vol 2(1), 15-24
  • Testa, A. and Armstrong, G. (in press; November 2010). Football, Fascism and Fandom: The UltraS of Italian Football, A&C (Bloomsbury), London, Black Publishers.
  • "Violence Threats to Italian Iconic Landmarks and Stadiums".TAL Global Corporation.