Ultras Sur is an ultras group that supports real Madrid. The group is characterized with sport fans renowned for their elaborate displays and fanatical support. Predominantly these fans are followers of different European association football teams and originate from Europe. The group has unique behavioral tendencies such as use of flares, massive vocal support in large groups, in support of the teams they support. In support of the team, they display banners at football stadiums with the aim of creating an environment that intimidates the opponent teams while encouraging and supporting their teams. In some countries such as England, they are commonly referred to as hooligans.
The ultras Sur of Madrid is dated back in the 1980. It has undergone various transitions from the days under authoritarian rule to the current status of democracy. The origin of the name ultras can be traced from the English name ultra, which means going beyond the normal. The group characters show actions and activities beyond a normal supporter or fan of a certain team. This has been expressed by their extreme actions and activities such as violence and fanatical behaviors in support of the team. The new group displayed a new set of features in the Madrid football such as a sense of identification and mark of their territory marked with banners with names or symbols of the group.
Various small ultras have different origins such as young people belonging to a certain urban area, for example, the Sampdoria ultras originated from Sestri Ponente quarter of Genoa. There were others, which originated from peer groups, meeting in social places such as bars, schools and amusements parks. Majority of the members of the ultras belonged to various political groups and movements, and the characteristics of these extreme political organizations created a sense of belonging to the members. These groups were characterized with defiance of the powers comradeship and sense of conflict gave them substance, giving them the ability to rally together within just a little time. Joining Ultras Sur was through fellow youths from the same urban area in Madrid, who were also school mates and we used to share the same political ideologies. The other essential aspect of the ultras is the strong sense of a territory (Ed para 8). For example, in stadiums normal supporters and fans abandoned certain sectors of the stadium for the purpose of the groups.
The symbols used in the banners are mostly characterized with wild animals such as the lion, panthers and tigers among others. In addition, the banners featured Jelly Roger weapons and other similar symbols calling their members to violence. The group formed collection of young fans, characterized with great extremism in support of their teams. The young people joined Ultra Sur, as passionate lovers of the game and the existence of people with the same characters sharing the same ideologies. Ultras Sur fans are the craziest, extreme and the most violent football fans. The behaviors of the fans range from comparatively innocuous behaviors such as throwing a partly eaten pie to a police officer to various violent and deadly clashes (Eanet para 2).
Ultras Sur changed the football phenomenon as they are not just the normal football or other games fans, but passionate fans. Ultra Sur members have their main stand, love and devotion to Real Madrid. They are characterized with the use of choreography and flairs and providing vocal support to the team throughout the whole period of the game, without abandoning their teams, even when they lose. In addition, members of Ultra Sur are able to communicate using their native languages
However, majority of the members of the group are often drunk or on drug, and hence it is hard to control them. In addition, there are instances, when the group is influenced by political ideologies and racism. Due to lack of control, the group always has a problem with the police and their club management (Jones para 2). However, Ultras Sur has undergone major transition in history since initially it was a dictatorial, but it currently operates in a democratic manner.
There are no definitive rules and regulations guiding the operations of Ultras Sur. However, the members are driven by the passion for the game and the similar ideologies in the group. For example, people from the same urban area form ultra group, or people from a certain amusement park, school or social gathering. Therefore, there are no specific and definitive rules guiding the operations of different ultras. The basic and unspoken rules are the loyalty to their clubs and use of any technique to win their way out. For example, their symbols express their possibility of erupting into violence. There are no specific means through which one joins the ultras; this is due to the fact that, ultras are formed on the basis of association between people from the same urban area, school and social places such as amusement parks. However, not everyone can join the Ultra Sur group.
However, the basic rules of ultra Sur are that the fans and members should not stop singing during the period of the game, irrespective of the results. In addition, the members are required to keep standing throughout the match as opposed to the normal fans who sit on armchairs. The members are also required to follow a variety of games irrespective of the distance and cost involved. The members also are required to show loyalty to the group. For example, through standing on the side where the group is located.
Ultra Sur fans always occupied the southern terrace of Bernabeu stadium wavering the banners and flags. Members of the Ultras Sur gather at the southern terrace of the stadium where they show their support for the team through vocals such as singing and chants. There are various benefits from joining the ultra Sur especially for people around Madrid. This is because, in the group, there are many people who speak the same native language and are able to provide support for the local team. In addition, there is far much fan when people enjoy and support their team in unison. The group has also changed from the prior dictatorial approach of leadership to a more democratic group. Previously the group was characterized with high levels of racism, but in the current period there has been increased universalism in membership and also support for different players.
In addition, as fans and members of the group pay lower prices for the entry charges for the games. Although there are some violent incidents that have been reported, they have been reducing overtime. The key value of the group in the current period is adoption of universalism. However, the membership to the group is restricted especially to the fans of other competing clubs. There are many cases when the members have to ensure that there are no members of other competing clubs among them. Therefore, the group is an exclusively based on fans of Real Madrid.
The group has a leader who communicates with the team management, as well as organizing the activities of the group. The basic objective of the group is to provide support for Real Madrid in all games and throughout the game. People should know that the group is changing its approach. For example, the change from dictatorial leadership to more democratic leadership is just among the changes in the group. Fans are also changing their perspectives from racist to a more universal group accepting people from different races. The group does not take much time because a majority of the members are within the town. In addition, unless there is a major problem in the group, the members meet prior to the games in the prescribed spaces in the stadium.
The group has been characterized with extremism chanting and use of violence. However, majority of the traditions and rituals are based on the basic rules of engagement in groups such as loyalty to the team even when the team is losing. Majority of the group members’ hail from suburbs of Madrid and majority speak the same native language. There are various misconceptions and stigmas associated with being a member of the group such as being a racist. People perceive one as a racist just because of membership to the group. In addition, historically the group has been associated with the use of violence and extremism, and people also associate one with such actions and activities.
Eanet, Lindsay. "16 Hardcore Hooligan Firms, Ultras Groups We Wouldn't Want to Mess with." 15 November 2011. Bleacher Report. 23 April 2013
Ed. "History of the Ultra movement in Italy." 20 Feb 2011. libcom.org. 23 April 2013
Jones, Collins. "Eternal Shame-Real Madrid and Ultra Sur." 25 October 2011. Elecentrocamsita. 23 April 2013