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Davidson College

Publication Date

Spring 2022

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


When you go to a football match one of the first things that you will undoubtedly notice are the ultras. Their loud coordinated chants and movement fill the stadium with energy that would not be there otherwise, and their tifo and flairs add an artist’s touch to the stands. There are ultras for just about every club, and every city in the world, with each group having their own unique identity. The local standing of football clubs, paired with the devoted and organized structure of ultras has seen them become political and military actors across the world. Ultras based in former Yugoslav and Soviet states have gained a reputation for showing Nazi and Fascist symbolism at games, which is especially fascinating when one considers that many of these ultras do so for clubs with communist related names and badges. In this paper I will explore the history of ultras and football former Yugoslav and Soviet states, and to offer a theory for why they came to hold these harmful and fringe ideologies.


Civic and Community Engagement | European Languages and Societies | International and Intercultural Communication | Politics and Social Change | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies | Sports Studies


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