Delije

Last updated
Delije
Delijesever.gif
Делије Север / Delije Sever (Delije North)
AbbreviationDS89
Founded1989
Type Supporters' groups
Ultras group
Team Red Star Belgrade
MottoZvezda je život, ostalo su sitnice
(Zvezda is life, the rest is just small stuff)
Headquarters Belgrade, Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Arenas
StandNorth
Coordinates 44°46′59.52″N20°27′53.69″E / 44.7832000°N 20.4649139°E / 44.7832000; 20.4649139
Colors  red,   white
Website Delije.net
Delije Sever mural at the Red Star Stadium Beograd 7638.jpg
Delije Sever mural at the Red Star Stadium

Delije (Serbian Cyrillic : Делије) is a name referring to the supporters of various sports clubs that compete under the Red Star Belgrade Sports Society banner. The plural of the singular form delija (делија)—which in Serbian generally signifies a courageous, brave, strong, tough, or even handsome young man—a rough English translation of Delije is "Heroes", "Braves", or "Studs".

Contents

Though Red Star Sports Society has clubs in over twenty sports, Delije mostly focus on football (FK Crvena zvezda) and basketball (KK Crvena zvezda). The name Delije first began to be used by hardcore Red Star supporters during the late 1980s, with official inauguration taking place on 7 January 1989. Up to that point, the die-hard fans were scattered amongst about eight groups that shared the north stand at the Red Star Stadium (known colloquially as Marakana), most prominent of which were the Red Devils, Ultras and Zulu Warriors.

As a sign of appreciation, during the late 1990s, Red Star painted the word Delije in block letters across the north stand. Since the mid-1980s the supporters maintain friendly relations with Olympiacos F.C. ultras—a friendship based on traditional Greek-Serb friendship, common Eastern Orthodox faith and same club colours. Since the mid-2000s Spartak Moscow Fans are also included in this friendship.

History

1940s

Since the very founding of Red Star Belgrade, there was a section of members-friends of the Sports Club Red Star, which had about 100 faithful supporters encouraging the red-whites which started to follow the club on all away matches in the newly formed Yugoslav First League. The section was mostly made of young men from the affluent parts of the BelgradeSenjak, Topčidersko Brdo, Dedinje, Knez Mihailova Street, but amongst the first Red Star supporters there were also children of workers, which would eventually form the "first team" of supporters and leaders in the future.

1950s

During the 1950s, a separation between spectators and pure supporters finally became evident, mostly because supporters began to bring rattles, bells and a few flags to the stadium. With the arrival of Dragoslav Šekularac to Red Star many things changed. The fans saw their reflection on the field, because Šekularac had class as well as talent. Supporters especially appreciated Šeki's battling spirit, which was a magnet for new red-white fans young and old.

1960s

1970s

1980s

In the 1980s the North side was split between two big supporters groups, the "Ultras" and the "Red Devils". The Ultras followed Italian influence which consisted of long and melodic songs, fireworks, and choreography. The Red Devils based their group on Serbian habits, which were often mixed with English habits such as heavy drinking, and constantly fighting rivals. These two groups regularly caused unrest, which brought them into conflict with the communist police. Because of many incidents people belonging to these two groups were regularly arrested.

During the mid-1980s, Ultras and Red Devils were strengthened by a new group, the "Zulu Warriors". These three groups became the body of the North Stand. However, there were also many other groups with much less influence, such as Winners, Red and White Angels, Brigate, Red Star Army, Red Star Clan, and the Eagles.

The late 1980s came with strong nationalism, and Red Star supporters, in the spirit of their tradition declared themselves as Serbian nationalists. They would often chant Serbian patriotic songs, and carry Serbian flags. At the moment when politics was already deeply inside stadiums a big meeting of all North groups was held with only one goal that no other names except Red Star, Belgrade and Serbia should be spoken at the games. That rule is obligated to be followed even today, although fans use every opportunity to express their political opinion.

Soon afterward fans got their own room for meetings, and membership cards were also made. This is when most of these groups joined together. In 1989 the Delije were formed and they stated that the intent of the group was to be a modern European group, which became true in a very short while.

1990s

Delije Sever during the 137th Eternal Derby (Belgrade Derby) in November 2009. Beograd 7717.jpg
Delije Sever during the 137th Eternal Derby (Belgrade Derby) in November 2009.

