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Watch out, the ultras are on the rise

The wonderful spectacle of the women’s Seville derby, in front 23,812 spectators, which finished with a draw after two stupendous goals, was spoiled by vile songs from the Betis ultras. They've attacked Caparrós constantly. His loyalty to Sevilla has made him enemy number one for Betis, but what happened yesterday, singing about him dying that night just a few days after he announced his illness, was truly disgusting. The incident is part of a growing wave, slow but constant, of terrible behaviour by ultra groups in Spain. The shocking death of Jimmy gave rise to a general feeling that things were getting better, but time has passed since then and things are looking bad again,

On various fronts it’s clear things are in fact getting worse. The ultras are looking for the limelight, and they clearly beginning to think they are important again. They turn up late as a reaction to the kick-off times organised by Liga president Tebas, or go on ‘strike’ for the slightest thing - because the fans didn’t say hello in Turin, or because they’re searched when they go to whichever ground or over the ticketing arrangements for a final. They are once again arranging to meet up to fight. Nasty agreements between various groups against the security forces are springing up anew. Little by little they are going back to being groups of ‘ultras’, leaving behind the idea of ‘supporters groups’, an idea which was created as a kind of civilised pact that many fans backed, with registration for individuals included. But they are going back to what their true nature: barbarous behaviour, insults and soon enough there'll be aggression.

Football must clamp down hard on this. We don’t want them among us, as can be seen from the cold reaction from the rest of the fans, who far outnumber them. It’s true that we love the atmosphere they bring, their constant support, their songs when they are about the love they feel for their club or other positive themes. But that doesn’t give them the right to believe they are more than they really are and giving them any slack could have terrible consequences. Luckily Caparrós is still alive at the time this article goes to press, and happy, because his side won. But we all head to bed a little embarrassed by what we heard the radical Betis fans singing.