The History of Ultras Inferno 96
Between 1995 and 1997, the Sclessin Stadium is renovated in order to be ready for the games of Euro 2000. The mythical ends “Terril” is destroyed and replaced by a brand new stand, made of three different terraces. The Hell Side 1981, a hooligan group known by the club, was originally installed in the ends “Terril”. Following the re-building of the stadium, the game’s atmosphere changes dramatically. Two youngsters of the Hell Side 1981, who felt very concerned by this change, take the decision to create a “Ultras” group, in order to solidify a strong presence the new stand. With a few other friends they settle in at the second terrace of Stand 3 and create the Ultras Inferno 96, basically a section of Hell Side 81, Latino version.
The introduction in the stadium of flags, banners and other means of animation is negotiated for a long time with the police and a first “official” tifo is organized during a game against Lokeren on the 17th of August 1996 (which is the official date of anniversary of the group). The Ultras Inferno become the first Ultra group in Belgium. Tifos become more and more regular during the following years, and the Ultras Inferno become an independent group that is not a “section” of Hell Side anymore.
Shortly before the start of season 2001-2002, the group decides to go up one terrace and settles in block H3. The objective is to spread the Ultra atmosphere throughout the stadium, but it soon appears to be a failure. In 2002, in order to re-establish a strong stadium presence for the group, a few members decide to open a place where the members can gather, and to give it an official structure. This is how La Cosa SL, a non-profit association, is created. The structure and the new premises is a place where the members can gather, prepare the tifos, organise parties, meetings, and more. A new impulse is given to the group.
The Ultras also decide to go down one terrace in the stadium and settle in block E3 again, which is the middle terrace of the stand. Starting season 2002-2003, the Hell Side 81 and the Ultras Inferno 96 are again side by side in the stadium.
The group gets bigger in the following years and new members are welcomed. Two regional sections are also created “UI96 Hainaut Section” in 2002 and “UI96 Brussels-Brabant Section” in 2004. In 2004, the group starts managing the official ticketing campaigns and organizes its own travels for away games.
The Ultras also start in 2002 to be more and more involved in the anti-fascist / anti-racist movement, and more generally in the fight against all inequalities and discriminations. With this objective, a first food collection is organized in 2002 for the Restos du Coeur. The collection is now organized every year before winter. In 2007 the group becomes part of the “ALERTA” antifascist network and organises its yearly tournament in Liège in 2009.
The UI96 have today around 700 paying members, 150 of them being the core of the group.