Football, Fascism and Fandom: The UltraS of Italian Football by Alberto Testa and Gary Armstrong
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 20 April 2013

Football, Fascism and Fandom: The UltraS of Italian Football

Author: Alberto Testa and Gary Armstrong

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

Before we begin, it's important to note that this is not a book about football in the traditional sports book sense. It doesn't focus on footballing culture, clubs, results or tactics but is rather an in-depth study on the culture of fandom, specifically in the form of the UltraS. The UltraS are unique social groups who have their origins rooted in football but have become something greater than fanatics in the wider context of Italian society.

Marginalised, targeted and outcast, on face value, the UltraS can be viewed as little more that football hooligans. Alberto Testa and Gary Armstrong however, compile a great investigative journal in order to dispel stereotypes and myths. Focusing on two significant sets of UltraS; The Boys of AS Roma and The Irriducibili of SS Lazio. Though there are other similar parties associated with Italian clubs, limiting the scope to these to rival groups from Rome works well and demonstrates how the two neo-fascist groups transcend football with their shared political views.

Football, Fascism and Fandom is an interesting and insightful essay detailing the effects Calcio (Italian football) has on Italy's society, culture, politics, media and even laws. Unsympathetic and unbiased toward either side, Testa and Armstrong use a factual voice and include many interviews with key figures from all parties concerned. A journey into the heart of an otherwise shrouded society of extremely loyal and stoic neo-fascist groups.