The politicized stands of Italy: who are the right, who are the left and who are moving to the extremes
Sport and society are two concepts that can not be disconnected, as the most popular sport on the planet is "tied" to the vast majority, which is the working people, the common people, that is… After all, the modern form of the sport arose from the desire of workers to do something to relax after work, in England in 1863. Coincidentally, the same year in Germany the Social Democratic Party was founded.
So, from the beginning, football became the sport of day laborers, which developed into a phenomenon that dragged even the strongest economic classes. The emotions it creates can be compared to a few things in the world, so it made sense to motivate almost everyone - especially men - in most of the world to deal with it. After all, it is the most democratic sport, as you do not need a specific body type to play. You just need a ball, often improvised and two stones / bags on each side for goals.
Of course, at the highest level, it is not only a spectacle that concerns millions of people, but it has developed into an excellent field of commercial exploitation, in which thick packages are "played". The main and hardly questionable proof of this is the money spent on transfers, but also the sponsorship agreements made by the clubs. In this whole scenario, the role is played by fans, who are not only part of this particular world, but also play a catalytic role in how the modern image of the sport has been shaped.
But sports executives seem to have made a mistake in recent years in making the product they manage more attractive. They show a tendency to want to cut off from the stadiums any social changes that take place outside of them. Something that is like an attempt to cut the "roots" of a tree that has grown too big, but also has some rotten branches and leaves.
"Non politica" is a slogan that is being tried to get on the podium, but it does not seem to be so successful. The reasons - at least briefly - have been explained above and it is also a law of nature that when there is action, there will be a reaction. And where reaction, in most cases the… need to get rid of politics from the stadiums, brought the rise of far-right phenomena.
What is special about the image that is observed in European stadiums - because Latin America and Africa have their own "rules" in it - is that the organized fans who turn to extreme right occur mainly in countries with economies that can not be described as strong, while the stands that tend to Left, although not the majority, percentage record higher distribution in Germany.
Italy of many peculiarities and… businesses
Of course, each country has its own peculiarities in terms of the behavior of the fans on the field. But in Italy, and for historical reasons, the politicization of fans is something that does not make an impression, although the effort to impose "non politica" can be characterized as more intense than anywhere else on the old continent. The cosmopolitan atmosphere of Silvio Berlusconi's presidency in Milan may have played a role in this, with the Rossoneri's big competitors, huge in size, adjusting their profile accordingly, wanting to do the same with the team supporters. their. After all, Cavaliere actually became emperor, at a time when the Lombardy club had once again become the ultimate football giant and his business was going more than well.
Another aspect of the changes that have taken place at the fan level in Italian stadiums has to do with the fact that many links have been turned into venues for businesses. It is characteristic the example of Gennaro de Tomaso, also known as "a carogna", or Hellenistic "psofimi" / "corpse", who not only became the leading figure of the Mastiffs, who are considered the most violent fans of Napoli (his favorite team), but continued… family tradition, with his uncle and father being members of the Mafia. In fact, he was sentenced to ten years in prison for drug trafficking, mainly where he commanded: in the stadiums. Corresponding cases of drug trafficking have been recorded on the stands of the Atalanta stadium.
Another A similar case is Andrea Pudorno, a supporter of Juventus, leader of the ultras group "Bravi Ragazzi", meaning "Good Children", who fell into the hands of the authorities in a carabinieri operation to fight the drug mafia, about eight months ago. As one can easily conclude, these substances circulated mainly among the fans, who are also the easy customers…
At the same time, very profitable work was done with the tickets of the games and the "hats" that were put in them, due to the fact that the stadium of Juve has a capacity relatively small for its size, only 41.507 seats. In fact, those arrested for the case left shadows for the administration, saying in their statements that parts of the profits went to it.
In mid-September, the Italian Police carried out a large company dealing with violence in stadiums, in fact, making many arrests, all of them involving Juventus fans, with some of them being leaders of the "bianconeri" ultras, ie Drughi, Tradizione-Antichi valore, Viking, Nucleo 1985 and Quelli… of via Philadelphia. The punishment that awaits them, as far as the sports part is concerned, will be ban on entry to stadiums for at least ten years.
