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Torcida Sandžak


Torcida Sandžak (ранее Blue Hunters (1984), Fighters (1987), Pirates, Eagles, Blue Girls (1988), Blue Warriors (1989)





Torcida Sandžak (wiki, en), Ultras-Tifo

Эта страница содержит CCL информацию из Википедии (авторы).

Torcida Sandžak is a football supporters group, founded in 1989, that follows FK Novi Pazar.

The city of Novi Pazar was always considered as the city of boxing, and it was known around the former Yugoslavia for this sport only, until the 1980s. In the 1980s, FK Novi Pazar became a regular team in the Yugoslav Second League, and everything changed. Novi Pazar City Stadium became a tough ground for the opposition. It is one of the last few stadiums on the territory of the former Yugoslavia where excellent attendance is still present. Even though second division has been the biggest success in the history of FK Novi Pazar, its stadium has been in the top five in the country for attendance since the breakup of Yugoslavia. Amazing atmosphere and organized support has been present since the 1980s. In those days, the news reporters described these home matches as "the unheard of" for such a small city, and compared the supporters to the famous "Torcida Split", the oldest organized group of supporters in Europe. The greatest away visit of FK Novi Pazar's supporters in the 1980s was in Belgrade, away to OFK Belgrade, when 8.000 supporters showed up. FK Novi Pazar's support in those days were the "Pazarci", or the supporters of Novi Pazar. Although they were well organized, they cannot be called real supporters. First organized group of supporters in Novi Pazar started in 1984, under the name "Blue Hunters". FK Novi Pazar was always "at the front door" of the Yugoslav First League and these supporters traveled with the club around the country. While organized groups were being formed all over the country in the 1980s, a few more groups were formed in Novi Pazar. "Fighters" in 1987, "Pirates", "Eagles", and "Blue Girls" in 1988, and "Blue Warriors" in 1989. As nationalism started growing in the country before the breakup and the wars, it came to Novi Pazar, the capital of the region of Sandžak, as well. The name "Sandžak" represents a region in Serbia and Montenegro populated by Bosniaks, and it derives its name from the Sanjak of Novi Pazar, a former Ottoman administrative district that existed until the Balkan Wars of 1912. During Communism, this name was made illegal and everything was done for it to be forgotten. As Communism fell, and nationalism grew, the supporters decided to all come together and form one group under the name "Torcida Sandžak". The name "Torcida" was taken from well known supporter groups in Brazil, Croatia, and elsewhere in Europe, and the name "Sandžak" was taken to represent the city and the region, and to represent something unique only for that Torcida. From that day forward, Torcida Sandžak has been present at home and away matches of FK Novi Pazar and was considered as the protector of Novi Pazar during the wars. Torcida Sandžak's motto is "Na braniku grada - nekada i sada!", which means "Defending the city - then and now!"

Early 1990sEdit

As the breakup of Yugoslavia started in 1991, the beginning of an end for the quality of the domestic football leagues started as well. A lot of derbies were lost, and a lot of rivals were never to meet again. It was a time for new groups to step up and for new rivalries to be made. Some smaller supporter groups were suddenly starting to make the headlines. One of those was Torcida Sandžak. The biggest recognition came in October 1993, when FK Novi Pazar hosted a club from Pristina. During that year, Bosnia, which is considered a motherland to all Bosniaks, including the ones in Novi Pazar, was deep into the war. One of the war criminals in Bosnia was the president of FK Pristina, the club visiting FK Novi Pazar that day. That man was Željko Ražnatović, better known as Arkan.[1] This alone awoke many feelings for this match. Together with Arkan came a large group of nationalists from all over the country, wanting to humiliate the Bosniak population in the city and to prove that Arkan and his army were unstoppable.[2] With the help of the local police, backed by Slobodan Milošević's regime, they entered the stadium and started attacking the neutral supporters before the match started. Every attack was allowed by the police, who did nothing to protect the people. The whole city was on its feet, and what they feared most had already started. As Torcida Sandžak started entering the stadium, things have gone from attacks to just verbal attacks. Throughout the match each side sang their nationalist songs, praising war criminals, and singing about mass genocide each side wanted to commit upon the other. In the meantime FK Novi Pazar had scored. The whole stadium erupted. It seemed as justice was coming and that Arkan's team would go home defeated, until the second half when they leveled. As they leveled Arkan came out of the VIP section of the stadium, wearing a jacket on a sunny day, covering up his bulletproof vest. As he tried to celebrate the goal with his bodyguards, objects started flying from the terraces. Tension was high. Shortly after the goal, an object hit FK Pristina's goalkeeper in the head. The match was stopped and the chaos had started. The police started using tear gas against Torcida Sandžak and the home crowd, which just drove them outside of the stadium where the real battlefield was forming. Ten of Arkan's bulletproof military Jeeps were destroyed by Torcida Sandžak as they tried to make their way out. Not one vehicle was able to leave the city, and once they did, after the police, which used machine guns and tear gas, cleared the way, they were not the same vehicles that had entered the city that day. Those same people that came to humiliate were the ones humiliated. They needed the help of the Yugoslav Army to leave the city, and never came back. The next day, images from inside and outside of the ground were all over the television and the newspapers.