During the 1990s the best and the worst came to Red Star and Delije. Yugoslavia slowly deteriorated, nationalism had taken over across the whole of the Balkans, and a war was proclaimed unavoidable by many. On May 13, 1990 an estimated 3,000 of the Delije traveled to Zagreb's Maksimir to see Red Star take on Dinamo Zagreb. Always an intense rivalry, the fact that this particular match took place just weeks after Croatia had held its first multi-party elections in about 50 years (which, incidentally, was won by the parties favouring Croatian independence) only served to increase the tension between the two. The ensuing riot was one of the most violent events in sports history, and many believe that the riot was the first sign of the war to come. It has served as a prime example of what politics can do when mixed with sport.

The Delije however would shortly be rewarded with the best Yugoslav football team ever assembled. During their run in the 1990–91 European Cup the Delije followed Red Star wherever they played. They traveled all over Europe, defeating Grasshopper Zürich, Glasgow Rangers, Dynamo Dresden and German giants Bayern Munich along the way to Bari (the host of the final), where they faced Marseille. The 1991 Red Star team gave the fans something that many Delije could only have dreamt about until then; the European Cup trophy, defeating the French side 5–3 on penalties, with Prosinečki, Binić, Belodedić, Mihajlović and Pančev scoring. This same team even went on to become world champions, by defeating Colo-Colo of Chile 3–0 in the Intercontinental Cup.

In 1990, members of the Delije provided the base for the Serb Volunteer Guard, a paramilitary unit commanded by the director of the Delije, Željko "Arkan" Ražnatović. [1] The Delije-based Guard, nicknamed "Arkan's Tigers", participated in the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Arkan's Tigers made a dramatic appearance on the north stand during the Belgrade Derby game of 22 March 1992, played between Red Star and Partizan, where they held up actual highway marker signs displaying: '20 miles to Vukovar'; '10 miles to Vukovar'; 'Welcome to Vukovar'.

After the Kosovo war and the NATO bombings of Serbia crippled the economy and ruined sport in the country. The league is now considered poor at best. The Delije can still be seen in action when Red Star is competing in a European tournament or when they lock horns with Partizan. After a long series of struggles and armed conflicts in Bosnia and Croatia, which took five years in all, Red Star was allowed to take part in a first European competition after five years of ban in European cups. The first international game after the war ended was a friendly match with Olympiacos (4–1) at Marakana. A large flag with "Welcome Orthodox Brothers" was set along the east stand as a welcome gesture to Greek fans and players. Today there is a solid friendship between the two supporting groups, and they have an ultra-union group, Orthodox Brothers. FC Spartak Moscow fans also joined the group, so seeing fans of all the three clubs at one stand supporting the same team—especially at away European matches.

2000s

2010s

Structure

Delije organizational structure is fairly decentralized with many subgroups present at the stadium's north stand—the gathering point of the club's most loyal and passionate fans. At any given time, one or two subgroups assert themselves as the most prominent through dedication, regular attendance, willingness to fight, etc. and as a result get to hang their banners on the most visible parts of the stand, their leaders get to lead the chants, etc. Currently, the subgroup Belgrade Boys (known by the acronym BBRS) enjoys the greatest clout while other Belgrade subgroups such as Ultra Boys, Brigate and Heroes, also wield a lot of influence. Since Red Star enjoys a lot of support outside of Belgrade as well, various organized groups exist in cities across Serbia, Montenegro, and Republika Srpska as well as in Serbian diaspora. The most organized and numerous of those include Nišlije (from Niš), NSCZ (from Novi Sad), Kopre Nedri (groupings of various subgroups from numerous cities in Republika Srpska), Čačani (from Čačak), Ježevi (from Mauzer), Delije Šabac (from Šabac), Armija 5 (grouping of various subgroups from Smederevo, Požarevac and several neighbouring towns), Delije Kruševac (from Kruševac), Barani (from Bar, Montenegro), Delije Kumanovo (from Kumanovo in North Macedonia), Orthodox Boys (from Slovenia), Ultra klan (grouping of various subgroups from Serbian diaspora).

Related Research Articles

Arkan Serbian paramilitary commander and career criminal

Željko Ražnatović, better known as Arkan, was a Slovenian-born Serbian mobster, politician, sports administrator, paramilitary commander and head of the Serb paramilitary force called the Serb Volunteer Guard during the Yugoslav Wars.

Red Star Belgrade Serbian association football club

Fudbalski klub Crvena zvezda, which translates to English as simply Red Star, is a Serbian professional football club based in Belgrade commonly known elsewhere as Red Star Belgrade, the major part of the Red Star multi-sport club.

FK Voždovac Association football club in Belgrade, Serbia

Fudbalski klub Voždovac, commonly known as Voždovac, is a professional football club located in Voždovac, a municipality of Belgrade, in Serbia.