The Far Right in the North and the bloody incident
As mentioned above, Milan played its role, through Berlusconi, in how the fan movement in Italy evolved, possibly without the responsibility of its supporters. It is a club whose fans have traditionally turned to the left of the political spectrum, still retaining their roots, although now the "Rossoneri" ultras simply do not go to the Far Right, respecting to some extent the history of their favorite team and in general do not take place in politics done.
On the contrary, those of Inter, the traditional opponent, do not stop showing their beliefs. They make sure to do this with the presence of many Nazi symbols in "Giuseppe Meazza", but also with the twinnings they have made, such as those of Lazio. In fact, they maintain excellent relations with the Greek-organized Verona, who are known in Italy (and internationally) for their extreme right-wing ideological orientation. It is characteristic that in a game of "Nerazzurri" with Eintracht Frankfurt, in Milan last March, for the "32" of the Europa League, the lasiali were on their side, while the almost 15.000 Germans Several Atlas ultras contributed, with the Bergamo club having a core of fans that traditionally moves to the left spectrum.
The worst was avoided in this game, but this did not happen in Inter-Napoli, where the home fans, always in collaboration with their "brothers" ultras, had set an ambush in a van carrying Neapolitans, who were going to the stadium. Four supporters of the guests were stabbed while a follower on the other side lost his life, as he was pressed by the vehicle transporting the Partenopei fans, in an attempt to escape the attack. The man who died at the age of 35 was Daniele Ballardinelli, also known as "Dente", whose favorite team is not Inter, but Varese. In fact, he was the head of the association called "Blood and Honor".
The left of the north and the area that "blackens"
The distance between Milan and Varese is only 55 km, with the two cities belonging to the Lombardy region. So, it is not surprising how Varese fans decided to take part in this αυτήν operation. In general, the north of Italy is considered more conservative in the political beliefs of its inhabitants, as it is a richer region. However, as mentioned above, where there is action, there is reaction. After all, the industries of powerful entrepreneurs are "run" by workers, who are also football fans. This is the reason why in this geographical area there are many ultras that are considered / are close to Left.
Typical examples - apart from Atalanta and the city of Bergamo, where an attempt is being made to cut the tribune from the political positions - is Genoa, with the organized ones of both Sampnoria and -mainly- Genoa moving. Counterclockwise. In the same category belong the fans of Turin, who are no longer expressed as strongly as before, of Venice, but also of Vicenza, with the latter, however, having a strong far-right fan base.
As for the other ideological side, apart from the fans of Inter, Hellas Verona and Varese, Juventus, now Turin with the Vikings, Piacenza, Chievo Verona, Trieste, Padua have ultras who embrace the Far Right. Vicenza (as mentioned above) and even Venice, even if the far right is still at a disadvantage in the stands. In fact, the Veneto Region is starting to "blacken" too much.
As for Juve, it should be noted that in general its stadium is dominated by the apolitical element, but there is also a strong far-right core, which is fraternized with the fans of Den Haag in the Netherlands, who hate Ajax for its Jewish roots. That was one of the main reasons why there were incidents in Amsterdam in the middle of last April.
The Livorno-Pisa con and the fan preferences in the middle of Italy
"Descending" the Italy and going to the center of the country, the distribution seems more balanced. Starting from the region of Tuscany, there we will find the case of Livorno, where the whole horseshoe is covered in purple colors not only of the group, but also of the ideological space that its inhabitants represent. After all, Livorno is the place where the Italian Communist Party was founded.
Livorno's big opponent at all levels is with Pisa, which is also considered "black". Episodes between the ultras of the two teams, whose seats are only 22 kilometers away, are a common situation. Cristiano Lucarelli is an emblematic figure for both the "amaranth" and the communist followers in Italy and even around the world. In Tuscany there is also Fiorentina, whose fans are mostly apolitical, but have a tendency to the left. Arezzo supporters, who have the same "momentum", are located in the same area.
