After what it considered to be an inappropriate tifo display (embedded below), the San Jose Earthquakes front office revoked the 1906 Ultras supporters’ group’s tifo privileges indefinitely.
In addition, the sanctions imposed on April 20, after an incident in Portland, Ore., that involved a broken car windshield allegedly caused by Ultras members, have been reinforced:
• The 1906 Ultras will be placed on indefinite probation.
• The 1906 Ultras’ travel privileges will be indefinitely suspended until further notice.
• The 1906 Ultras will not be allowed to utilize controlled smoke at any match.
• Due to the probation, language will be strictly monitored.
Here is the final straw that led to the tifo ban, before the Earthquakes took on the Portland Timbers on July 27:
“Your mirror deceives you – your “$trength” is paid for” pic.twitter.com/4fn7xtmJrT
— 1906 Ultras (@1906Ultras) July 29, 2013
UPDATE: It appears that wasn’t the only possibly offensive banner that night. Here is another one, which is a bit more indelicate:
— Robert Jonas (@robertjonas) August 3, 2013
The Ultras have a history of anti-Timbers tifo. Remember this one from last year?:
— 1906 Ultras (@1906Ultras) July 26, 2013
In conjunction with the front office’s statement, the 1906 Ultras released one of their own on Friday, responding primarily to sanctions handed down after the incident in Portland. The organization is convinced that “we are being collectively punished because no one was criminally charged for the Portland incident.”
In the statement, the Ultras copied an email from MLS executive vice president Nelson Rodriguez. Rodriguez writes that the Angel City Brigade, the Los Angeles Galaxy group involved in several arrests at a match away to the Earthquakes, was not collectively punished for that incident because arrests were made, unlike in Portland.
The Ultras found that response to be unsatisfactory, and based on the end of their statement, more trouble could be ahead:
From this day forward we shall be protesting – and defying – the unfair and illegitimate probation until it is ended. Absent our consent, MLS and the Earthquakes cannot prevent Ultras members from traveling where they want, saying what they choose, and otherwise exercising the freedoms associated with being Americans.
This is a matter for the Portland police and district attorney’s office, who have so far declined to press charges. Continuing punishment against the Ultras – which the league imposed precisely because NO charges were filed – is an abomination which we do not and will not recognize any longer.