At many Borussia Dortmund games, their flag hangs conspicuously on the fence: the Hooligans Dortmund are currently experiencing a renaissance. This worries many, because their connections to the right-wing extremist scene are clear – and are even proudly displayed.
For the first time in decades, the Borussia Dortmund fan scene is threatened by a hooligan problem.
Borussia Dortmund: Hooligans are pushing back into the curve at BVB
The older BVB fans look back with horror. In the 1980s Dortmund had a pronounced hooligan problem. Supporters willing to use violence caused fear across Germany – with the notorious “Borussenfront” as the spearhead.
Now the problem seems to be returning. Not only, but also in Dortmund. The phenomenon “Riot 0231” disappeared as a group as quickly as it appeared. However, their members and other violent BVB supporters are pushing further into the curve. Unlike years ago, they have fewer and fewer problems blatantly appearing as hooligans.
Ultras and hooligans side by side
At the fan march before the Revierderby, many of them ran to the stadium in the front row. Side by side with the two ultra groups that had kept hooligans quiet in the South Stand for so many years.
“The signal is very clear that the right-wing extremist part of the hooligan scene is tolerated – and that this part is also tolerated when it represents the fan scene to the outside world,” explains fan researcher Robert Claus to WDR. He suspects that a large part of the ultras cannot counteract the hooligans’ potential for violence and are forced to accept a co-existence.
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Thilo Danielsmeyer from the Dortmund fan project says about the right-wing hooligans in the curve: “It’s certainly not nice for the fan scene, but it’s a group that definitely has a monopoly on violence. If they want to present a flag, they enforce it. The club is also required to react in discussions with its fan scene.