“Football is like theatre, if there´s no fans, you´d just be playing for yourself.”
The history of FC Dinamo Tbilisi began in 1925. When football became one of the most popular sports in the world, Dinamo sports society set out to form a football club.
In the middle of the 1930s and 1940s, they became quickly one of the best teams in the Premier League of the Soviet Union Championchip. First major success was in 1964, when Dinamo Tbilisi won the title of the Soviet Top League. The first appearence in Europe was in 1972, playing and winning against the Dutch team Twente Enschede, in 1973 they won their first international title by beating Atlético Madrid and Benfica, one of the best teams at the time.
The highlight of Dinamo´s history was winning the European Cup Winners ´Cup of the season 1980/81. They knocked out West Ham United and Feynoord Rotterdam. In the final on May 13 in 1981 they played against Carl zeiss Jena and won 2:1.
Dinamo played its first and last match in the Soviet Top League against Dynamo Kyiv, both of them ended 2:2 and within the Georgian Indipendence in 1990 the Georgian football Federation refuesd to participate in Soviet Union Championship.
From that time, Dinamo has been playing in the Georgian National Championship, winning it 10 times in a row, also having quite some success in Georgian Cup, but not in European tournaments anymore.
The stadium of FC Dinamo Tbilisi has been filled most of the time in the past. 84.000 people would fit in the stadium, more than 100.000 have been attending big matches, specially against England or Germany, when the national team was playing.
Till now, the number of people interested in football and attending matches of Dinamo decreased quite a lot.
The level of georgian football is quite low, if there is a good player with some future in that sport, he wouldn´t stay in Gerogia, but go to european clubs the western side.
Focusing now on another important part of the sport, is the fans. Quite an important thing is some point an georgian cab driver and former player of Dinamo Tbilisi (1997–99) made:
„Football is like theatre, if there´s no fans, you´d just be playing for yourself.“
Thinking about that, there is not only fans supporting their club while sitting peacefully on their seat, its way more than that, what football is about. It is about passion and emotions and somehow, the way you express it.
It was the 13th of May in 2016, exactly 35 years after FC Dinamo Tbilisi had its biggest success in its history. The mood in the bar was good but tense, a lot of beer has been poured. That place was filled with some football fans, but mainly ultras and hooligans. They all belonged to Dinamo Tbilisi, nobody else would have been accepted at that day in that place.
What all of them had in common was the love for their city and their club, ready to fight for it, when its needed.
The chance had been given to talk to two members of the „Bergman“ hooligan firm, which is the first hooligan firm in Georgia and the best one, as they say.
Ultras Dinamo Tbilisi is an alliance consisting the two ultra firms „Fronti“ and „Brigada“, and the „Bergman“ Hools. The first aim of Ultras Dinamo Tbilisi would be to attract fans and return them to the stadium to support the historical team Dinamo. Those three firms would be united not only for Dinamo, but also for the right-wing ideology. They´d be mainly nationalists, but there would also be more radical members in Ultras Dinamo.
„Others might not like our attitude and actions, but we can´t do otherwise. The streets of Tbilisi belong to Dinamo fans, people of Tbilisi and nationalists. Everyone must know it. We´ll do anything for it. That´s why we are training ourselfes physically and living a healthy livestyle.“
The firm has done many things on nationalistic matter, that threatened some of the boys future lives in terms of getting arrested and the need of taking themselfes back now, otherwise they would easily end up in jail for quite some years. It had a huge impact on the firm, as some boys can´t be with the other members temporarily.
There is no special friendship with other teams in different countrys, but there is some contact with Ukrainian nationalists. They would appreciate their actions because everybody would see improvements of the firm, as they´d be the only firm in Georgia, wich would not only speak in pictures, but in acts. It would be very good for Dinamo, if there was somebody, but unfortunately, nobody would be reaching their level jet.
Sioni Bolnisi vs Dinamo Tbilisi
The next morning there were some members of the „Gladiators“, the offical fanclub of dinamo, standing in front of the Dinamo Academy. It was matchday, they would be waiting for the bus, taking them to Bolnisi, opponent of that day.
The Galdiators are supported by the club, which is providing a free bus to matches. Fans in the bus would be exited, looking forward to the match, but not getting drunk, as somebody could probably expecting it. Arriving in Bolnisi, they went straight to the stadium, led inside.
Every section of Dinamo fans, ultras and hooligans got their own banner, representing themselfes, each one of those put quite some effort into that, as an important part of the fan culture.
At and during the match, there was no chance to get outside the fan block, nobody would sell food or beer, there was just no demand for it.
Fans had been singing, of course, not continously, but trying hard to support their club as loud as they could. Its also about provocating the fans on the other side, especially towards the end of the match the mood of the fans of both sides would get more tense, preparing to overcome borders and „express“ their feeilngs against each other.
