Ultras are a type of association football fans who are renowned for their fanatical support. The term originated in Italy but it is used worldwide to describe predominantly organised fans of association football teams. The behavioural tendency of ultras groups includes their 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 the opposing players and their supporters. The frequent use of elaborate displays in stadiums is also common.

Ultras of Levski Sofia
Ultras of Lazio

The actions of ultras groups are occasionally extreme and they may be influenced by political ideologies such as conservatism, socialism, or views on racism, which range from avowedly nationalist 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 origin of the ultras movement is disputed,[4] with 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 categorise 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.[5] 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.[4][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 with an acronym of Uniti Legneremo Tutti i Rossoblu A Sangue (such as "all together we will beat the rossoblu fans to blood", fans of Torino change her name the Ultras Granata in the 70s. 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]



Gate-9 (Greek:Θύρα 9) is a Cypriot fans' group that supports the football team People's Athletic Club Omonia 1948 and all the sport departments of AC Omonia except football. Omonia supporters are traditionally left wing. A 2009 gallop poll estimated that three out of four Omonia fans vote for the Progressive Party of Working People, the communist party of Cyprus.[10] While the group retains its left wing beliefs, in recent years it has been openly critical of the party's involvement in the club's administrative decisions. The party has denied accusations that it influences club decisions.[11] Gate-9 members are associated with communist beliefs and have been noted for waving banners bearing Che Guevara's portrait, and other communist symbols.[12] The group is also involved in humanitarian work for refugees in Cyprus.[13] The group, besides Nicosia, has fan clubs in Limassol, Athens, Thessaloniki, Larnaka,[14] Paphos,[15] and London.[16]

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.[17].The Union Bears are known for their elaborate fan displays and their support for Northern Irish and Scottish unionism within the UK. Since 1875 are an ultras group that support Hibernian FC; they are best known for their famous 'Time for Heroes' banner in the 2016 Scottish Cup Final. They try and stay out of politics for the most part; however, Hibs fans as a whole do lean towards Scottish nationalism and also have strong links to Ireland. In England there are ultras groups at Crystal Palace F.C. (Holmesdale Fanatics) Ipswich Town F.C (Blue Action) Leicester City F.C (Union FS) and Huddersfield Town F.C.[18][19][20] 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.[21][22] 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.[23][24]


Singing at sector B Central during the opening ceremonies of the Puskás Aréna on 15 November 2019.

Several clubs in Hungary have large ultras groups, such as Ferencváros (Green Monsters), Újpest (Viola Fidelity), Diósgyőr (Ultras Diósgyőr), Honvéd (Ultras Kispest, Északi Kanyar), Fehérvár (Red Blue Devils) and Debrecen (Szívtiprók Ultras Debrecen). The national team of Hungary has an ultras group known as the Carpathian Brigade. The group was formed in 2009. Hungarian ultras occupy sector B Central at the Puskás Aréna.


No Name Boys in 2008
Stadium Club Name
Estádio do Dragão FC Porto - Super Dragões
- Colectivo Ultras 95
Estádio do Bessa Boavista FC - Panteras Negras
Estádio da Luz SL Benfica - Diabos Vermelhos
- No Name Boys
Estádio José Alvalade Sporting CP - Juventude Leonina
- Torcida Verde
- Directivo Ultras XXI
- Brigada Ultras Sporting
Estádio D. Afonso Henriques Vitória SC - White Angels


FC Copenhagen (Sektion 12) and Brøndby IF (Sydsiden) have some of the most renowned ultras groups on the continent, and the derby between the two is also one of the fiercest in Europe.[25]

AaB's Ultra group caused a 14-minute delay in the 2020 Danish Cup final for a failure to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing rules.[26] The group was ultimately ejected from the stadium and the game resumed, which was won by SønderjyskE.


In Italy, most professional football clubs have an ultra group which attend every match and have dedicated seating areas in either the north or south end of the stadium behind the goals. Each ultra will have 1 or more leaders who choreograph chants throughout the match and will hand out banners and flags to other people in the stand to wave throughout the match. Ultras have been credited as to creating fantastic atmospheres inside of the stadium, however have also come under universal criticism with their ties to various gangs and the mafia, as well as causing violence which often takes place outside the stadium prior to a match. Over the years, inappropriate chanting have resulted in the FIGC to issue partial or full stadium bans to clubs. The ultras will choreograph a wide range of chants throughout a match, but some of the most common chants that result in a ban are anti-Southern chants towards clubs which are located in the South of Italy, most notably towards Napoli, as well as racist chants towards opposition players.[27][28]


Spanish ultraism is generally agreed to have come from Italian and English ultra- and hooliganism at the 1982 World Cup held in Spain. Merely 7 years after the death of Franco, the World Cup was an opportunity for Spain to join the world of modern, international football. Spanish ultraism is particularly known for its dramatic and polarized distinction across two ideological cleavages: fascism and nationalism. The vast majority of ultra groups identify as either fascist or anti-fascist, and either independentist or nationalist.[29]


