How is football a political sport? 9 Left-wing clubs to whose fans you don't want to ask this question!

The Beautiful game's global appeal is used by several fan groups to question oppression, corruption, and different phobias. For them, their beloved team's legacy is preserved in the ideology they uphold. At time racism and far-right politics cause a headache for UEFA, here are a few clubs where one will feel exactly the opposite as red banners fly high and proletariat slogans echo.
The Beautiful game's global appeal is used by several fan groups to question oppression, corruption, and different phobias. For them, their beloved team's legacy is preserved in the ideology they uphold. At time racism and far-right politics cause a heada
The Beautiful game's global appeal is used by several fan groups to question oppression, corruption, and different phobias. For them, their beloved team's legacy is preserved in the ideology they uphold. At time racism and far-right politics cause a heada
Updated on
2 min read
#1 AS LIVORNO (ITALY): In 1921, Antonio Gramsci founded the Italian communist party in Livorno. One of the original Serie A clubs, Livorno ultras used to clash regularly with supporters of Lazio and other right-wing clubs of Italy. Due to their uncompromising political position, the club faced many persecutions under the Mussolini regime.
#1 AS LIVORNO (ITALY): In 1921, Antonio Gramsci founded the Italian communist party in Livorno. One of the original Serie A clubs, Livorno ultras used to clash regularly with supporters of Lazio and other right-wing clubs of Italy. Due to their uncompromising political position, the club faced many persecutions under the Mussolini regime.
AS Livorno now competes in Serie B, but their political stand remains undissolved. Spanish revolutionary song 'Bella Ciao' popularised by Netflix series 'Money Heist' can be often heard in the stands of Armando Picchi stadium. As their team take the field donning the famous maroon stripes, the fans wave communist party flags, raise placards of Che Guevara and even celebrate the birthday of Joseph Stalin! (Photo | Facebook)
AS Livorno now competes in Serie B, but their political stand remains undissolved. Spanish revolutionary song 'Bella Ciao' popularised by Netflix series 'Money Heist' can be often heard in the stands of Armando Picchi stadium. As their team take the field donning the famous maroon stripes, the fans wave communist party flags, raise placards of Che Guevara and even celebrate the birthday of Joseph Stalin! (Photo | Facebook)
#2 CELTIC FC (SCOTLAND): 'Green Brigade', the fans of Celtic FC, describe themselves as “a broad front of anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-sectarian Celtic supporters”. The Glasgow-based club has a history of supporting Irish national movement against British imperialism and anti-Catholic feelings.
#2 CELTIC FC (SCOTLAND): 'Green Brigade', the fans of Celtic FC, describe themselves as “a broad front of anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-sectarian Celtic supporters”. The Glasgow-based club has a history of supporting Irish national movement against British imperialism and anti-Catholic feelings.
So how political can a football club's fan group be? Well, in 2018, 16 people were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza during a mass demonstration. Celtic supporters reacted by waving 16 Palestinian flags during the club's next home match! They left their regular banners at home and decided to use Palestinian flags and anti-zionist banners instead when Israeli club Hapoel Beersheva come visiting for a Champions League tie. (Photo | AFP)
So how political can a football club's fan group be? Well, in 2018, 16 people were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza during a mass demonstration. Celtic supporters reacted by waving 16 Palestinian flags during the club's next home match! They left their regular banners at home and decided to use Palestinian flags and anti-zionist banners instead when Israeli club Hapoel Beersheva come visiting for a Champions League tie. (Photo | AFP)
#3 HAPOEL TEL AVIV (ISRAEL): The first winners of the Asian Club Championships, Hapoel Tel Aviv's ultras wave red flags with Gandhi and Marx among others. 'Hapoel' means 'The Worker', and the club's emblem has a sickle and a man wielding a red hammer.
#3 HAPOEL TEL AVIV (ISRAEL): The first winners of the Asian Club Championships, Hapoel Tel Aviv's ultras wave red flags with Gandhi and Marx among others. 'Hapoel' means 'The Worker', and the club's emblem has a sickle and a man wielding a red hammer.
For seven decades, the club was owned by the Histadrut, Israel's national trade union centre. Hapoel fans see Beitar Jerusalem, which is considered as the team of the Israeli far-right, their arch-rivals. Hapoel is said to be the second most popular football team among Israeli Arabs (after Maccabi Haifa) and fourth most popular team in the country overall. (Photo | Facebook)
For seven decades, the club was owned by the Histadrut, Israel's national trade union centre. Hapoel fans see Beitar Jerusalem, which is considered as the team of the Israeli far-right, their arch-rivals. Hapoel is said to be the second most popular football team among Israeli Arabs (after Maccabi Haifa) and fourth most popular team in the country overall. (Photo | Facebook)
#4 FC ST PAULI (GERMANY): Based in St Pauli, the red light district in Hamburg, the club was the first in Germany to officially ban extreme-right activities in their stadium.
#4 FC ST PAULI (GERMANY): Based in St Pauli, the red light district in Hamburg, the club was the first in Germany to officially ban extreme-right activities in their stadium.
