They sup­port their favorites from the stands, but also fierce­ly take revenge on them for defeats.

Foot­ball is a sport that evokes pas­sion, emo­tion and some­times even mad­ness among fans. Foot­ball fans around the world are known for their aggres­sive antics. One of the most recent occurred in Italy, where fans of a foot­ball team set fire to their rivals’ sta­di­um.

Italian fans vandalized stadium after defeat

On August 3, the sea­son in the third divi­sion, Serie C, start­ed in Italy. In the first round, the Taran­to sta­di­um, where the team of the same name plays, host­ed guests from Fog­gia. The game end­ed in vic­to­ry for Taran­to with a score of 2:0.

Approx­i­mate­ly 250 Fog­gia fans were only able to enter the are­na mid­way through the sec­ond half due to an acci­dent. Once in the stands, they imme­di­ate­ly began throw­ing pyrotech­nics. And a fire start­ed: a smoke bomb prob­a­bly hit the plas­tic mate­ri­als under the stands.

When fire­fight­ers arrived at the are­na, vis­it­ing fans threw stones at them. Fire­fight­ers extin­guished the fire through­out the night and did not allow the flames to spread to the cen­tral stand. No one was injured in the fire, but the guest sec­tor was declared unsuit­able, so match­es at the sta­di­um can­not be tem­porar­i­ly held.

Stadium after the fire

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this is not the only fan out­rage in foot­ball his­to­ry. We’ve picked out a few notable exam­ples that show just how crazy fans can get when they wor­ry about their favorite team.

Riots after the Russia-Japan match

This hap­pened in 2002, when Rus­sia per­formed unsuc­cess­ful­ly in the group stage of the World Cham­pi­onship in Japan and Korea. Due to the dif­fer­ence in time zones, the games were shown dur­ing the day, and a mass view­ing was held in the cen­ter of Moscow. After Rus­sia lost to Japan with a score of 0:1, fans start­ed seri­ous riots — right in the cen­ter of Moscow.

They over­turned and burned cars, smashed the win­dows of fash­ion bou­tiques and even dam­aged the State Duma build­ing. The result of the riots: 1 per­son died, 75 were injured. Many peo­ple cite the rea­son for the free sale of alco­hol near the fan zone, because most of the hooli­gans were drunk.

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Fans on the field in the match “Zenit” — “Dynamo”

This inci­dent occurred on May 11, 2014 in St. Peters­burg. In the 86th minute, with the score 2:4 in favor of the guests, Zen­it fans ran onto the field and dis­rupt­ed the match.

One of the fans, nick­named Gul­liv­er, hit Russ­ian nation­al team play­er Vladimir Granat in the face. Lat­er, the offend­er sur­ren­dered to the police, but did not suf­fer seri­ous pun­ish­ment.

Zen­it was pun­ished with a tech­ni­cal defeat, a large fine, and hold­ing two home match­es with­out fans, as well as three match­es with a closed fan sec­tion.

A fan killed a football player who scored a goal

Per­haps the most ter­ri­ble inci­dent occurred in Colom­bia on July 2, 1994. It was a con­se­quence of the nation­al team los­ing the match on June 2 — with a score of 1:2 against the US team. In the match, Colom­bian nation­al team defend­er Andres Esco­bar cut the ball into his own goal in a match against the US team.

Colom­bia was elim­i­nat­ed from the tour­na­ment. 6 days after the nation­al team arrived home, Andres, who was called “the dar­ling of Colom­bia,” was killed. The accused turned out to be a fan of Hum­ber­to Muñoz Cas­tro, who, in his own words, killed the foot­ball play­er as a result of an emo­tion­al out­burst.

Andres Escobar and his funeral

Fans beat their own team players

In 2010, fans of the Ser­bian nation­al foot­ball team beat their team goal­keep­er Vladimir Sto­jkovic before a Euro 2012 qual­i­fy­ing match against Italy. Fans attacked the Ser­bian nation­al team bus, sev­er­al play­ers tried to pro­tect Sto­jkovic, but the fans man­aged to beat the goal­keep­er. Sto­jkovic was tak­en to the Genoa hos­pi­tal, and Zeljko Brkic came on the field instead.

Sto­jkovic played unsuc­cess­ful­ly in the pre­vi­ous Euro 2012 qual­i­fy­ing match against Esto­nia (1:3). In addi­tion, in August of this year he moved from the Red Star club to Par­ti­zan — to a prin­ci­ple rival. This was prob­a­bly the rea­son for the attack, as Sto­jkovic received threats from Red Star fans.

Goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic

A sim­i­lar inci­dent occurred in 2017, when in the 11th round of the Pol­ish cham­pi­onship Legia lost heav­i­ly to Lech (0:3). After the match, the Legia play­ers walked out to the parked bus and saw that about 50 fans were wait­ing for them. They asked the play­ers to go out­side to talk, after which they began beat­ing them right in the park­ing lot. Fans hit the play­ers on the back of their heads and slapped them in the face.

Lat­er, the ultras of the club from War­saw com­ment­ed on what hap­pened: “If you play like this, we will come again.” And it hap­pened: in 2021, fans again beat Legia play­ers when they were unhap­py with the results.

Fans at the Spartak base with a pistol

In Rus­sia, foot­ball fans also come to the clubs’ bases to talk to the play­ers about poor results. This often hap­pens at Spar­tak Moscow. Irish­man Aiden McGeady recalled that skin­head ultras with weapons came to the base:

“Six or sev­en peo­ple came. The leader, who looked like an ordi­nary guy, took the floor, and the rest all had skin­heads and tat­toos every­where. He was angry, but said quite polite­ly: “We must improve, we always sup­port you, but oth­er results are need­ed.” And next to him stood a guy who cursed in Russ­ian and point­ed at the Brazil­ians.

Aiden McGeady in Spartak

This was after we suf­fered a crush­ing defeat to Por­to with a 2:10 aggre­gate score. One fan told Welli­ton: “If I see you again in a night­club after such a defeat, I’ll smash your head.” I did­n’t under­stand what was hap­pen­ing.

This guy kept yelling and swear­ing, and then they all start­ed cheer­ing us on: “Lis­ten, guys, we just want you to do well. Good luck in the next game. We will be with you.” After that, they moved towards the exit, and I noticed that in the back pock­ets of their jeans every­one had pis­tols. How did they even let them into the base with pis­tols? It was very strange.”