Sports Clubs / Ultras: Boca Juniors - La Doce

Boca Juniors is one of the largest clubs in South America. The Argentine club is the most successful in their home country and regularly competes for continental trophies. However, it is perhaps the fans which take the spotlight away from the team at times, as the Boca-River Plate Superclasico derby is one of the most famous in the world.

The typical name for supporter groups that would be called ultras in Europe is "barra bravas" or fierce gang. These groups regularly form large choreographies like flag waving, tifo unfurling, smoke bombs, and so on. One of these groups that supports Boca is named La Doce (The Twelfth Player).

These rival supporters regularly look to pick fights with one another before and after games, although it isn't uncommon to see those fights spill into the stands. Boca is normally represented by the working class of the city of Buenos Aires, with their frequent clashes coming against the upper class fans of River Plate.

Over 200 people have died in Argentina due to football-related violence. Unlike ultras in Europe, groups like La Doce are run almost like a cartel. The stadium and club looks to them to lead the support, while talking to outside journalists is not approved. La Doce soldiers charge people for parking, and act almost as their own governing force around the game of football.

Such a culture seems far removed from the simple beer drinking and fighting of English hooligans, but from the Argintinean point of view, it is simply how to get out of the slums. Football is the only way out, and that means taking advantage of whatever comes their way.


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