Slovan Bratislava, also known as Kings of Bratislava and Sky Blues, is the most successful Slovakian football club. Slovan also has the largest fan base in the country. The core of its active support scene, however, carries extreme right-wing ideologies that are tainting the image of the club.
ČsŠK Bratislava was their initial name before they changed it to ŠK Slovan Bratislava.
The club was founded in 1919 shortly after the first World War and plays in the Slovak Super League. The Sky Blues were the regular winners of the inaugural Slovak League in the 1920s.
The team won several trophies in former Czechoslovakia before the two countries split. Even after the split, their success kept on growing and Slovan is now the country’s most successful club.
Slovan plays its home games at the Tehelne Pole stadium, which was recently built.
European Success: Defeating FC Barcelona in the Cup Winners Cup
In 1969, Slovan became the first team from a communist country to win a UEFA tournament. This year is considered to be the most successful year in Slovan Bratislava’s history. They managed to clinch the domestic cup and also shone in Europe. They beat Barcelona 3-2 and eventually lifted the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. On their way to the final, Slovan managed to dispatch FK Bor from Yugoslavia, AC Torino, FC Porto, and Dunfermline Athletic from Scotland.
Seven years later, they were an integral cog in helping Czechoslovakia win the European Championship. Panenka’s famous penalty may have settled the tie but they provided seven players that were in the team.
Slovan Bratislava Ultras
Slovan ultras are known for their far-right ideologies and hooliganism. The main ultras group are known as Sektor C or Ultras Slovan. Earlier on, the main ultras group was known as Belasa slachta (Sky-blue aristocracy). The main Slovan Ultras group now is known as Ultras Slovan Pressburg.
Due to their far right leaning, Slovan Bratislava Ultras have friendly relations with fellow far-right ultras from Austrian side, Austria Wien, and Polish side, Wisla Krakow.
Their biggest rivals are Spartak Trnava and DAC Dunajska Streda. In the city of Bratislava, their main rivals include Inter Bratislava and MFK Petrzalka. Against Inter, this is long and fierce rival that has been there for years.
The Slovan Bratislava Ultras are not your average lot. They are the toughest and most organised hooligans in Slovakia. Before any game, both the local and European fixtures, the ultras organise themselves in various ways.
They train throughout the year to prepare for an eventual face off against their opponents. Most of the ultras have trained in martial arts like MMA and Thai boxing.
Slovan hooligans have their own fight clubs. A great example is Chaos Bratislava. It is a boxing club and trains members – mostly the youth.
The Slovan ultras, just like most ultras across Europe, have their own set of rules and regulations. These are some of the most known ‘ethics’ that govern this movement. In battles with other hooligan firms, they say that they do not allow weapons. Moreover, you can never strike an opponent when they are on the ground.
The ultras also are the lifeline of the Slovan stadium. After moving to a new stadium in 2019, many thought the atmosphere would be different. However, that was not the case. They have proven that they can replicate the noise in their new home as well.
Supporters Across the Country
You may be wondering if the Slovan ultras belong purely to people from Bratislava and the surrounding area. Interestingly, Slovan Bratislava has divisions of fans all over Slovakia. Some travel for matches and attend various games across the country from different corners. As the most successful club in the country, Slovan also has the most supporters.
The hooligan scene may be declining across Europe as clubs are clamping down on ultras. However, the Slovan hooligans have continued to go strong.
After the ups and downs that Slovan Bratislava has faced both outside the pitch and inside, the club’s future looks bright. The new stadium has catapulted the team into a force to reckon with. They are ready to continue conquering the league while also trying to get back the European glory that has been elusive for a long time.
And until now, the club doesn’t seem to have an issue with neo-nazis on its terraces. Why that is the case, is a mystery to us.