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10 Insane derbies from outside Europe's top leagues

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We've all heard of El Clasico, the Milan derby, the North West Derby and all sorts of grudge games, but here we look at 10 intense and passionate derbies from around the world outside of the popular leagues but are still full of everything you want from a derby. 

Africa

الدربي البيضاوي - Casablanca Derby - Wydad v Raja - Morocco

The class divide in Morocco's capital is played out when the two sides meet at the Stade Mohamed V, which both clubs share.

Wydad supporters come from the middle class, whilst Raja represent the working class.

Violence is common, with the match dominating discussion throughout the country in the weeks leading up to the fixture.

It is most notable for impressive choreography and tifo displays that are becoming increasingly popular throughout North Africa. The displays on view in Casablanca are an unbelievable display of colour, precision, and passion, and are arguably the best in the world. 

Dar Es Salaam Derby - Simba v Young Africans - Tanzania

East Africa's biggest derby made international headlines in 2017 when two fans placed a bet saying the winner would get to spend a night with the loser's wife. 

Simba won the game 2-1 but the Young Africans supporter was able to come to a monetary compromise. Other fans have not been as lucky.

The chief of a Samba supporters group has also banned his wife from wearing yellow - the colour of Young Africans. 

Asia

شهرآورد تهران - Tehran Derby - Esteghal v Perspolis - Iran

Carlos Queiroz has managed in the El Clasico - but he believes this game is up there with it. The middle-class Esteghal meet the working class Perspolis in the Azadi Stadium, with 50,000 supporters of each club.

Both teams have tens of millions of fans around Iran and there's no escaping this clash when it's derby day. The tension builds around the country in the days leading up to the fixture and doesn't dissipate for a while after. 

You could have the worst season but it will be considered a success if you taste victory in this fixture. The game is always marked by mass brawls, which spill out into the city on occasion, accusations of match-fixing and protests. The stadium is packed a full seven hours before the game, as shown below.

Europe

Ντέρμπι των αιωνίων αντιπάλων - Derby of the Eternal Enemies - Olympiakos v Panathinaikos - Greece

Panathinaikos are based in Athens and enjoy support from the middle classes, Olympiakos are predominately working class and based in the port of Piraeus. This game is noted for its pyrotechnics and it is not rare for games to be abandoned.

The animosity between the two is so much that former Panathinaikos goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis - a club legend - was met with deafening boos as he lifted the 2004 Greek title, why? He'd agreed to a transfer with their arch-rivals. 

Whenever the away side is in possession, they are met with massive whistles and jeers from the opposition.

Święta Wojna - Holy War - Wisla Krakow v Cracovia - Poland

You know a derby is going to be intense when it is referred to as Holy War.

Wisla was formerly owned by the Communist police - whilst Cracovia has Jewish roots. Thousands watched this derby even in WWII when it was supposed to be officially banned by Nazi occupiers. Referees have been attacked in this fixture.

Hooligans in Poland have signed an agreement that they will not use weapons in brawls. Only two clubs have not signed - you guessed it - Wisla and Cracovia.

It is not uncommon to be stopped by gangs in the city and asked who you support - the best bet is to say you don't watch football or both - people have been savagely beaten for saying the wrong answer.

Београдски дерби - Beograd derby - Red Star v Partizan - Serbia

Derbies in the Balkans are intense, a lot of them exhibiting historical hangover from the Yugoslav Wars and the Belgrade derby is arguably the fiercest. 

The two sides are the biggest in Serbia, so this game is often a title six-pointer.

When the two sides met in December, rival Partizan factions brawled which including beatings, being stripped naked and burnt with fireworks. This was just between fans of the same club. 

The sides also compete in basketball and both clubs have stopped selling tickets for derby matches due to the violence.

Kıtalararası Derbi - Intercontinental Derby - Fenerbahce v Galatasaray - Turkey

Fenerbahce are located on the Asian side of the Bosphorus and Galatasaray on the European edge. Gala was formed by students of the prestigious Galatasaray High School and were traditionally the club of the Turkish elite.

