The Ultras of Italian Football

Photo from forzaitalianfootball.com

 

This is not your run of the mill football guide. No, along with Richard Hall, I embarked on a journey into the cryptic world of Italy’s Ultras. The aim? To shed some light on one of Calcio’s most beguiling and contentious features.

In Britain, we often associate the word ‘Ultras’ with ‘hooligans’. It is understandable given the history of football-related violence in Britain, especially during the 1970s and 80s, where the terraces and streets became the battlegrounds for football ‘firms’. Stories like the death of Filippo Raciti and the escapades of the Ultras from Nocerina produce a gut reaction – ‘mindless football hooligans’.

Don’t get me wrong, such an assertion is not without justification and all too often, the dark underbelly of the Ultras is exposed for all to see. However, to view them as one homogeneous mass of hooligans would be simplistic and fallacious. Therein lies the rationale for this ‘alternative’ guide to Italian football.

These guides were originally published for The Gentleman Ultra and the Guardian Sports Network.

I will also be posting the articles on this page so if you haven’t already, check them out. Opinions and comments are always welcome.

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