Stadium Club Name
Chernihiv Stadium Desna Chernihiv Ultras Desna



Stadium Club Name
July 5, 1962 Stadium MC Alger Ultras the Twelfth Player 2011
- Ultras Green Corsaires 2012
- Ultras Squalo Verde 2019
- Ultras Amore E Montalita 2019
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
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
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
- Ultras Crazy Capital 14

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
February 24, 1956 Stadium,
Sidi Bel Abbès
USM Bel Abbès

Ultras Scorpion Trop Puissant
- Ultras Verde Veteranos

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
El Alia Sports Complex US Biskra

Ultras Pandilla Ziban
- Groupe Ouled el Ziban

Touhami Zoubir Khelifi Stadium AS Aïn M'lila

Red Scorpion
- RossoNero

Stade Akid Lotfi WA Tlemcen

Ultras Kop 13

Stade 20 Août 1955 (Béchar) JS Saoura

Ultras Giallo Verde

Stade Messaoud Zougar MC El Eulma

Ultras Vikings 2009
- Ultras Red Army 2013

Maghrebi Unity Stadium JSM Bejaia

Ultras Gouraya United
- Ultras Marins

1 November 1954 Stadium (Batna),
MSP Batna

Ultras Pantera Nera 2009

Ismaïl Makhlouf Stadium RC Arbaâ

Ultras Blue Vichingo
- Ultras Tauras Blue

Stade Tahar Zoughari RC Relizane

Ultras Verde Corazon

Stade Mokhtar Abdelatif Amal Bou Saâda

Ultras Ouled el Khadra

Habib Bouakeul Stadium ASM Oran

Ultras Verde Lupo

Stade Mohamed Reggaz WA Boufarik

Ultras Orange W'arriors 2015

Stade Ben Abdelmalek MO Constantine

Ultras Libertados
- Ultras Ouled Ben Badis

Rouibah Hocine Stadium JS Djijel

Ultras Green Gunners
- Ultras Free Fans
- Ouled el Corniche

Brakni Brothers Stadium USM Blida

Ultras Green Killers 2014

Stade Souidani Boujemaa ES Guelma

Ultras Rebells Ragazzi

Omar Oucief Stadium CR Témouchent

Ultras Red Wolves

Ahmed Kaïd Stadium JSM Tiaret

Ultras Cavalier Blue
- Ultras Blue Eagles

Stade Amar Benjamaa ES Collo

Ultras Los Marinos 23

Stade Mohamed Bensaïd ES Mostaganem

Ultras Verde Marinero 12

Stade de l'Unité Africaine GC Mascara

Ultras Green Storm 2008

Stade Zerdani Hassouna US Chaouia

Ultras Giallo Boys


Stadium Club Name
Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium Association Sportive des FAR - Ultras Askary 2005
- Black Army 1427
Stade Mohamed V Wydad Casablanca - Ultras Winners 2005
Ibn Batouta Stadium Ittihad Riadi Tanger - Ultra Hercules 2007
Complexe sportif de Fès Maghreb Association Sportive de Fès - Ultras Fatal Tigers 2006
Complexe sportif de Phosphate Olympique Club de Khouribga - Ultras Green Ghost 2007
Stade Municipal (Kenitra) 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 Municipal de Berkane RS Berkane Ultras Orange Boys 07
Stade Mimoun Al Arsi Chabab Rif Al Hoceima - Ultras Rif Boys 2010
- Ultras Los Rifeños 2012
Stade El Massira Olympic Safi - Ultras Shark 2006
Stade du 18 novembre Ittihad Khemisset - Ultras Cavaliers Family 2009
Stade de Marrakech Kawkab Marrakech - Ultras crazy boys 2006
Honneur Stadium MC Oujda - Ultras Brigade Wajda 2007
Stade Boubker Ammar AS Salé Ultras Red Pirates 06
- Ultras Pirates 07
- Ultras Fanatics 09
Stade Municipal De Khénifra Chabab Atlas Khénifra - Ultras Révoltés 2012


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.[30] 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 organisations by authorities.[30] 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.[31]

In 2013, the Associated Press stated that the Egyptian Ultras network was one of the most organised movements in Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood.[30]