In the neighboring region of Umbria there is Perugia, whose organizers still turn to the left of the political spectrum, as well as Ternana, with Che Guevara's banners appearing frequently, while Ancona in Marche has mainly left-wing ultras, which seem to dominate the right-wing trend that also exists. Going south, in the Abruzzo region there is the city of Chieti and its group, which traditionally has a center-right to far-right core, which may be small but is considered quite "strong" among the fans.
The traditional far right Lazio and the… turn of Roma fans
Opposite Abruzzo is the Lazio region and the country's capital, Rome. There are the two groups that do. Commando. The two homonyms of the wider area and the city.
Lazio is world-renowned for the fact that there are many Nazis in its organized ranks, supporters of the fascist movement in Italy and supporters of Benito Mussolini. It is no coincidence that for them a favorite footballer was Paolo Di Canio, who in addition to his open support in extreme right, has Duchess's tattoo on his right arm. That was the reason why he was fired from Sky Sports Italia, from the position of racing commentator. Among the other fraternities of the lasiali, are the infamous hardliners of Wisla Krakow.
At the beginning of last August, one of the most notorious fans on the Italian podium was assassinated. The reason for the famous "Diabolik", which was a leading figure of lasiali fans. His end was hard. A guy in a sports suit pretending to be jogging planted a pistol with a silencer on Fabricio Pisitelli (as his name implies). He was shot in the back, with the bullet piercing the back of his head, to the left of his ear.
The leader of the Lazio ultras and founding member of the hardcore group Irriducibili had permanently open accounts. He had won the respect of the rival fans, but it was not only his action on the stands that made him famous. "Diabolik" did other work through his capacity, golden. They even wanted him to blackmail the president of his favorite team, Claudio Lotito, while they charged him with relations with the underworld and with the drug trade.
The big opponent of Lazio and its fans is with Roma and its fans. In the past, there was an ideological background to their conflict, with the organized "jialorosi" - especially in the 70s and 80s - being close to the Left. But, gradually apolitica passed as a dominant concept in the Olympic, and then developed an extreme right-wing nucleus in the Curva Sud that not only now commands, but has also managed to marginalize the left-wing Fedayn, which has been the most dynamic link for years. "Back to your roots," say fans of other groups to the Romans to annoy them, as the club was created in 1927 by the Italian fascist party, with the goal of having a rival pole in the north.
The domination of the right in the Italian South
The 2018 elections in Italy showed that the citizens of Southern Italy are more moderate in their political beliefs, something that can be seen from the dominance of the Five Stars over the League that dominated in the North, but the trends in the ultras are not similar. as evidenced by the recording conducted by the Italian agency AGI. According to her, the far right dominates in the south of the country, especially in the regions of Apulia and Sicily. The former, in particular, has the right-wing politicized stands of Bari, Foggia, Taranto, Monopoly, and even Lecce, where it has traditionally tended to the left. In the second there are the Palermo and Syracuse fans as typical examples. In fact, the latter have very good relations with the lasiali and have spoken out against the female presence on the stands.
Finally, as far as the Campaign is concerned, it is not expressed policy trend in the stands of the teams of the area. In Naples there is a small far-right core, which does not develop much or is not strongly expressed, due to the fact that there is still the aura of Diego Maradona, who would certainly be very sad with such a possible development.
Finally, there is the region of Sardinia, where in the ranks of Cagliari fans there are several far-right fans, who in a match of their favorite team against Juventus, last April, they started making monkey sounds against the young striker of the "Bianconeri", Moize Kin. However, with the new season, their behavior has not changed. In September, in the match against Inter and on a penalty kick by Romelos Loukakos, they did the same. The oxymoron in this case is that the "nerazzurri" fans sent a message to the Belgian center forward that this was not a racist attack and how in Italy he has to get used to it.
The map of politicized fans
In summary, according to this research, the data show that in Italy there are 328 fan groups, of which 151 are politically oriented. Of these links, 40 "belong" to the Right, 45 to the Far Right, 33 to the Left and 21 to the Radical Left. The rest belong to more central areas, but are generally more modest in the way they express themselves in the stands.
If it could be summed up somewhat, right and far right are the organized followers of:
It was heavy
Leftists and Radical Leftists are:
From this list are "exempted" the groups whose followers are not so strongly expressed, although there are trends.