They hate nationalism-fuelled ideas so much that Germany's national tea isn't used during games. When Germany hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2006 St Pauli had its parallel “Wild Cup”, with representatives of Tibet, Greenland, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - states which weren't recognized by the world.
They hate nationalism-fuelled ideas so much that Germany's national tea isn't used during games. When Germany hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2006 St Pauli had its parallel “Wild Cup”, with representatives of Tibet, Greenland, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - states which weren't recognized by the world.
St Pauli's travelling fans often run into trouble with neo-Nazis and other extremists because the whole country knows their ideology. When UEFA was fighting an all-out war against racism on the pitch, the walls of FCSP's Millerntor-Stadion proudly declared that sexism, homophobia and racism are banned from this point. (Photo | St Pauli Twitter)
St Pauli's travelling fans often run into trouble with neo-Nazis and other extremists because the whole country knows their ideology. When UEFA was fighting an all-out war against racism on the pitch, the walls of FCSP's Millerntor-Stadion proudly declared that sexism, homophobia and racism are banned from this point. (Photo | St Pauli Twitter)
#5 LIVERPOOL FC (ENGLAND): It isn't easy being a socialist side in the most capitalist league on the planet. While almost all leading English clubs like to remain apolitical, Liverpool and their Mersyside neighbors Everton, remain loyal to the Leftists. A Labour Party bastion, the club used to represent the beleief 'better to break the law than break the poor.”
#5 LIVERPOOL FC (ENGLAND): It isn't easy being a socialist side in the most capitalist league on the planet. While almost all leading English clubs like to remain apolitical, Liverpool and their Mersyside neighbors Everton, remain loyal to the Leftists. A Labour Party bastion, the club used to represent the beleief 'better to break the law than break the poor.”
During the dockers strike in the 1990s, Robbie Fowler was spotted wearing a T-shirt of support. 'The Reds' are dominantly city's working class and supports international socialism. The modern era of English football have taken it a long way from conventional socialism but the city is a haven of politically-motivated minds and daring activists. (Photo | AFP)
During the dockers strike in the 1990s, Robbie Fowler was spotted wearing a T-shirt of support. 'The Reds' are dominantly city's working class and supports international socialism. The modern era of English football have taken it a long way from conventional socialism but the city is a haven of politically-motivated minds and daring activists. (Photo | AFP)
#6 RAYO VALLECANO (SPAIN): Ever since the Spanish civil war, this mediocre Madrid club consider their rich neighbors archrivals. Real Madrid was dictatior Franco's favourite side and Vallecano supporters clashed with Madridistas in open for years.
#6 RAYO VALLECANO (SPAIN): Ever since the Spanish civil war, this mediocre Madrid club consider their rich neighbors archrivals. Real Madrid was dictatior Franco's favourite side and Vallecano supporters clashed with Madridistas in open for years.
Hailing from Madrid’s southern working class suburb of Vallecas, Spanish capital's third La Liga club is openly 'antifa'and their badge symbolises their “Bravery, courage and nobility.”  (Photo | AFP)
Hailing from Madrid’s southern working class suburb of Vallecas, Spanish capital's third La Liga club is openly 'antifa'and their badge symbolises their “Bravery, courage and nobility.” (Photo | AFP)
The fans of 'El Rayo' call themselves Bukaneros, who infamously flooded the suburbs with stickers against one of their players, who they claimed to be a Nazi. “Vallecas is no place for nazis,' the posters read when Roman Zozulya, known for his Ukranian nationalist view was signed by the management. (Photo | AFP)
The fans of 'El Rayo' call themselves Bukaneros, who infamously flooded the suburbs with stickers against one of their players, who they claimed to be a Nazi. “Vallecas is no place for nazis,' the posters read when Roman Zozulya, known for his Ukranian nationalist view was signed by the management. (Photo | AFP)
#7 AEK ATHENS (GREECE): Established in Athens in 1924 by Greek refugees from Constantinople, the club ultras have formed a ‘triangle of brotherhood’ with supporters of AS Livorno and Olympique de Marseille. The club is almost certain to play pre-sason friendlies with other left-leaning clubs around the world.
#7 AEK ATHENS (GREECE): Established in Athens in 1924 by Greek refugees from Constantinople, the club ultras have formed a ‘triangle of brotherhood’ with supporters of AS Livorno and Olympique de Marseille. The club is almost certain to play pre-sason friendlies with other left-leaning clubs around the world.
The third popular club in the country and most succesful in European circuit, politics has never been far from AEK's Athens Olympic Stadium. Their arch-rivals are Panathinaikos, a club supported by the city's elite. (Photo | Facbook)
The third popular club in the country and most succesful in European circuit, politics has never been far from AEK's Athens Olympic Stadium. Their arch-rivals are Panathinaikos, a club supported by the city's elite. (Photo | Facbook)
Notable mentions: Olympique Marseille (France) & Boca Juniors (Argentina) (Photos | AFP)
Notable mentions: Olympique Marseille (France) & Boca Juniors (Argentina) (Photos | AFP)

Related Stories

No stories found.
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com