April sees plenty of countries down on their knees, in front of the biggest hospital and social crisis since World War II, as declared by the United Nations. The new rule of lockdown though appears efficient, with Italy recording their first new contagions decrease for the first time in the 4th of April, and Germany declaring low numbers statistically, so low to arouse suspicion from some international journalists. At the start of the month some studies show a clear improvement about the general air quality, as consequence of the reduction of any kind of traffic, either via see, land or air: the whole society is basically always relegated at home, an a lot of activities are completely stopped and closed, a situation which also bring nature to take back some of its spaces. A big political ferment anticipates the half of the month, with the EuroGroup which manages to sign a general deal for the allocation of 500.000.000.000€ (500 mlds) for the economical reprise after the quarantine months and the general suspension of many industries. Those are numbers never seen before, in such a delicate moment, all to highlight the big effort by many leaders of the European countries in the same direction. At the half of April, Spain and Italy register a clear decrease of new contagions, while unfortunately USA and UK are pretty much at the top of thee epidemic curve. France in the meantime formalize another whole month of lockdown: the citizens, agreeing with the idea that quarantine still is the best solution, are a bit resentful, thinking that the government should have waited some more days to take such a singular and quick decision, and some social tension arises. Other two nations get our attention in this month, being two very influent countries ultraswise; the first one is Austria, which is the first European country to loosen the measures a bit, getting out of lockdown and starting over some industrial activities. The secondo ne is Brazil, living two awful weeks which see them going on top of the ranking of the most hit countries in the world, due to a very permissive government under the leader Bolsonaro, a list of decisions which will appear to be crazy after few days. Describing the gravity of the situation, Angela Merkel, German leader since 2005 spoke for the first time in TV. In the German measures, also the cancellation of Oktoberfest 2020, the famous event which attracts millions of tourists coming from all around the world each year. In the meantime in the USA, for the first time in history petrol cost goes below the limit of 0$ per barrel: storages are completely full, and in order to keep on extracting petrol from the land, people are payed to empty the various stores around the country. The month ends with declarations from China about their return to normality, with the city of Wuhan still with new contagions, but without an hospital crisis, and well organized to cure each patience. In Europe the situation is much worse, and it looks to keep on getting more serious both statistically and socially speaking.
Below, our chosen five April actions, in chronological order.
Lokomotive Leipzig, online ticket selling sell out, 07-04-2020, World
Lokomotive Leipzig is the oldest and most influent, talking about ultras, club in the German city of Leipzig. Nowadays they find themselves in the German 4th division, after a downhill ended with a bankrupt some ages ago, and an interest which kept on turning towards the new Red Bull project, which is bringing the new city club towards the top of national and continental football, but with very harsh method and philosophy towards the loyal fans. However, some years ago the yellow-blue club (Lokomotive) used to always be in the 1st division, and also conquered 3 German Leagues and one DFB Pokal. Their big success brought the club to have a massive fanbase, in a hugely populated city and area as the Leipzig one. Recently the club reviewed all their most famous games played in Zentralstadion, a structure able to contain more than 100000 fans, in appropriate or unappropriated manner. Until late 80’s, the stadium was considered the second biggest in Europe, paired up with Camp Nou in Barcelona, and only behind Velky Strahovsky Stadium in Prague, a notion which maybe makes more sense knowing that Leipzig was one of the most important city in the whole DDR Eastern Germany until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Coming back to our days however, and particularly to the start of April, the club which can still vaunt the bigger part of the ultrascene in the city despite the lower divisions, decided to sell at the price of 1€ some virtual tickets for their matches played behind closed doors. All the obtain has been used for the survival of the club, and fans from alla round the world followed the idea, managing to collect 1.100.000€ (1.1mln) in total, and in a singular match selling more than 110.000 tickets, establishing a new record, and surpassing the total capacity of the legendary Zentralstadion in the golden years of the club.
French ultras say no to a premature football restart, 13-04-2020, France
A big manifestation of cohesion from all the French ultrascene, in order to stop the farce of football without fans. Ligue 1 restarted regularly this year adopting the same measures as the rest of all the rest of European football, but suspended the previous season mainly due to the effort and contribution from all those ultras groups. Forty-five different groups, hundreds of rivarlies in this collective, but the same desire to avoid as much as they could to play football without them supporting their colors. France and its football federation listened to the call from the ultras, still proclaiming PSG as national champions, being the first club in the raking at the moment of the stop. A similar decision was also taken by the Dutch federation, so a big round of applause to all the fanbases in Holland, managing to stop both Eredivisie and Eerstedivisie, even avoiding the proclamation of Ajax as national champion.
White Angels Vitoria SC ghost choreo, 17-04-2020, Guimaraes
A very hot topic in the last months for the whole tifo world is the one of ghost choreos, that is the idea of organized tifo scenarios even without the physical presence of fans inside the stadium. In order to not unbalance ourselves too much on the argument, we chose White Angels from Vitoria Guimaraes in our shortlist for two main reasons. The first one lies in the fact that the Portuguese were the first one to propose this new concept, up to date: a real choreo, adapted to the stadium structure and functional even without anyone animating it live. The second reason is that during the choreo, precisely in those few minutes, a very ironical fact, there wasn’t even any live match going on! With the suspension of every sporting events in Portugal, the fans didn’t even have to chose a weekend with a home match to celebrate their birthday, 25 years ago, they just respected the actual date of their fundation. A very original way of showing their passion and support to the club, with or without actual football!
Ultrasbible stickers fundraise, 18-04-2020, Ultrasbible
Not an autocelebration, but a proof of how unity of intent and organization could always bring us to big targets and making us all achieving big projects. Those are the rules which stand at the base of the ultras world, and us from Ultrasbible tried to apply them towards the half of the month of April, in order to help with our little contribution the big societies fighting the virus on the front row. Without never selling merch before, we organized a set of stickers with different ultras graphics and pics, which you could see here. Thanks to your help we managed to sell everything we’ve produced, so we decided to devolve 100% of money spent by you for the purchase of the stickers to World Health Organization. You can find the details about our money transfers here, but for us this is yet another chance to remember the beauty of the gesture we managed to make during such hard times, due to your effort trying to fight Covid-19. So, a big and warm THANK YOU!
Ruch Chorzow 100th birthday, 20-04-2020, Chorzow
Poland is not a country which suffered the hospital crisis like the most hit countries by Covid-19 in Europe, at least reading the gouvernement declared stats during last spring. Rather, Polish people are living hard times during this month of December, and the typical cold Eastern Europe winter surely influenced and got the new stats to be worse. The country, during the spring, yet decided to move in advance due to avoid big crisis during the following months, applying strict measures and following most of the rest of Europe. Those measures worked in the first place, and will be used again in those weeks in order to save as many people as possible to be hospitalized. Ignoring the prohibition of gathering, and basing their decision much more on the low contagions number rather than the government rules, Ruch Chorzow ultras and fans organized a big party in the street of their city for the 100th birthday of their club, a very historical and big one in Polish football. In a country which loves pyroshow so much, it was easy and quick to see the whole center of Chorzow completely on fire in only few minutes!
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