Football is one of the most popular sports in the world. The World Cup is one of the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, surpassing even the Olympic Games. The 2018 World Cup in Russia was viewed by a record of 3.5 billion people, according to FIFA. The final between France and Croatia attracted 1.2 billion viewers.
Football fans are known for being loyal to the club they support. Their allegiance often spans several generations. These fans are very passionate that they often take this passion to the extreme. In Italy, this taking passion to the extreme has led to violence-related fan injuries or deaths.
Italian football has often been at the limelight because of clashes outside the stadium between warring groups of hooligans. One example of such clash is the incident between Rome and Naples during the Final of the Italian Cup.
Clashes between these groups occur more often. What’s peculiar about this is that the rival fans often bond together to lash out against the police. In this article, updatesports.com provides a glimpse of the 5 most feared football fans in Italy.
The ultras from Curva A are one of the most extreme in Italy. It is one of the most hated hooligans in Italy making every clash with Napoli high risk.
Among their fiercest clashes are with protagonists from Neapol such as against Roma, Fiorentino, and Juventus. Against Salermo, Napoli created one of the most dangerous clashes in the history of Italian hooligans.
Fans dread what they call the “heavy air” that they will breathe in Verona. For many supporters, the trip to Veneto becomes even more difficult because of the evil Brigades Gialloblu. History would tell that incidents between the hooligan organizations of Verona and their opponents were “hot and nasty.” Also, other Italian supporters were never sympathetic to the Verona ultras.
The Drunks of Catania is one of the most feared ultras in Italian football. The group from Sicily has also one of the biggest clashes with its rivals from Verona. It became more famous for its melee against the police after its match against Palermo.
The incident happened in 2007 when police officer Filippo Racisti was murdered by some supporters of Catania. He was trying to quell the riot when a bomb was thrown into his car. Italy had to cancel football for that year because of the incident. The entire Seria A team was also suspended because of the incident.
The Lazio club Irriducibili was one of the most feared hooligans in Italian football. Benito Mussolini was a one time supporter of Ultras Lazio. No wonder they carried that fascist principle and was connected to terroristic acts against anti-fascist groups. The team was often at the center of violent clashes with Italian fans as well as European fans.
Some of the supporters even took their racist hate on some Lazio players themselves. While not all supporters behaved that way, it was a case of a bad apple spoiling the whole bunch. The biggest fights Lazio got involved in were against Roma.
The word “fun” was not in the vocabulary of Hooligans from Lazio. They also had some clashes with smaller enemies in friendly competitions. In one instance, Lazio fans started an altercation with the ultras of Perugia during a friendly game between the two teams.
The other side of Rome is not less dangerous at all. Fights involving Roma hooligans were all memorable. In their final game against Napoli in the Italian Cup, a fan of Naples was killed in riots prior to the game.
Ultras Roma was known for being violent with incidents involving stabbings, constant hooliganism, and thuggery. Their most famous altercation was in 2007 in a clash against Manchester United. The incident killed 11 Red Devil supporters while two Roma fans were taken to the hospital after the clash.
AS Roma was also known for its clashes with fans of rival club Lazio. During a derby in 2013, six fans were stabbed. An ambulance was attacked with fireworks, rocks, and sticks by the frenzied crowd.
In 2014, during the Final of the Italian Cup between Fiorentina and Napoli, Roma got involved in a violent incident against Ultras Napoli. While stuck in traffic, some players of Napoli heard some paper bombs being thrown under buses where there were no ultras but only families with children. As players from Napoli started getting out of their cars and chased Ultras Roma, one of the supporters fell. He then took a pistol and threatened that he would kill all of them.
One of the UN supporters Ciro was struck by a bullet. Afterward, the gun got stuck. Prayers for Ciro was said all over the world. Ciro fought for his life for a couple of months but died on June 25. His heroic act of trying to save the bus with children remained a memory for supporters of Napoli.