The situation escaleted quickly, when fans of Bolnisi managed to get behind the block of Dinamo, attacking those, both sides using their fists, some of them throwing stones, taking out their belt to beat each other and the seats of the fan block also seemed quite ueseful to throw after somebody.
After the final whistle, everybody dressed in blue and white was led straight to the bus, which was waiting as close as possible in front of the entrance of the stadium. Security and police seemed overwhelmed with the task to keep the opponents seperate. Everybody was pugnacious now, willing to fight.
The bus has been driving slow down the street, directed to the borders of town, to get everybody calm again. While driving that slow, some supporters of Dinamo managed to open the back door of the bus, getting out there. It only took seconds to empty the bus. Some short street fight came up, dissolved as quickly as it started by the police. Those would escort the bus, filled with supporters of Dinamo the whole way back to Tbilisi.
„Dinamo is against all teams in Georgia, almost against all. We don´t have friendly realationship with anybody in Georgia, because, actually, no other firm is on our level.“
Number one enemy of Dinamo is Torpedo Kutaisi. There have been several matches between each other, Dinamo always winning them. As talking about competitors, firms of Dinamo would not take other fanclubs serious, because they wouldn´t be into fan stuff mainly and they would use ordinary people, local „Kuzma“* in fighting.
* „Kuzma“: that word is used to describe people who are attending football matches just for fun
Summary of the match
against Sioni Bolnisi
on 14th of May ´16
Those members of the hooligan firm Bergman had been talking about what was their best experience since they came toghether. There would have not been many times they could be on tour toghether, because they are existing about an year now as a firm and they are financing themselfes only.
The most special experience they had toghether was some story that would start in Tbilisi. Members of Ultras Dinamo stole the banner of Samtredia fans, it had a lengh around 9 meters. There would have been some online threads from Samtredia side and Ultras Dinamo had to go there for return match, but the fan culture of that town would not be developed. In Samtredia would be a crowd, on Dinamo side only 10 Members, who would have to fight against Kuzma, that would not be easy.
Ultras Dinamo would have painted the whole town, made some graffities, singing their challanging songs, but because of the physical appearance, no one would dare to fight those guys. The only thing they would have done was throwing stones after Dinamo supporters.
Those would have organized a march on matchday without any difficulties, same at the stadium.
„To fight against us is difficult, because we are well trained and phisically prepared.“
Throwing stones would be pitiful, there would not be anything more, that needs to be added.
If there was the chance to get on tour with the Georgian National Team, they would be there indeed, but often there is no financial resources for that. Regarding colours, they would only recognize blue and white, the colours of Dinamo.
It would be good for them to fight against a group of the same size, not only in the streets, but also in the woods, where they do exercise and do sparring, too. As already mentioned, they would not have any competitors jet, if some serious group visits Georgia, they would be eager to fight them.
They hope, that they meet some high class team during Europe League, not meaning the club, but its fan side. It would make no difference, who it is, there would be big danger in their city. They would not be to many, but they would do high quality things. Quantity would not matter, quality would be important in that case.
Georgian Cup — Final
Only four days after the match in Bolnisi, both teams played again against each other, but this time it would be the final of the Georgian Cup. It took place in the stadium of Kutaisi, security would be on alert, cognizant, that the fans of both cities, Tbilisi and Kutaisi are hating each other. That was the reason why there has been more police, security and of course, more fans.
The situation would be that dangerous, that the bus with Dinamo supporters sitting inside had to drive roundabout way to get to the stadium. Supporters of Torpedos Kutaisi could have been expected the bus, waiting on direct way to the stadium, throwing stones at the bus or attaking it otherwise. That was the reason why a big part of Dinamo Tbilisi fans arrived half an hour late at the stadium, nothing important happend on the football field till that point.
The atmosphere inside the stadium, which was much bigger than the one in Bolnisi, would be difficult to describe. Supporters of each team, Dinamo and Bolnisi were attending the match, Kutaisi supporters beeing there, it seemed if there have been a lot of neutral fans too and also there was a fan block full of Soldiers of the Georgian Army. The distance between the ones, that shouldn´t meet was quite big enough and they were kept seperate the whole time, even after the match.
It seemed, that the fans would use more energy on supporting their team than to insult the fans of the others, but they certainly did both.
In the end Dinamo Tbilisi fans held the cup in their hands, when players came and reached it to them, as they wanted to show their gratitude. If it was for that one second, none of them would think about beating some supporter of a different club or attacking somebody because of his skintone. Everbody on that one side was just happy about the success of their team and winning the cup. It seemed to be soothing, somehow. They would celebrate, of course, during the ride back home, inside of the bus, singing and drinking.
From the perspective
of an Ultra
working as a team together, this story has been made by Leluka Nozadze, Tako Tatulishvili and Cornelius Mühlbach