Questions for Virtus Verona,
- What is Virtus Vecomp Verona? Can you tell me something about the history?
Virtus Vecomp Verona is a football team born in 1921 in the east verona district called Borgo Venezia. The official name of the team is Unione Sportiva Virtus Borgo Venezia.
The Virtus is the 3rd team of Verona (after Hellas Verona and Chievo Verona) playing since 7 years in 5th division (the top league reached in his history). This season Virtus arrived 4th of his group and won the play off….and so next season Virtus will play for the first time of its life in 4th division !!!!
The team is capitaned since 32 years by Luigi “Gigi” Fresco (both trainer and president of the team since 32 years). Virtus is a big family, “Friendship, solidarity, respect” its values. Virtus has the first team in 5th division (next season in 4th), a second team in 7th division and a really big and important youth section with a lot of young teams.
The slogan of the team is “Hasta la victoria siempre”.
Our group VIRTUS FANS born in 2006, isà the first official ultras group of Virtus Vecomp Verona.Our group follow the first team in every match everywhere the team plays. The group is strictly antiracist, antifascist and antisexist.
The friendship, the union, the love for the Virtus, the passion for the real popular football, tha antiracism, the antifascism and the antisexism are the basic principles of our group. In a town like Verona really known to be racist and fascist, the Virtus Fans are really active in the antiracist local scene.
Virtus Fans is formed not only by people from Verona but also coming from other towns…we love to call our group “international brigade”.
We have contacts and friendship with a lot of antiracist ultras group in Italy, Europe and in the world. Every antiracist people is welcome in our little but resistant terraces called Curva Nord.
We prefere to be called Virtussini (people from Virtus) than veronesi (people from Verona).
- Do you have problems with discrimination at your club? Which?
Our club is really involved in the antiracist way. In all the Virtus teams there are a lot of immigrants players and many times the team help the immigrant families having economical problems.
Virtus has always looked outside their own fence. A lot of refugees during the war in the former Yugoslavia were welcomed in Verona by the team, members of the team had been in Albania with the Red Cross to help the refugees of Kosovo. Some years ago the team helped the Rom and Sinti (gipsy) people who were banned from their area in Verona and our President gave a Virtus area for them. Volunteers of Virtus collaborate with the Cestim (a local antiracist association) for teaching the Italian language to foreigners in elementary and middle schools in the city. The team is also in contact with some association in Cuba and every year Virtus send sporting clothings to some cuba sport associations….Virtus is a little team but an internationalist wing.
The only attacks we receive are fascist and racist attacks by the fascists of our town and everytime Virtus play vs teams following by right wing supporters
- What problem within the stadium did the project seek to challenge? Was this a problem specific to football or a wider problem in society?
Our town is really known for the racist and fascist acts happened here…Verona is a really right wing town, the first football team Hellas is known to have one of the most racist and fascist following supporters. For us it’s really important to say we have nothing to do with this side of the town, and so for us is really important to spread out our messages also on the terraces…from the terraces to the street against every discrimination.
- What actions did the fans take to address the problem? Is this mainly symbolic (eg displaying of banners/posters/crowd choreographies) or are there additional elements to your action?
In Verona it’s not easy life for antifa and antira people but we do our best to spread out our antiracist messages by banners, flyers, stickers…we are the only one ultras group of our town supporting the Mondiali Antirazzisti meeting (running in Castelfranco Emilia every year). And every year during the Mondiali Antirazzisti our President Gigi Fresco together with some players come to visit us there, because our team really support us in our antiracist actions !!!!!
More we gave a lot of attention to all the social events happening everywhere and we bring the messages in our terraces (with banners) during the matches…
We publish also a fanzine/flyer called Rossoblu distributed in every homematch….in the zine we write both about our terraces and social events….
- Do you see a change in behaviour in others because of your actions?
In the last years the local mass media must talk about us, the “other side” of Verona and this is a great goal for us because until some years ago in this town was really not possible to think to an antiracist and antifascist football terraces…and since 7 years it exist and resist….So we can say thanx to Virtus Fans a new wind is blowing now in town…
- What do you do against homophobia?
We do banners and flyers to say no to the homophobia. We reply by banners exposed during the matches to homophobic actions happening in Verona and in the world…Love Virtus, hate homophobia !!!!!