Stadium Club Name
Cairo International Stadium Al Ahly SC - Ultras Ahlawy
- Ultras Devils
Cairo International Stadium Zamalek SC - Ultras White Knights (UWK)
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 Name
Stade Olympique de Radès ES Tunis - Curva Sud Tunis
- Ultras Lemkachkhines 2002
- Supras Sud 2004
- Blood & Gold 2005
- Zapatista Esperanza 2007
- Fedayn Espérantistes 2009
Stade Olympique de Radès Club Africain - Curva Nord Tunis
- African Winners
- Leaders Clubistes
- North Vandals
- Dodgers Clubistes
Stade Taïeb Mhiri CS Sfaxien - Curva Nord Sfax
- Black & White Fighters 2003
- Raged Boys 2007
- Ultras Sfaxiens 2007
- Leoni Bianconeri 2007
- Drughi Bianconeri 2013
Stade Olympique de Sousse ES Sahel - Curva Nord Sousse
- Ultras Fanatics 2003
- Ultras Saheliano 2007
Stade 15 October CA Bizertin - Ultras Big Boss 2010
- Ultras Marines 2005
Stade Abdelaziz Chtioui AS Marsa - Vikings Marsois 2011



The ultras scene was introduced to Lebanon in February 2018, with Nejmeh's "Ultras Supernova".[32][33][34] Their rivals Ansar quickly followed with their own ultras group, "I Tifosi", one month later.[33] Ahed formed their own ultras group, called "Ultras Yellow Inferno", the same year.[34] 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.[35] The fans have been returned to Lebanon by request of the Lebanese Ambassador to Cairo.[36]


East Bengal Ultras
The 3D Blue Tiger tifo displayed by Blue Pilgrims in June 2018
Manjappada (Yellow army) of Kerala Blasters

Kolkata Derby is the football match between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. The rivalry between these two teams is over 100 years old, and features in the FIFA's classic derby list. The matches witness large audience attendance and rivalry between patrons. It is considered to be one of, if not the biggest Asian footballing rivalry. The most memorable derby on many accounts took place in 1997 at the semi-final of the Federation Cup, when a remarkable crowd of 131,000 – a record attendance for any sport in India – filled a heaving Salt Lake Stadium.

The Ultras scene in India was introduced by East Bengal Ultras, the Ultras group of East Bengal F.C. in 2013 and since then it grew slowly as Ultras groups of various clubs started to form and display of "Tifo's" and "Pyro" shows became very much a part of the Ultras scene in Indian football.[37]

One of the most supported club in Asia, Kerala Blasters FC has their supporters group called Manjappada (Yellow Army). They were founded in May 2014 and became ultras in 2018. During their home matches at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Kochi) the group commits to cover the stadium in as much as yellow colours, which is the primary colour of the club.[38]

Highlander Brigade, the biggest supporters' club of Northeast United FC is also growing in numbers. With intimidating large sized tifos and non-stop chanting, they've made their presence felt in the stands. Formed in 2017, they are quickly developing the Ultras scene in the Northeastern part of the country. During home games at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, their typical routine begins with a march to the stadium, followed by the display of tifos and banners before the start of the game and then 90 mins of intense chanting with megaphones and drums while waving flags of red, black and white.

Blue Pilgrims is an organised group of football fans who support the India national football men's team, women's team, and all the other age–group national teams at every home and away game formed by a group of football fans of several club fan bases of football clubs from India. Founded in 2017 before the commencement of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which was held in India, the group based their name on the nickname of the national team, the "Blue Tigers". They consider travelling with the national teams to wherever the teams play as their pilgrimage. They often display flags, banners, and tifos in support of the national team.[39]

Stadium Club Name
Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata East Bengal F.C. East Bengal Ultras
Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata East Bengal F.C. East Bengal the Real Power
Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata Mohun Bagan A.C. Mariners' Base Camp[40]
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Kochi) Kerala Blasters FC Manjappada (Yellow Army)[41]
Kalinga Stadium Odisha FC The Juggernauts
Sree Kanteerava Stadium Bengaluru FC West Block Blues
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium Northeast United FC Highlander Brigade
Nehru Stadium Chennaiyin FC Super Machans

North AmericaEdit


Stadium Club Name
Stade Saputo CF Montréal Ultras Montréal
BMO Field Toronto FC Inebriatti

United StatesEdit

Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta United Guerilla Company[42]
Audi Field D.C. United District Ultras[43]
Avaya Stadium San Jose Earthquakes 1906 Ultras[44]
Red Bull Arena New York Red Bulls Garden State Ultras[45]
Subaru Park Philadelphia Union Keystone State Ultras
CenturyLink Field Seattle Sounders FC Emerald City Supporters[46]
Dignity Health Sports Park Los Angeles Galaxy Ghosts Ultras Galaxy
Providence Park Portland Timbers Timbers Army
Banc of California Stadium Los Angeles Football Club The 3252
Children's Mercy Park Sporting Kansas City Fountain City Ultras


Ultras groups are usually centred on a core group of founders or leaders (who tend to hold executive control),[47] with smaller subgroups organised 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.[47][48] Some ultras groups sell their own merchandise to raise funds for performing displays.[47][49] 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.[47] Some clubs provide groups with cheaper tickets, storage rooms for flags and banners and early access to the stadium before matches to prepare displays. These types of favoured relationships are often criticised 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.[50] Some hooligans try to be inconspicuous when they travel; usually not wearing team colours, 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


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Further readingEdit