restricted access Djurgårdens Fina Grabbar: Local Identities and the Cross-national Transfer of Spectator-related Football Violence

Once known as the “English Disease,” hooliganism (or spectator-related football violence) is now a routine feature in most European football leagues. In Sweden, the number of serious violent offences in conjunction with football matches has steadily continued to mount over the last four decades. Presently, one of the worst culprits is Djurgårdens Fina Grabbar – DFG (Djurgården’s Fine Lads), the so-called “firm” (or hooligan group) associated with Djurgårdens Idrottsförening – DIF (Djurgården’s Athletic Association). DIF’s supporters have long looked to Britain for inspiration; and this tendency is very marked in DFG. Yet, in the past few years, a new Italian-inspired variety of hooliganism has likewise become more and more detectable in DFG’s actions. This, in turn, has led to a new hybrid, that is neither wholly Italian nor British in character – though it has unquestionably created a more menacing version of Swedish hooliganism. This article accounts for this change in DFG while simultaneously exploring questions relating to the continued sanctity of local identities in the context of an increasingly globalized football culture. It additionally asks whether Swedish hooliganism should be understood as a response to the challenges facing traditional masculine identities in post-industrial societies like Sweden that also strongly emphasize gender equality.