Serb Volunteer Guard

The Serb Volunteer Guard, also known as Arkan's Tigers or Arkan's men, was a Serbian volunteer paramilitary unit founded and led by Arkan that fought in Croatia (1991–93) and Bosnia (1992–95) during the Yugoslav Wars.

FK Vardar Association football club in North Macedonia

FK Vardar Skopje, or simply Vardar, is a football club based in the capital city of Skopje, North Macedonia. The club was founded in 1947 and they have been members of the Macedonian First Football League since its inception in 1992.

The Dinamo Zagreb–Red Star Belgrade riot was a football riot which took place on 13 May 1990 at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, Croatia, then part of Yugoslavia, between the Bad Blue Boys and the Delije. The incident took place just weeks after Croatia's first multi-party elections in almost fifty years in which the parties favouring Croatian independence had won the majority of votes. The riot resulted in over sixty people wounded, including some stabbed, shot or poisoned by tear gas.

Ceca (singer) Serbian singer

Svetlana Ražnatović, better known by her stage name Ceca, is a Serbian pop-folk singer. Renowned for her raspy vocals and emotional delivery, she has sold millions of records and is recognized as one of the biggest Serbian singers of all time.

FK Zemun Association football club in Zemun, Serbia

Fudbalski klub Zemun is a Serbian professional football club based in Zemun, Belgrade, that competes in the Serbian First League.

Dragoslav Šekularac Serbian footballer

Dragoslav Šekularac was a Serbian professional footballer and coach. Nicknamed Šeki, he was quick and crafty with the ball, displaying creative skills which turned many heads. Possessing supreme self-confidence along with impeccable technical ability, he was one of the biggest showmen and crowd draws in the history of Yugoslav football. His enormous popularity throughout FPR Yugoslavia during the early 1960s transcended sports as he easily became one of the most recognizable individuals in the country. As a coach, he led several clubs in Canada, Colombia, Australia, Serbia, Mexico, and Spain, as well as the Guatemala national team in the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Grobari Supporters group of FK Partizan

Grobari are the organized supporters group of the Serbian football club Partizan Belgrade. They are one of two major football fan groups in Serbia. They generally support all clubs within the Partizan multi-sports club, and mostly wear black and white symbols, which are the club's colors.

Fratria

Fratria is the largest organisation of FC Spartak Moscow supporters. It is responsible for organized voice and banner support during Spartak's matches both home and away.

The Real Football Factories International is a documentary style program about football hooliganism across the world. The Real Football Factories was the first series, where presenter and actor Danny Dyer travelled the UK, meeting some of the more notorious football firms. In this spin-off series, Dyer goes international, meeting firms from across the globe. Dyer played the main character of Tommy Johnson, a main member of a fictional Chelsea firm in the 2004 film The Football Factory.

Red Army Mostar Supporters of FK Velež Mostar

Red Army Mostar is a FK Velež Mostar supporters' group in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Eternal derby (Serbia)

The Eternal derby, also called the Derby of Southeast Europe and Belgrade derby, is the local derby in Belgrade, capital of Serbia, between fierce city rivals Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade, two of the biggest and most popular clubs in Serbia. It has been described as "one of European football's most bitter rivalries".

Čkembari are an Ultras group, established in 1985, who support the sports clubs from Bitola, North Macedonia that compete under the Pelister banner, mainly FK Pelister in football and RK Eurofarm Pelister in handball.

Red Star Stadium

Rajko Mitić Stadium, previously known as Red Star Stadium, also known as Marakana, is a multi-use stadium in Belgrade, Serbia which has been the home ground of Red Star Belgrade since 1963. The stadium is located in Dedinje, municipality of Savski Venac.

Firma (supporter group)

Firma are the organised supporters of the professional football club Vojvodina Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia. The members of Firma call themselves Firmaši, the plural of the singular form Firmaš, and they generally support all clubs within the Vojvodina Novi Sad Sports Society.

Crveni Đavoli

Crveni Djavoli or Djavoli, are the organized supporters of the Kragujevac based professional football club Radnički Kragujevac. They are one of main supporter groups in Serbia. Besides football club, they also support other sport sections of the Radnički Kragujevac Sport Association.

Komiti Skopje

Komiti Skopje are a supporters group that follows the Macedonian sports clubs that compete under the Vardar banner, mainly FK Vardar in football and RK Vardar in handball.

The history of Red Star Belgrade's football team began with its establishment by a committee of Yugoslav Communists on 4 March 1945. Slobodan Penezić supervised the committee which founded Red Star, composed largely of communist veterans from World War II. This was in contrast to Partizan, as it was founded by high-ranking generals and members of the Yugoslav People's Army.

References

  1. "Football, blood and war". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-01.