Not many people in Europe know about ultras in Asia, many dont even know they exist! Its very hard to get any info from this part of the world, but www.ultras-tifo.net managed to get some info for you.
The developement of ultras culture in Asia have just started. Beside of the Urawa Reds fans (like Urawa Boys Snake 98) the whole culture is very new in Asia. The whole environment in most of these countries is bad and there are quite a lot of limits. Here is a little introduction about the present status of the Ultras in Asian countries according to the information I have.
Japan has the most advanced Ultras organization in Asia. They have the bases of continuate and stable professional football league, high standard of citizen income and more open minded towards the western culture.
Almost all the professional clubs there have their own Ultras organizations. Urawa Reds is the most outstanding one. But after what I know some of their biggest tifosi, flags and banners are under the auspices of the football clubs or the sponsors . Urawa Reds have thousands organization under this big name, some of them are just fans and some of them establish themselves as Ultras.
Of course, the other Ultras in Japan have their own characters, but since the football club`s management system is different, they are not as big as the Urawa Reds. Every Ultras organization in Japan has its own specialty. Like Gamba Osaka, Nagoya Grampus Eigh learn chants from Italy while Yokohama F.Marinos, Avispa Fukuoka pick up their style from South America.
Because of the low dissemination of English in Japan and hardly any websites written in English its very hard for people outside Japan to get info about their new culture. Most of their scene seem to be pretty new, but as I said in the beginning, Urawa had one group already in 1998!
This picture is taken in 1999 and shows some of the Urawa fans in action (more pictures in our picture zone)
The current situation in China seem to be pretty fustrating.
1. No long term plan for the league.
The Chinese FA could randomly cut a whole years league into seperated pieces and pause the league for 1 month or more for the Olympics team to prepare. They even cancelled the ups and downs between top league and second league.
2. Unprofessional behaviour in the management of the club.
The football club can easily change the team¡`s name, Home jersey colour and team logo according to the change of the sponsors. Even some of the teams in top league changed their located city for some reasons. Through 13 years of China professional football league development(China professional football league first start in 1994), only Shanghai Shenhua(shenhua means flower of Shanghai city) keeps the original name, colour or logo from the start.
3. The club carry no weight on developing the club culture or fans culture.
The fooball club put many restrictions. For example, regard as dangerous object by the cops, no flag bars is allow in the stand in the home stadium. From 2006-2007 it changed a little bit as each organization could bring at most three flags with bars. Although they can carry as much flag as they want. There is still regulation against use of pyro inside the stadium in Shanghai. Once someone sneak in with a pyrotechnic and fire it on the stand, he will be arrested immediately. Some of the stadiums in other cities might allow fireworks but that¡`s not a commen thing.
That`s not the worst thing in shanghai though, they have to register each banner they are hanging (surely no radical content allowed) and each drama they are carrying in the stand through the club to the police.
Generally speaking each team in the top league here has its own fans organization ,some of them in big number of members, but they are kind of offical and the club pays for everything like the banners and the flags. So they are not Ultras at all.
In China, only C.U.N.A.(http://hi.baidu.com/cuna2007) and the Blue Waves of Dalian team (http://www.jilang.net) are Ultras.
The C.U.N.A (commando ultra nord anteriore) group is very new and started up 16-07-2007. Here is some of the main goals fro the group:
We support the team with the most radicalness way, any behaviour that harms the interest of the team, no matter it is from the administrators, the players or the supporters, is conspued. Protacting the interests of Shenhua is our duty! All the actions should reference to this eternal code: Shenhua is our only and unchallengeable supremacy
There won`t be any commercial element in C.U.N.A. Everything with C.U.N.A. logo is nonprofit, every banner or flag should be paied by our own money and so is the expense for away game. Those commercial operation in any form won`t be in our organization.
Betrayal to the team is enormity. The support to the team is lifetime. No matter what, the team is our only believe and the power to live on. We are willing to experience anything with the team together. Stand on hers back as the forever supporter regardless victory or defeat. Love the team with our heart and nothing could change the fact that we are the supports of Shenhua.
In Korea, they are facing the same problem as Chinese league. Unprofessional mangement and non-persistent long term plans. And the team change the home city, makes the fan`s culture hard to passing and developing. Anyway, Korea national team has a great fan organization called "the Reds" . But that`s an offical organazition witl highly commercialized operation process. The visual contrast of the Reds is quite obsecure but they are not Ultras essentially.
There are two great Ultras groups in Korea. One is C.U.S.C.which have some connections with Ultras U.C. Sampdoria (http://cusc1999.com/groups2.htm) due to the friendly match of these two football team had before. The other one called Ultrashawk (http://www.ultrashawk.net/). Beside these two, I don`t think there are other Ultras organizations in Korea.
The football teams in Indonesia have quite a long history and the fans in Indonesia have developed pretty early and they can creat a magenificent support.. But last 10 years, they have some serious problem about beting on the match, which made their league losing the focus.
We are not sure if there is any ultras groups in Indonesia, but we have pictures from two teams and it looks like they have much the same organization in their stands as we have in Europe. Pictures of PSMS Pedan and Persija can be seen by clicking on their names.
According to my information, the league around the Gulf are not well organzied, they simplely buy some old famous players from Europe to attract the audiance. Without any long term plan of the league, it is pretty hard to start as Ultras there.
I dont have more info about these countries, but out from pictures in our picture-zone they seem to have some kind of organization. They have a few huge and smaller flags/banner and sometimes other tifosi. But if this is payed by their clubs is unknown.
Here is a picture from Al Hilal from Saudi-Arabia:
Beside some few groups the whole ultras movement in Asia seem to be very new. They seem to take most of their inspiration from Europe and try to follow that style as good as possible. It actually minds me a lot of many of the European countries when they first got some kind of football culture. We saw what was going on in Italy or England, then copied everything they did. Many groups even had all their songs in English when they copied from England, just like some of the groups in Asia now have. After a while we all started to form our own style, most of the European fans started to use the Italian style, or the so called ultra-style and made songs in their own language etc.
It will be interesting to see how the culture in Asia will end, if they grow and make it better or if the hard rules and bad management from the clubs will kill the little culture they already got. Atleast I hope we now managed to give you some information from a part of the world we normally dont hear from when it come to ultras.
(after a while there will come links here on the website to groups in Asia for those who want to see more)