Definition of Barras Bravas

While British hooligans and Italian ultras might get the majority of the attention in the Western football view, there are most certainly other groups that act as similar components of clubs. Specifically, there are barra bravas (fierce gangs) in Latin America that are similar or even more fierce in their support of the football clubs there.

The meaning of the term Barras Bravas, when it comes to Lati America football supporters.  Sports Dictionary.These groups are perhaps most famous in Argentina, where they dominate the discussion of football almost as much as the clubs themselves. While on the surface, it appears that they do nothing more than provide exquisite displays of support for their teams and get into fights with other barras, there is a deeper level to these groups that is a lot darker.

While the lower members of these organizations don't do anything except collect fees for parking around the stadium, display flares and banners during games and get into fights, the upper members accomplish much more. They have financial links to different clubs and can determine who the chairman is. They siphon off part of the club profits in order to increase their own power, making the entire football pyramid more corrupt as they do so.

Such corruption and violence that is involved in these gangs inevitably leads to death. It is estimated that Argentina has by far the largest proportion of fan deaths compared to anywhere else in the world thanks to assassinations and general clashes between these large, organized groups.

These organizations also have police and politicians in their pay, allowing them to operate at will. Until such conditions lift, it doesn't seem likely that the culture of these barras bravas will disappear anytime soon.