Celtic crosses and swastikas, racist boos and anti-Semitic messages: the folds of football stadiums across Europe are often home to the worst of the far right. But there are more among progressive and left-wing fans: here are the most famous ones.
St Pauli to Livorno
The club, based in St Pauli in Hamburg’s red-light district, has become the first club in Germany to officially ban all forms of far-right chanting in its stadiums. This club’s attitude towards nationalism is so strong that over time they launched more than one campaign in favor of refugees in Germany, for example. and against all forms of racism.
When Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, Italy later won it. With a vision of extreme universality, St Pauli organized a parallel competition in which teams from the North participated, from Tibet, Greenland and Cyprus, among others. It is still not officially recognized today. There are murals against sexism, homophobia and racism all over the walls of St Pauli’s home Millerntor-Stadion. Hamburg fans and neo-Nazi ultras in Germany.
When talking about left-wing fans in Italy, we must mention Livorno, which is currently in Serie D. Already under Benito Mussolini, the ultras of the Tuscan city had to suffer countless harassments, whereas today they are constant. Conflict between Lazio and Verona fans, organized support groups known for their far-right positions. A classic, Bella Ciao song at the Livorno bend, flags waving showing the face of Ernesto Che Guevara.
Also for so-called progressive positions Glasgow Celtic Green BrigadeIt describes itself as “a broad front of anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-sectarian supporters.” The Scottish club, with its Catholic tradition, has a long history of supporting the Irish nationalist movement against British imperialism.
In Israel, Hapoel Tel Aviv is the club that fiercely defends its position. against far-right organized support groups. In the stands you can often see red flags with statues of Gandhi and Carlo Marx; not forgetting that the team’s crest depicts a man brandishing a sickle and red hammer: “Hapoel”, it is worth remembering, means “worker””.
this in england Liverpool to embody left-wing Merseyside positions. The “Reds” are considered a fan group close to the Labor Party, and one of the historical slogans of the legendary Kop is “better to break the law than to beat the poor”. In this sense, the incident during the dockers’ strike in the 1990s, when Liverpool star great Robbie Fowler wore a T-shirt in support of protesting workers, remains historic.
The Spanish team, whose fanbase clearly leans to the left, instead Rayo Vallecano. Since the time of the Spanish civil war, this club in the Madrid region has openly opposed the dictatorship of Franco, a supporter of Real Madrid. On the other hand, the southern suburb Vallecas is working class oriented That’s why his fans are proudly anti-fascist.
Also well known are the positions of the supporters of Aek Athens, which was founded in 1924 by Greek refugees from Constantinople (now Istanbul) and over time. The so-called “brotherhood triangle” With my colleagues from Livorno and Olympique Marseille.
Many progressive supporters across Europe
They may not be as well known as the clubs mentioned above, but there are many organized support groups for lesser-known teams that are worth mentioning. Standard Liège, Belgium, has one of the most anti-fascist corners in Europe. Likewise, Adana Demirspor fans in Turkey are fighting for the rights of the Kurds in the country. In Italy, in a city like Hellas with historically right-wing supporters, Serie C-playing Virtus Verona can rely on ultras who support refugees and their ideologies of freedom and solidarity.
Also interesting is the history of Omonia Nicosia, traditionally considered the working class club of Cyprus. Founded in 1948, during the Greek Civil War, Cypriot football authorities insisted that all professional athletes at the time condemn the Greek left and the Greek Communist Party. Some of those who refused to sign this declaration and founded Omonia: soon They became the most popular and successful team on the island. Today, Omonia fans often wave a picture of Che Guevara in the corner.
Finally, we end with a few words. Cosenza fans. The Calabrian team playing in the Serie B championship boasts loyal anti-fascist fans who bravely fight against local organized crime ‘Ndrangheta.