ULTRAS ( Article )

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ULTRAS ( Article )

Postby Irascibil » Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:43 pm

The Ultras movement, or simply Ultras, is the name given to organized supporters' groups for sports teams, mostly European and South American supporters of football (soccer) teams. This fan sub-group appeared in Italy during the late 1960s when football teams reduced ticket prices on certain areas of the stadiums. Not to be confused with the British football firm and Casual cultures, although some of their supporting style is imitated. Although violent acts might occur, hooligan acts are more the exception than the norm.
Common grounds

Ultra groups are surprisingly homogeneous. They are usually organized by a core group (who usually have "executive control" over the group), surrounded by smaller groups, formed by location, friends group or political stance. The material is also almost the same: standards (a piece of painted light fabric with two poles on each side), flags, both regular sized and large (with sides over 4 meters) and banners, usually large, durable plastic fabric painted and decorated with the name and symbology of the group it belongs. Most groups also sell their own goods like scarves, hats and jackets, and their sale can go across borders for collectors or fans.


Ultra culture

The Ultra culture is a mix of several supporting styles, from the scarf-waving and chants of early English stadia, Brazilian Torcida and the original Italian style. An Ultra group can be composed from few dozens to hundreds, mixing several parts of the community, claim entire sectors of the stadium for themselves and get involved in the team rather more often than regular fans.

Four points are the core of a ultra mentality:
1.Never stop singing during the whole match, no matter the result;
2.Never sit down during matches (as opposed to armchair fans);
3.Follow as many games possible, regardless of costs or distances;
4.Loyalty to the Curva (the stand in which the group is located).


Ultras - club relationship

They usually have a representative who speaks with the club's bosses on a regular basis, mostly regarding ticket and seat allocation, and use of storage facilities. Some clubs provide the groups cheaper tickets, a warehouse to store material, access to the stadium before the match to prepare choreographies.
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