The Band

Pavel Volkov

2012 - 2013

Russian football hooligans movement became popular in the 90's of the last century.

Ordinary fans, some of them under the influence of European "fashion", another because

of pressure of fans from another fans, started to unite into groups. The main thing about

those gangs was aggression towards fans of the rival teams.

First hooligans appeared in St. Petersburg and Moscow. In some time that wave swept over

the whole country.

Nowadays hooligan gangs can be found in any city which has it's own football team. The

bigger the city - the bigger the number of gangs. Moscow and St. Petersburg football teams

have from 20 to 50 gangs. All of them have different number of members and the level of skills.

Regional centers have from 10 to 20 gangs.

I photographed football hooligans for 2 years. I travelled and attended football matches

with them. Football unite people not only for the club supporting, but also it makes them

create hooligan gangs to confront their "colleagues" from other clubs.

No matter what you do in your everyday life, but when you join the gang you have to accept

it's laws. And the main laws are solidarity, strength and cruelty.

Every gang has hierarchy and authorities. The strength of a "team" is achieved by unity of

members, compliance with internal corporate rules and discipline. Before a person joins a

gang, he's to prove himself positively: to do sports, attend football matches, be good at fights,

not to be afraid to fight with other hooligans and police, to love his club and be ready

to defend club's interests.

Mass fights often take place on the way to stadiums. Fights with police happend right on


The most agressive and courageous fighters become leaders of gangs. This ensures

continuity and growth of hooliganism. And makes this issue one of the most problematic for Russian society.

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  • against the background of Russian heroes

  • detention by police

  • football fans did not get to the stadium and watching football on TV

  • smoke bomb explosion at the stadium

  • football fans are merged into a homogeneous mass rejoicing team victory

  • football fan bathed in the fountain after a long journey

  • fans sing and make noise keeping his team in the stadium

  • bad guy after a fight, and a good guy fan

  • Drunken fans go to a football match

  • Police filmed cheering football fans to identify offenders

  • football hooligans fight opposing factions

  • Training before the fight

  • detention for misconduct

  • Football fan police detention

  • chief of the gang