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"Arkan got away with it because of the help of the local police. This was his first and only loss" - newspapers Parliament

"A caravan to Pristina looked as if it had just gotten out of a war. Ten destroyed vehicles, and twice as many injured is the result of this football match" - newspapers Sport

After a few more incidents with Milošević's police, the name Torcida Sandžak was banned. Flags were banned and burned, and many supporters were arrested and then beaten by the police. Some were given sentences for hooligan related crimes, or for conspiring against the country, and some were just brutally beaten and let go. Many had brain damage from the brutal beatings. The result was as brutal as the beatings. Torcida Sandžak was disappearing.

Late 1990sEdit

Although the name was banned, the supporters never stopped coming to the stadium. They had to use different songs and different banners, but that feeling was still present. After a few tries to recruit under a different name, in 1998 a group was formed under the name of "Ultra Azzurro". The people creating the group were the same people who, nine years earlier, created Torcida Sandžak. The people who made up the group were mostly the same people who made up Torcida Sandžak. Nothing had changed. As the last war in Yugoslavia was fought in 1999, and as Slobodan Milošević's regime fell, Torcida Sandžak decided it was time to bring back its name. Ten years after officially being formed, Torcida Sandžak brought its old name back. Most of the supporters welcomed the old name with open arms, while some newer members decided to stay with "Ultra Azzurro". The question on everyone's mind was a possible problem of having two separate groups, and if they can co-exist.

21st Century and the PresentEdit

Together with Ultra Azzurro, Torcida Sandžak never allowed anyone to "feel at home" when they came to Novi Pazar. Nobody was welcome uninvited. The city became known as the "Forbidden City". Torcida Sandžak went all over the country with FK Novi Pazar, visiting major cities such as Belgrade, Niš, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and the rest. Many incidents occurred fighting for territory against supporters and locals from the neighboring cities of Raška and Ivanjica. FK Novi Pazar was disqualified from the second division in 2002, after the supporters from Ivanjica came to Novi Pazar and Torcida Sandžak attacked them and even threw some supporters from the terraces onto the streets to show them that nobody comes uninvited. In 2003, after easily winning the third division, FK Novi Pazar was back again. It is very hard to say how many members of Torcida Sandžak there are, but on September 2003, there were 1.436 of those who paid their membership. But that number does not draw the real picture, because there are many more who go to the matches, sing the songs, and celebrate goals with Torcida Sandžak. It is interesting that the supporters of FK Novi Pazar, Torcida Sandžak, are not only located in the city of Novi Pazar. Torcida Sandžak and FK Novi Pazar have support all over Sandžak, and all over the world. There are Torcida Sandžak strongholds in the cities of Tutin, Sjenica, and in Rozaje. They have been there with the rest of Torcida Sandžak home and away, during good and bad times. In March 2004, Torcida Sandžak fought its second most important battle, when FK Novi Pazar hosted FK Rad. FK Rad's supporters came in hundreds and as they entered the west part of the stadium they started attacking that, partially quiet, part of the stadium. Members of Torcida Sandžak, located on the east side of the stadium, jumped over the fence, ran over the field to the west side, and joined the fight. As the police joined to try to stop the fight, FK Rad's supporters were quickly thrown out of the stadium, and some minor attacks continued through the city. The fight left some twenty people injured, ten of whom required hospital help. Shortly after yet another successful campaign of protecting the city, things were going to turn on Torcida Sandžak and the football in Novi Pazar in general. After five years of co-existence of the two groups of supporters, some people, for their own interests, decided to try to get rid of both groups, and form a new one. In 2004, "Ekstremi" were formed. They did not want anything to do with either Torcida Sandžak or Ultra Azzurro, and problems started when most members of both Torcida Sandžak and of Ultra Azzurro refused to leave their groups. This completely separated the groups and left the three sides full of hatred for one another. In May 2005, FK Rad hosted FK Novi Pazar : there were verbal incidents between Rad, «whose fans wore T-shirts with image of Radovan Karadžić» and Torcida Sandžak. «In response to Rad fans slogan "Orthodox Christianity or Death", Torcida fans kept shouting "Islam shall rule the world.". During the football match with Cukaricki held on 5 May fans of Novi Pazar club hoisted that banner, and consequently their club was punished for that and other incidents by a 200, 000 dinar fine. However disciplinary bodies of the Football Association failed to fine fans of Rad for hoisting a banner "Orthodox religion or death".»[3]

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In a matter of two years, the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro punished FK Novi Pazar and its supporters with some twenty-five home matches to be played away, as a punishment for incidents at home. That was the biggest punishment any club in the history of football in the country had received. Things will not be the same anymore. The years flew by, and nothing significant has happened in Novi Pazar as far as football is concerned. In the current 2007-2008 season, the supporters are doing everything possible to make a return, just as they did as Slobodan Milošević's regime fell almost a decade ago. There is a new group of supporters called the "Blue White Boys", which was formed as Ultra Azzurro and Ekstremi vanished. Together with them, Torcida Sandžak is on the east side of the stadium, trying to make a comeback.


  1. ^ Sandzak : Arkan in Novi Pazar
  2. ^ Arkan's jeeps on Novi Pazar field
  3. ^ Sandzak : Still a vulnerable region (OSCE Report May 2005)

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