Fenerbahce were mainly supported by the working class.

A 1934 friendly match was abandoned after hard fouls started mass brawls on the pitch and in the stands, and since the clubs are at one another's throats.

A riot could happen anywhere in Turkey on derby day and the rivalries most iconic moments occurred in 1996 when Graeme Souness celebrated winning the Turkish Cup with Gala at the Sukru Saraoglu Stadium, home of Fener by planting a Gala flag on the centre circle.

This sparked massive unrest and Souness's life was under threat as scenes in Istanbul got ugly. Two seasons later, a Fener fan, Rambo had his revenge. The night before Gala's opening league match against SIvasspor, he broke into the Ali Sami Yen with a kebab knife and slept in the advertising hoardings, at the opening whistle he ran onto the pitch and placed it in the centre-circle whilst threatening Gala's players.

He is a local celebrity in Kadikoy, the Fener district and one of the main ultras group pay for his season ticket.

Corner takers are pelted with projectiles and in a country famed for fanatical football following, it is second to none in intensity. 

South America

Superclásico - Super Derby - Boca Juniors v River Plate - Argentina

You've heard of El Clasico, but here's SuperClasico. The Observer famously put this match top of the 50 sporting events you must see before you die. More than 70% of Argentine fans support one of the two clubs.

Both clubs were founded in Buenos Aires's working class docking district, but River Plate moved into Nunez, one of the most affluent neighbourhoods.

The match is full of banners, tifo displays, loud signing and an endless barrage of fireworks. 

El Clásico Peruano - The Peruvian Derby - Universitario de Deportes v Allianza Lima - Peru

The two most successful and popular clubs in a football-mad country - Universitario and Alianza come together in the intense El Clasico Peruano.

In 1928, the rivalry began as the newly formed Universitario went ahead against an Alianza side who were dominating Peruvian football, Alianza wasn't best pleased, having five players sent off before the game was abandoned. Their fans attempted to storm their rivals, who responded by chucking canes. Matches since have carried on where that one left off. 

The match is often a title decider and so intense that Universitario's stadium Estadio Monumental was effectively banned from hosting the game after opening in 2000 due to the police's concerns over safety and safety. The ground only hosted one derby in the first seven years when Alianza fans rioted causing damage to the stadium and two reported stabbings.

Since the end of the 2007 season, the ground has begun to host the game again, although, in 2011, an Alianza fan was thrown off the top of the stadium and killed after Universitario fans broke into an executive box.

The game is always packed to the rafters, with full colour and deafening noise. Fans need to be reminded to be calm before the game with reminders not to bring weapons and private security often helping the local police.

After Universitario's 3-0 victory in 2017, a Los Cremas supporter proposed to his other half such was the elation at the resounding victory. She said yes, by the way.

Clásico del fútbol uruguayo - The Derby of Uruguyan Football - Nacional v Penarol - Uruguay 

Uruguay has produced a ridiculously high number of world-class stars for its' tiny population. The two Montevideo clubs have won all but 20 of the league championships since it began in 1900.

A November 2016 clash was cancelled after fans dropped a 13kg barrel from the stadium roof down at police officers. 

Played in the stadium that hosted the first World Cup final (with 50/50 allocation), the derby features Nacional, founded by locals and Penarol, founded by immigrant communities and British railway workers. 

Fans of both sides have debates raging over certain incidents over decades. 

In 1933, Penarol denied Nacional a league win, Nacional fans claim the goal that did that trick went out of play but hit a psyhio bag, the referee presumed the ball hit the post and let the goal stand.

In 1949, Nacional players failed to appear after half-time, some say it was in protest, other say it was out of fear.

The two sides were both continental powerhouses and enjoy the support of 80% of the country, games are often marred by considerable violence that includes gun violence. 

Image Credit - Creative Commons. 




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