Are tifos creeping up into English football?

The flags are a sensation across Europe, but haven't made much of an impression in England...

Tom Barlow
23rd November 2022
Image: Wikimedia Commons
English football fans have often looked at Europe in awe of their spectacle before a game, but are we finally catching on? 

Whether it’s FC Copenhagen, Borussia Dortmund or Fk Crvena Zvezda, countries across Europe are renowned for these eye-catching displays. 

Tifos are often just a grand image to bear witness to, however they can often depict political or social messages. Legia Warsaw displayed a tifo against FC Astana in 2017 reading “During the Warsaw uprising Germans killed 160,000 people, thousands of them were children.” 

Celtic have always been famous for their tifos in Scottish football and European nights, with recent messages in support of Palestinians and the ongoing situation with Israel.

In the English leagues, tifos have been a rare sight. People have put it down to cultural differences, with some believing the enhanced support to be embarrassing and others believing fans in the country aren’t passionate enough. 

A piece of the club’s history, embraced today by fans, through art

South London's Crystal Palace is known for having some of the most passionate fans in England, with an unwavering atmosphere in their home of Selhurst Park.  They announced their return back to the Premier League in 2013 with a Saw themed tifo. This season’s opening game saw the Eagles display a tifo of the Crystal Palace Great Exhibition, amidst countless red and blue banners. A piece of the club’s history, embraced today by fans, through art. 

Newcastle United are one of the few others in England to welcome the use of tifos, with one of the most recent games against Everton unveiling the enormous tifo entitled “We are the Mags.” This tifo flew up the Leazes Stand, with fans all around adoring every second of it. 

The sense of community involved with pushing the banner behind you in order for it to cover the entirety of the stand, constantly tapping up the flag to give the waving effect and then hauling it back down so that fans can see the treasured first kick of the game. 

A beautiful moment for fans to remember forever and so I simply cannot see the negative side towards such a presentation.

Tifos are evidently expensive and mass organisation is required to pull off such a spectacle. If the demand was there, then tifos would be spread across the country. 

However, the Kop raising their flags to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with multiple flags of the club's history will always be special. The Emirates now singing “North London Forever” pre-kick off is an emotional display. Even the cardboard clappers at Leicester City have been coined to help with their team’s performances.

English football may not have a breadth of tifos, but there are countless other displays which help make the game beautiful in the best league in the world.

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