OT: Professional soccer hooligans, real life Fight Club

Submitted by iawolve on June 3rd, 2018 at 6:40 PM
Something to take your mind off of Coach B. Some interesting reporting from ESPN, this story is almost too crazy to actually believe. The idea that people train in gyms to join large scale gang fights in forested areas (!) or abandoned industrial parks (!!) is beyond my comprehension. If true, this is a fascinating look at some disaffected Russian men who are living out the movie Fight Club. At least they have some rules such as no weapons, need to keep it clean /s. http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/23659183/world-cup-2018-rus…



June 3rd, 2018 at 6:51 PM ^

Just want to throw a shout out for "green street hooligans". Great movie about these soccer gangs set in England.


June 3rd, 2018 at 6:53 PM ^

The word "hooligan" sounds so quaint.  It doesn't quite capture just how violent these people are.  

I've never understood why soccer attracts these complete nutcases.  Even "normal" fanbases often get banned from traveling and regularly need police separation in stadiums.


Occam's Razor

June 3rd, 2018 at 7:12 PM ^

Lol Idk how many of you follow club soccer but a lot of "Ultras" are batshit crazy. 

Teams like Zenit sometimes struggle to sign foreign players because their Ultras are right-wing Russian nationalists that despise foreign born players even if they're winning them championships. 

The most recent and frankly, bizarre, story of Ultras comes from Portugal where about 20-30 of them broke into the Sporting FC (one of the big 3 clubs in Portugal) training grounds and attacked their star players Bas Dost and Rui Patricio. 

Safe to say that club is not going to be signing any good players in the near future. 


Ultras make Alabama fans look like kindergardeners. 

L'Carpetron Do…

June 4th, 2018 at 9:23 AM ^

You should read "How Soccer Explains the World" by Franklin Foer.  It starts out with an amazing (and horrifying) chapter of how a political party in Serbia used thugs from Dynamo Zagreb (if I'm remembering correctly) to start riots and whip up nationalist fervor.  Itultimately led to truly heinous war crimes.


June 3rd, 2018 at 7:14 PM ^

Its not soccer that attracts them. IIRC this is a longstanding European cultural issue for centuries with young men. They just happen to be soccer fans bc soccer is the main thing that easily divided them. In Northern Ireland its religion. Etc.

Historically the thing that keeps these forces in check were wars -- these dudes would be the infantry whod get decimated every 20-30 yrs or so. But no war since 1945 means they are flourishing.

We need a good global war to clean up soccer, basically. And the NHL.


June 3rd, 2018 at 8:05 PM ^

It is the sport.  Other European sports, like rugby, don't experience fan behavior anything like this.  And soccer hooliganism is found across the world.  Latin American fans can be insane as well.

It's an odd sociological thing.  Soccer in most of the world is regarded as a working class, tough-guy sport, and fan behavior seems to reflect this.  The simplest explanation would be that it's just a byproduct of soccer being the world's most popular sport - it draws in more people in general, so it will draw in more sociopaths.  But in countries where other sports are king (hockey in Canada, baseball in Cuba, rugby in New Zealand), those sports don't seem to have anywhere near the same fan behavior issues.  Somehow the hooligans are drawn to soccer.



June 3rd, 2018 at 8:54 PM ^

"That's all right. These things gotta happen every five years or so, ten years. Helps to get rid of the bad blood. Been ten years since the last one. You know, you gotta stop them at the beginning. Like they should have stopped Hitler at Munich, they should never let him get away with that, they was just asking for trouble."

rob f

June 3rd, 2018 at 9:00 PM ^

it melted in the dark, all because some idiot left the cake out in the rain and caused the sweet green icing to get wet and flow down. Damm them, it took so long to bake it and I'll never have that recipe again.


June 3rd, 2018 at 8:50 PM ^

There are videos all over the internet of these types of fights. They're pretty crazy. I've been watching them with odd fascination for a few years. I just can't really wrap my head around that type of fanaticism, along with a lack of care for your own safety. You get 50 people from one side who knock out 45 people from the other side, and suddenly you have a ton of dudes ganging up on the 5 guys who are left standing. It's nuts.

