From Academic Kids

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Hooliganism is unruly and destructive behaviour, usually by gangs of young people. The origin of the name is uncertain, but it is known that it appeared in an 1898 London police report. One theory has the name coming from an Irish hoodlum from London named Patrick Hooligan; another has it coming from a street gang in Islington named "Hooley", a third lists "Hooley" as an Irish word which means a wild, spirited party.

It is now frequently linked in the public mind with the game and support of football (soccer) clubs. The term has however been widely used since (at least) the 1980s to describe various street gangs of youths behaving indecently. Hooligans have also attached themselves to other sports, such as rugby and even cricket.

Violence in sports is probably as old as civilization. In the 6th century, rivalry between supporters of the Blue and Green chariot-racing teams in Constantinople, led to 30,000 deaths in the week of the Nika riots in 532.

The game of football (soccer in the United States) has been associated with violence since its beginnings in 13th century England. Medieval football matches involved hundreds of players, and were essentially pitched battles between the young men of rival villages. Only two periods in British history have been relatively free of football-related violence: the inter-war years and the decade following the Second World War.

The behaviour now known as "football hooliganism" began in England in the early 1950s.

In other European countries, similar patterns of behaviour emerged about fifteen or twenty years later, in the early 1970s. Italian fans created a particularly fanatical brand of football support known as Ultras, who are now a major force in the Italian game and are prevalent in a few other European countries.


Active Hooligan Groups



Scotland does not have such a strong hooligan element, and any trouble tends to be domestic, rather than exported as with followers of the England team. In fact, the national team's traveling supporters, the Tartan Army, are world-renowned for their friendliness.


Smaller firms, some without any name, supporting Örgryte IS, GAIS, Linköping HC (a hockey club) and a few other clubs also exist.


Hooliganism in Denmark is almost exclusively a domestic affair; the traveling supporters of the national team, known as Roligans, are as renowned as the Tartan Army for their peaceful nature. However, there are a few hooligan groups.


Various teams from former Yugoslavia have strong and organized hooligan elements amongst its factions of fans. Otherwise, many Greek and Turkish teams have also powerful elements of hooliganism amongst the fans. Polish hooligans (called szalikowcy, pseudokibice, or kibole) are likewise very strong. In Spanish-speaking countries hooligans are known as barras bravas, and they are particularly strong in South America and Mexico. One of the best known is the Los de Abajo from Chile's Universidad de Chile club.

See also

Hooliganism in the media

  • Red Army General: Leading Britains Biggest Hooligan Gang (book)
  • Hooligan (documentary/video)
  • Hooligans: Storm Over Europe (PC Video Game)
  • Scally: Confessions Of A Category C Football Hooligan (book)
  • The Football Factory (book/film)
  • Football Hooligans: Knowing the Score (Explorations in Anthropology S.) (book)
  • The Family Game: The Untold Story of Hooliganism in Rugby League (book)
  • Fighting Fans: Football Hooliganism as a World Phenomenon (book)
  • Hooliganism: Crime, Culture and Power in St.Petersburg, 1900-14 (book)
  • Football Hooliganism: The Wider Context (book)
  • Barmy Army: The Changing Face of Football Violence (book)
  • The Roots of Football Hooliganism (book)
  • Understanding Soccer Hooliganism (book)
  • Trouble On The Terraces (documentary/video)
  • Bloody Casuals: Diary of a Football Hooligan (book)
  • Naughty: The Story of a Football Hooligan Gang (book)
  • The Frontline (book)
  • City Psychos: From the Monte Carlo Mob to the Silver Cod Squad (book)
  • Rolling with the 6.57 Crew: The True Story of Pompey's Legendary Football Fans; (book)
  • Hooligan Wars: Causes and Effects of Football Violence (book)
  • Ultra: a 1991 Italian language film that follws a group of AS Roma fans
  • Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly (SNL Sketch)

Hooliganism in Soviet and Russian law

In the Soviet Union "hooliganism" (Хулиганизм Khuliganizm) was made a criminal offence under the penal codes of the various Soviet republics. In the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR), article 216 of the penal code defined "hooliganism" as "any behaviour which violates public order." This article was used to cover a wide range of behaviours such as petty theft, vagrancy, and juvenile delinquency. This law was sometimes used by Soviet authorities against political dissidents. "Petty hooliganism" (Мелкий Хулиганизм Melkiy Khuliganizm) is still an offence under the penal code of the Russian Federation, and is used to deal with minor street disorders, fighting, theft and disorderly behaviour generally, mainly by urban youth.

External links

See also

fr:Hooligan he:חוליגניות nl:Hooligan ja:フーリガン


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