Russia's Hooligan Army

Russia's Hooligan Army


The clashes between England and Russian football fans at last summer’s European Championships in France – which left two England supporters in comas – was a less than sterling advertisement for the 2018 World Cup, hosted by Russia. In this unsettling documentary, film-maker Alex Stockley von Statzer explores the rise of the Russian football hooligan, using footage of the brawls that erupted in Marseille and interviews with Russian “ultras”.

He also travels to Russia to find out how authorities are planning to prevent a repeat of the Euros violence – and sees first-hand what they’re up against as he witnesses the brutal methods firms use to recruit new members.


At the 2016 European Championships, violent clashes between Russian and English supporters in Marseille put the spotlight on Russian hooliganism. It was some of the worst football violence seen at an international tournament and raised serious concerns ahead of millions of fans travelling to Russia for the 2018 World Cup. To find out what UK supporters could face, film-maker Alex Stockley von Statzer travels to Russia to investigate this new generation of `firms' who are teetotal, physically fit and trained in martial arts. He also finds out how Russian police are enacting new laws promising to get tough on any trouble-makers, and films an organised fight in the woods where one firm is `auditioning' new members.

Cast & Crew

Director Alex Stockley von Statzer
Executive Producer Mike Radford
Producer Alex Stockley von Statzer