11 2 mins 10 yrs

I’m sure you will have read about the violence that has resulted in more than 70 people being killed in a Port Said stadium in the worst outbreak of football violence in Egyptian history. Time will provide us with the precise causes behind this atrocious violence but the fact is that one set of fans engaged with another set of fans with the intent of killing them. How barbaric is that?

This savagery is not restricted to Egypt by any means and here in the UK one often sees pure hatred in the eyes of one group of fans for those who support a rival team. All kinds of atrocious chants are made, racist and homophobic jeering is all too frequent, and intolerance is the name of the game.

Why is FOOTBALL so afflicted with this almost universal hatred? I have attended many other sporting events in many places around the world but Football stands out as the crucible of the damned on the terraces. Is there a problem with the fans? It is called the game of the working class but are a section of them also the violent class? Is there an issue with the standard of behaviour of the players on the field? There can be nothing sadder than a fan dying for his team but this has happened too often, in too many places, to see this as a one-off.

Football has become a bloated money making machine. Sportsmanship seems almost the exception with cheating on the pitch a constant feature. What can be done about this sport which seems to bring out the very worst in human behaviour?

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  1. 70 dead Egyptian soccer fans? It wasn’t the rivalry between teams. It was the “ideological factor” that caused the mayhem.

    The Middle-Eastern denizens thrive on that type of social intercourse.

    Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

  2. Many of the football rivalries are fuelled by politics and/or religion. I have no doubt that politics lies behind this too.

  3. Soccer is a mind-numbing boring sport with virtually no scoring. The last time someone scored a goal was when David Lloyd George was Prime Minister. No wonder people get all upset. They keep showing up and nothing ever happens.

    Cheers, back from a quick trip to London. Got back home at midnight, and back to the wars now.

  4. Phantom

    Americans have a very short attention span. If the scoreboard doesn’t change every 2 minutes they lose interest. That’s why they can’t appreciate the subtle balletic skills of proper English invented football 😉

  5. Colm –

    Every 2 minutes? They have netball for men over there with scoring every few seconds. Nope, don’t bother. There is nothing – nothing at all in this world – as dull as that.

  6. I’d say that it’s human nature that brings out the worst in human nature, not football.
    Although not a fan of the sport myself, I think the beauty of football lies in the fact that our natural physical talents (as a species) are usually expressed with our hands rather than with our feet. It’s with our hands that we make things and carry out engineering, design, etc. Our feet are usually reserved for far more mundane tasks, and so we have to work and train especially hard to use our feet to manipulate a ball.

    Football is a special game, because (unlike many other sports, where you need special equipment: skis, a bat, a racket) any group of kids can get together and make friends by having a kick-around, using nothing more than their feet and a ball. It doesn’t matter if none of them are Pele or Best, they can still have fun…but when someone does have real talent, they elevate football into an artform. And although scoring goals is the object of the game, it’s not just the goal-scoring which makes a great match; it’s the passing, the teamplay, the interaction. -To say nothing of the comradeship and fun that the spectators experience, both at the stadium and in the pubs afterwards. So, I think football also brings out the best in human nature.

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