About Tifo

All In vs Portscum 2012


What is a choreo?

Choreo is short for choreography and is a category of tifo that requires a coordinated effort of the group, usually with large elements such as overhead banners, curtains, or cards but also with displays of flags or two-poles.  These large displays are typically done pre-game and they are on a large scale and can be used to inspire the team and to bring the crowd to a fevered pitch.

How is it created?

This depends on the display and what it entails. For larger projects such as overhead banners, coordinated displays of flags, two-poles, or card displays, it usually involves quite a bit of design work up front and money to purchase materials. It is common to need a large group to do work such as painting large overhead banners, or constructing and placing cards in a pattern inside the stadium for card displays. Volunteers are crucial for these sorts of projects; whether with money for materials beyond that which is raised through memberships or club donations, or with time and talent to paint or sew.

We prefer to make our own tifo. There is more pride and prestige in creating something ourselves, versus just dumping a bunch of stuff off at FedEx Kinko’s or some other high-volume place. Many groups take the easy way out and use mass-produced stuff like this. Mass-produced stuff is easily recognized and doesn’t reflect well on the group, giving the impression that we take the easy way out or the quickest possible shortcut.

The better supporter groups around the world make most of their own stuff. It tends to be more original, edgier, and creative. The time spent creating something as a group fosters teamwork and a bigger sense of belonging to something important. It ties the supporter more to the group and to the club. Mass-produced stuff funded entirely by big corporations, such as the big jersey flags made by Adidas or Nike are created with ulterior motives for advancement of their product. We’d prefer to do our own thing for our own aim!

It is common to use overhead projectors (digital or old-school using a transparency sheet) to transfer complicated images onto fabric. The colors are filled in after the outlines of the image have been created.

Match day, what do I do?

Tifo execution on match day is subject to direction by the capos. Capos are the designated section leaders and usually toward the front leading chants, often with a bullhorn. It is their job to ensure that tifo display execution comes off properly and to communicate to the rank and file what to do. Usually it is discussed what is to occur (in private) days before a match on private sections of the message board and before the game.

Capos are necessary with larger groups because it is impossible to shout instructions to the entire group in a noisy stadium. Without them, a large group can disintegrate into multiple songs/chants going on at the same time, tifos being uncoordinated, etc. Just like the military, a chain of command is necessary for the group as a whole to execute something in a disciplined and unified way.

When a tifo is to be displayed, follow the capos’ direction. Don’t display flags, banners, or other items that are not part of the display while the choreo is going on. If you do not understand what is going on or what is to be done, ask! If you see people next to you who do not understand what is going on, educate them or make sure they get in contact with someone who does.

Upsidedown Banners

This is usually intentional, and not simply carelessness.  If it is their own banner, usually this is a protest of some sort. This could be bad treatment by the club, by the stadium security or police, or other issues.  If it is a rival banner, usually this is a way of mocking a rival group that has had their banner taken.

Guidelines for handling of choreo materials

Do respect the gear. A lot of time went into its creation, treat it and display it with the honor it deserves.

Do watch out for it when not in use so that it stays in good working order. Make sure tifo is stowed properly when not in use to avoid getting them wet, beer/food stains, etc. When flags and two-poles are not in use, they should be placed on the unused seats. Do not place them on the ground. Don’t let tifo be unaccounted for or stolen by infiltrators from rival groups. Also look out for individuals who might think it is okay to take home tifo that was given to them for displaying at the stadium.

At away matches or home matches where contact with rival groups is possible, make sure the gear is secure and take whatever precautions are necessary to avoid it being taken by force by rivals. At away matches where you are outnumbered, transport it with the maximum numbers possible. 

Overhead Banners

When being displayed, pass/unroll the material backwards to the row behind you. When the banner is up, do not wave it or hit on the underside. We want the overheads to lay flat. When taking it down at the capos’ direction, roll the material being passed back to you such that when it reaches the front row, it can easily be re-rolled back out again.

Table Rolls

Hold them as flat and as even as you can and do not wave them. Try to line them up with the rows that are above/below/beside you.

Card Displays

These will be laid out in a matrix so that when each card is held up, it forms a collective image, slogan, or colorful display. Do not move cards, leave them as is, otherwise the image will not be correct! Do make sure your neighbors follow this and hold the card up when prompted. Also try to line them up with the rows that are above/below/beside you.

Two Pole Banners

Make sure they are facing the right direction (the field) and that you hold it flat (no sagging), particularly if multiple two-pole banners are combined for a choreo. For these, follow the capos’ leads on when to hold up and take down. For individual ones, don’t hold them up during organized displays, but feel free to hold them up at any other time. Sometimes during a game a capo will ask everybody to put their two-poles up.


Read the section on Two Pole Banners plus be cautious of the people around you. We do not want people to get hit with the flag poles. If a flag starts to rip, stop waving it, stow it on the chairs, and let a capo know when possible. The big flags should only be waved by people who know what they are doing. Before the match and before the GA fills up is a good time to try it out. Before matches, we will need people to help with setup, and at the end of matches, help in tear-down and storage. Make sure gear ends up where it originated from, if it is something that is used match-to-match.