Russia’s Hooligan Army

Published on 27th May 2017 by

The UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament in France saw some of the worst football violence for many years, and whilst the English were involved it was primarily down to highly organised groups of Russian hooligan firms and their primary target was the English. Over 100 English fans were injured in clashes, with 2 left in comas, despite the Russian’s having far fewer men. The military style tactics employed by the Russian’s led the senior UK government officials to speculate that the Kremlin may have been involved and that the hooligan firms may have been made up of Russian uniformed services personnel.

Russia’s Hooligan Army is a 2017 BBC Two documentary by Alex Stockley von Statzer to examine football hooliganism in Russia amid concerns about the 2018 World Cup that is due to be hosted in the country. He lifts the lid on a world of highly organized teetotal football firms who undertake military style fitness regimes, mixed martial arts training, and even inflict serious violence on each other to become better at fighting. There are concerns that these Russian firms could once again target supporters of other countries, only this time there are going to be many more of them. An official Kremlin spokesperson criticized the BBC for a lack of objectivity after the documentary was broadcast.

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