- La Liga
Madrid 'to remove ultras fan group'
Real Madrid are reportedly set on removing the controversial 'Ultras Sur' supporters' group from the Bernabeu.
Since the 1980s the 'Ultras Sur' have been generating noise and atmosphere at Madrid home games, while also being involved in offensive chanting, acts of violence and spreading right-wing political views.
According to a report on COPE radio, Los Blancos president Florentino Perez has now decided to reassign the group's seats behind the stadium's south goal to a group of younger and better behaved Madrid socios, while some ultras have already been banned from the stadium.
AS added detail by saying the club plan to take away the group's 885 seats to create a new 'Fans Sur' section of 1,600 seats from January. Younger club socios will be encouraged to move to this section and lead chants and singing in the ground, following an example set by the 'Grada Joven Curva Nord' at Valencia's Mestalla.
The club's stance may have been strengthened after four supporters were fined €3,000 and banned from sporting events for 12 months for displaying swastikas and other Nazi symbols during October's home defeat to Atletico Madrid, while members of the group were also in the news recently for selling fascist memorabilia at a school market.
The space behind the Bernabeu's south goal usually filled by ultras has been mostly empty during Madrid's last three home games, as the group work out some internal issues.
A violent confrontation reportedly took place between leaders of two 'factions' at a bar near the Bernabeu before the game against Real Sociedad on November 9.
The group's leaders released their own wordy statement via Facebook on November 13, which gave details of a split between older and younger members of the group.
"These people have spent two years provoking tension inside the group as they want to use it solely for commercial reasons," the statement read. "Because of that there have been no doubts about hitting out, throwing people out, and putting a cross on all of those who deserve it."
The club and its players have often been ambivalent at best towards the 'Ultras Sur' over the years, but former Madrid coach Jose Mourinho often made positive comments about the atmosphere created in the stadium by the group during his three years in charge.
Mourinho's final game as Madrid boss last June saw the ultras display banners, including one saying 'thank you Mourinho for fighting against the wind and the tide for this club', while representatives of the group were allowed to present the Portuguese with a plaque on the pitch afterwards.
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