Soccer Violence: Is Hooliganism Easy to Tackle? NO!
Is it Possible? YES!
In every society, “The beautiful game” acts as a liaison between cultures. Soccer, also called football, is the fastest growing and most popular sport across the world. It is impressive the way that a single sport can attract passionate fans no matter their race and culture. In fact, some people may even say that soccer starts to be a religion, a way to express masculinity, a way to express loyalty for their nation, a way to of building international relationships and finding common interests between nations and individuals that seem to have nothing in common. However, several decades ago, the “jogo bonito” started to be spoiled by some mass crowds. For some are considered the beasts whose their main goal is to have lawless fun, by fighting spectators, throwing objects and vandalizing property, and for others they are considered the real fans and what the soccer players want in their stadium. These people are well known as hooligans. The behavior of the football hooligans seems to be aimed at gaining prestige. The ability to fight, collect solidarity and loyalty, plus the aggressive defense of culturally defined areas, are all elements of a satisfying hooligan’s identity. For instance, in the movie Up and Down director Jan Hřebejk tells us the story of different characters that are drawn from a socialist society’s lower depths as well as its middle class. It targets racism and social injustice while developing characters we gradually come to sympathize with. One of the storylines is related to soccer hooliganism and this is the main topic of the essay. A BBC documentary Hooligans Foreign Fields in which two hooligans from different soccer teams are interviewed inside and outside the stadium attempts to show why those people behave in an uncivilized manner before, during and after a match, and what hooligans are trying to obtain from those protests. Soccer as any other sport has real fans, people who express their loyalty, their devotion, their belief and their passion. Even though the hooligans are upon that list, a real fan is not one whose actions are violent, harmful and detriment for the spectators. As a result, FIFA, the international governing body of football association, must take some measures in order to give the world a safer way to enjoy and experience the sport and to avoid excesses of hooliganism in the future. Before getting into the measures to be taken in order to avoid the destruction of the beautiful game, it is important to understand why hooligans act in such a way that spoils their surroundings. We might ask to ourselves why all these violent events take place at first, or how a human being can behave in such manner that hurting others and deteriorating that beautiful game is enjoyable. The reason is simple; hooliganism or comparable behavior is also not restricted to a certain city, region, or country. Hooligans often resemble other young men who have problems at school and at home, particularly in connection to authority figure relationships while social control for the greater part is absent. Undoubtedly young lower class men with a greater inclination to violence are attracted to the possibilities offered by being part of a side and attending a risky match. Young men that might not understand what territoriality means can still without fighting a cause. In other words, soccer hooliganism is not caused by the sport itself, it is caused by political and social problems like differences in class, a fight for an identity, and by a dispute and defense of territory. Territoriality is the first cause of soccer hooliganism; football grounds as well as grandstands behind each goal are territories of home fans. As Football Refugees says: “Territory is a cause because soccer involves intense emotional excitement, the idea of an enemy and a defense of territory” (p.1). It has been suggested that man is a territorial animal, but the...
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