Sunday, August 12, 2018

Football (Soccer) and Supporters

Supporters' groups in continental Europe are generally known as ultras which derives from the Latin word ultrā, meaning beyond in English, with the implication that their enthusiasm is 'beyond' the normal. 
In English-speaking nations, these groups are generally known as "supporters' groups". Most groups in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia call themselves "supporters' groups", however some do self-identify as ultras, particularly in communities with large Spanish, French, or Italian speaking populations.  
Supporters' groups and ultras are renowned for their fanatical vocal support in large groups, defiance of the authorities, and the display of banners at stadiums, which are used to create an atmosphere to intimidate opposing players and supporters, as well as encouraging their own team.
All this I remember well from living in the Netherlands; no football match without burned out buses, vandalised trains and foreigners beaten up. 
Interestingly, I found no such supporter-behaviour in New Zealand at all. Rugby is the national religion, but excesses in violence and vandalism are extremely rare.
It's not a scientifically proven fact, but I dare say that beret wearing fans cause a lot less disruption, violence and damage too!

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