Unprofessional Foul


April 30, 2010

French Firms Disbanded, Members Laugh

Stuff (racist) white people like.

In light of the violence which has marked numerous matches at the Parc des Princes, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux have signed an official decree disbanding several “ultras” supporters groups.

The most troublesome incident came back on February 28 during a match against southern rivals Marseille, when members of the (ostensibly more “liberal”) Stand of Auteuil murdered a member of the (fascist and racist) Kop de Boulogne.

Violence between the two groups has been persistent throughout this season, and it seems that the French government has had enough of their shenanigans. In addition to the 650 individuals already on the hooligan list, the latest decree officially dissolves seven groups that have been involved in most of the incidents.

From the Stand of Auteuil, the groups Supras Auteuil 1991, Paris 1970 la Grinta, and Les Authentiks have been eliminated. At the other end of the pitch the Kop de Boulogne has lost Commando Loubard and Milice Paris. In addition, Brigade Sud de Nice (OGC Nice supporters) and Cosa Nostra de Lyon (Olympique Lyonnais supporters) were also eliminated due to several clashes with other clubs over the course of the season.

This action comes ahead of Saturday’s Coupe de France championship match between PSG and Monaco amidst fears of more violence. Philippe Perreira, the spokesman for the collective of groups occupying the Kop de Boulogne, has admitted that numerous fans have made Nazi salutes and engaged in violent (and racist) behavior. It has even been noted that “it remains an unwritten rule that nobody of colour enters the Boulogne stand, be it supporters or stewards.” Indeed, Perreira went so far as to say that “Auteuil fans turn[ed] up at a match dressed in traditional Arab gowns in January, as ‘provocation’.”

Once again, however, it is unclear how this will result in anything different regarding violence in the stands. Technically, the Boys de Boulogne (the most notorious of the ultras) have been banned since 2008, but most of their members have simply infiltrated other groups in the Kop de Boulogne. The larger steps are yet to be taken, but in June the French Senate will examine several measures aimed at known hooligans, including: (1) a curfew; (2) a travel ban; and (3) a requirement to register at a local police station during matches. Unfortunately, those measures will come too late for anyone who might be subject to violence between now and the end of the Ligue 1 season.

About the Author

The NY Kid


  1. Clemantona

    Nothin like a fresh cup of violence and racism in the morning

  2. Anonsters

    @Clemantona: French blend!

  3. Orr

    I may be reading this wrong, but at the risk of sounding daft, aren’t these two groups that SUPPORT THE SAME TEAM?? That’s just nuts. I mean, the clashes aren’t even about football basically right? I understand that there is racial and religious strife in other ultra/supporter clashes, but I mean even the Old Firm rivalry still has a football competition that at the very least reflects it.

    What are the goals of these groups? Do they care about the success of their team at all? Isn’t that supposed to be the common ground?

    Sorry for all the questions, I just cannot wrap my brain around this.

  4. @Orr – yes, the Stand of Auteuil and the Kop de Boulogne are stands on opposite ends of the pitch at PSG matches. The ultras in the Boulogne stand are known for being fascist and racist, so other supporters established groups on the opposite end to be more inclusive/multicultural.

    Now they fight each other, because violence solves everything.

  5. Orr

    I know it’s easy to say, and probably overly simplistic, but wouldn’t the “liberal” end better serve it’s own ends if they behaved and let the government and authorities concentrate their crackdowns on the Boulogne stand?

    Again, very simplistic, but it seems like they’re (the Stand of Auteuil) just sinking to their level.

  6. James T

    Isn’t this just natural selection? A few less Frenchies to worry about?

    /yes, I’m English

  7. @Orr – that’s precisely the point that the members of the Stand of Auteuil seem to be missing.

    Alanis Morrisette thinks it’s ironic.

  8. Clemantona

    An all out Ultras battle royal would solve things

    2 ultra groups enter..
    most of one of the ultra groups leave..

  9. Orr

    @NYK – Do you know of any other teams whose supporters clash like this?

    I know France as a nation has had it’s share of problems recently (and by no means is France alone), but is Paris itself this divided as a city?

  10. Anonsters

    @Orr: Check out the lectures on Paris, May 1968, and Immigration for some background on Paris’ divisions. (All of them are worth listening to, of course.)

  11. Anonsters

    ^^ 11, 23, and 24, I meant, not the one about the Paris Commune.

  12. Orr

    Thanks for the link Anonsters. I have a history degree (starting my teaching career May 10!) so I have a little bit of background, especially the 1968 stuff. But I’ve been to Paris also and just didn’t realize that tensions in the city in particular were still so damn high.

  13. Anonsters

    The reason I like that guy’s lectures is that he lives in France half the year, so he usually provides interesting insights into France of the present while talking about the historical topics.

  14. ebullientfatalist

    @Orr: congrats on the teaching gig.

    How many damn history and law degrees have we amassed on UF?

    Why, praytell, is there an ultra group in Nice? Nice, of all places?! The Cote d’Azur? How are people in Nice so tense they need to start an ultra group for a mid-table squad?

  15. ebullientfatalist

    Two ultras, one Coupe?

    /Clears throat
    //Excuses self

  16. Orr

    @EF – Thanks, I’m hoping to get the Head Soccer Coach gig in the fall too!

    And also, some nice wordplay there, even if the imagery it conjures makes me want to hurl.

  17. @Orr – I don’t know of any other club that has such a division within itself as does PSG. I literally can’t think of an example of two groups that support the same club clashing except for at PSG. As for Paris itself, there are definitely divisions by Banlieu that operate largely around racial/immigration lines.

    @EF – Maybe they’re upset that they don’t live in Monaco?

  18. Orr

    Maybe they want to be Italian again?


  19. ebullientfatalist

    @NYK: I know PSG as a club didn’t start until 1970, but aren’t there two or three other clubs in Paris (in lower leagues) who are seen as an alternative to PSG? Like Red Star Paris, Paris FC, etc.? For some reason I remember reading about it in SoFoot.com awhile back.

  20. ebullientfatalist

    @Orr: They’re still not over Solferino?

  21. Orr

    Some maybe, but true Garibaldini? Never!

  22. Lennon's Eyebrow

    Roberto Mancini wonders who will keep the towelheads in line if the ultras are disbanded.

  23. Keith

    @JT: Worry about? Just glower menacingly and they’ll surrender.

    /thumbs up and down rainbow suspenders.

  24. Matt

    @ Orr
    I think I’ve heard of Marseilles Ultras fighting each other before, so maybe it’s a French thing. There’s other examples of fans of the same team fighting each other though. The one example I can think of is that Celtic scarfers fought and kicked around the “Celtic Soccer Crew”, the idiot casuals that tried to follow Celtic.

  25. lex

    This isn’t just a French thing. Rival factions within River Plate’s support murdered a leader of one side a couple of seasons ago. So, Argentina and South America see this as well.

  26. [...] Breaking up ultra groups in France. (Unprofessional Foul) [...]

  27. [...] Breaking up ultra groups in France. (Unprofessional Foul) [...]

  28. [...] Breaking up ultra groups in France. (Unprofessional Foul) [...]

  29. [...] Breaking up ultra groups in France. (Unprofessional Foul) [...]

  30. Boys

    Sorry for my English everyone.

    In fact there is a lot of firm in each clubs and they all wants to be the most representative so they fight each other before fighting against firms from others clubs.

    In Paris, you there’s not a particular tension because a few people like football. In Boulogne, there is also 400 real hooligans and if needed about 800 people could participate to a fight and a little less in Auteuil, that’s why it’s not obvious when you visit the city.

    Once KoB, KoB forever

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