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If football flirts with barbarism...


In Bilbao they awaited the visit of Spartak Moscow in grim spirits: terraces and schools were closed and police reinforcements brought in. Is it really worth having a game like that? The omens were fulfilled: there were charges, fights, blood spilled and a local policeman died from cardiac arrest during the clashes. A public servant sacrificed in the middle of an absurd and pointless brawl, brought from afar by a horde of nasty beasts that represent a 2.0 version of the old ultra phenomenon. They are not foolish drunks, undesirable in themselves, but paramilitary groups, cultivators of muscle, with the technique of aggression and terror.

Spartak Moscow ultras and local police outside San Mamés.
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Spartak Moscow ultras and local police outside San Mamés.Miguel ToñaEFE

Russians take crown from English hooligans

In the European Championship we saw this new phenomenon for what it was. Russia sent us a type of 'natural selection ultra' in which only the champions of previous fights would be deemed appropriate to sign up for the trip. In France they especially went for the English, those whose dishonorable historical crown as kings of barbarism they wanted to snatch. Let us now say that they have it. The justified terror that awaited in Bilbao, and the trail they leave behind them will only serve to increase their miserable self-esteem. A family will cry a death; they will return as victors of a punitive expedition, where their team was eliminated, but they were not.

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Flirting with barbarism

Football has flirted too much with barbarism. It has cultivated an abhorrent anthropological experiment, that consists of mixing the worst from each club in a single area of the ground so that they can 'big up' one another. Happily, in many places, Spain included, progress is being made towards the end of this. We now have records of ultras, their fingerprints are checked so to keep them out, they are prevented from buying tickets to go abroad... Russia, however, is on the outward journey, where the English were before Heysel, but worse. English clubs were banned from European competition for five years and something came from it. The Russians have to be taken seriously. Before the World Cup.