L'Carpetron Do…

June 3rd, 2018 at 9:16 PM ^

Russia is a horrible country.  I don't know who to root for because the USA isn't in it, but one thing is for certain: I will be rooting my ass off for whoever is playing against Russia.

Eye of the Tiger

June 3rd, 2018 at 9:26 PM ^

The whole "let's meet in a field and rumble" think is widespread across Europe. It's probably worst in Russia, Poland and the Balkans (including the northwestern/most Balkan-ish bits of Turkey) right now. But its not a new phenomenon. 

In 1990, during and after a match between Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) and Dinamo Zagreb, hooligans for the two sides engaged in a massive, sprawling riot (both inside and outside the stadium).

A year later several of the "supporters clubs" for these teams (as well as Partizan and Hajduk Split) were organized into paramilitary outfits. One particularly notorious group, the Tigers, were led by a former bank robber named Arkan, and are blamed for a very long list of atrocities in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. 


Eye of the Tiger

June 4th, 2018 at 1:03 AM ^

Old but not as old as you might think. The grievances mainly date back to the first Yugoslavia (1919-1941), which the Croats thought was going to be an equal partnership and the Serbs thought was going to be an extension of the Kingdom of Serbia. Before that, Serbian nationalists were mostly concerned with Turkey and the Croatian nationalists were mostly concerned with Hungary.

(But even then, the grievances weren't that intense. The serious problems began during WW2, when Mussolini and Hitler lost control of their local puppet, who initiated a genocide he couldn't see through. Not that Hitler had any conceptual issues with genocide, it's just that wanted Yugoslavia to be quiet while he invaded Russia. Instead he had to commit several divisions to pacifying the multipronged insurrection, which he was never able to do. The Communists then beat both the Croatian fascists and Serbian royalists/nationalists, both of whom decided that communism was a plot against them and only them.)

Also, during the later days of socialist Yugoslavia, the regional hooligan fights were usually as intense as the inter-ethnic ones (e.g. Dinamo Zagreb vs Hajduk Split, Red Star vs Partizan). They are still pretty damned intense. I knew some Dinamo "bad blue boys" when I lived there. Crazy dudes. Nice enough out of that context, though.   



June 3rd, 2018 at 9:33 PM ^

often helped subsidize these goons through their oligarchs, Young guys would show their fight skills and aggression in fields and old men off to the side would evaluate their actions and offer them employment as enforcers for teams. A lot a fascists and racists in their ranks. Now that FIFA is coming they are trying to reel them in. Unfortunately that is easier said then done.


June 4th, 2018 at 9:34 AM ^

Rent a gigantic abandoned factory or warehouse. 

Place an arsenal of loaded weapons of every description and all the ammo they need in the center of the facility in a separate glassed-in room that has doors on opposite sides. All the ordnance is easily identifiable.

Invite all the hooligans/thugs/paramilitaries in the area with promises of free booze, dope, women, and weapons. One tribe goes into the north entrance, the other into the southern entrance.

Once a suitable number is in, lock the doors, and turn out all the lights except for those that floodlight the central weapons dump in the glassed-in room, visible for everybody to see.

Flashbangs go off overhead.

Come back in 8 hours.

Repeat as necessary.



June 4th, 2018 at 2:22 AM ^

Read accounts of the early period of American football in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Lot's of parallels.

Young men leading a hard life, trying ot prove themselves.  Show how tough they are.

The early period of American football was basically organized brawls, for many of the same reasons as in this article.



June 4th, 2018 at 9:01 AM ^

Aside from the head stomps and kicks to the head while guys are down I see no problem with this. Wear a mouthguard and it is basically just like an organized mass mma fight between teams.


June 4th, 2018 at 10:31 AM ^

As I posted above, that's similar to how American football got started.  I expect these Russian brawls to evolve into their own more formal "sporting" event over time. 

The article stated that the connection to the local soccer teams is already being lost, and that these brawls and the groups that fight in them are becoming their own independent subculture.