Football Hooliganism : What is it and Background


What is football hooliganism you ask? What is football hooliganism's background? If you thought sports fans in America were unruly when it came to supporting their team, you really have not seen anything yet. To get a glimpse into what it really looks like to be a truly dedicated fan, one whom will do almost anything for there team, you would have to go over to Europe and take a look at the fans of the various Football club fans. These fans don't just get a little rowdy to show their commitment to their team, they show their team spirit by causing riots. Well, in this article we will break down Football "Hooliganism" as they have coined it.

What Exactly is Football Hooliganism?

Well it is exactly what the title says it is actually. Football Hooliganism is the act of unruly behavior by sports clubs fans over their Football club of choice. This is typical to appear to more so at Football games/events, however it can just as easily happen outside of a game/event if two rival team club's fans run into each other. Looking deeper into, we see there are two distinctive types of Football Hooliganism.

This being the unintentional and deliberate types. Unintentional Football Hooliganism is something that you'll probably commonly see at the games. This is when club fans get excited during the game, and begin to act unruly and start to want to cause trouble. The actions they perform, or situation they cause, is completely unplanned and is spur of the moment. However, deliberate Football Hooliganism is not so spur of the moment. Deliberate Football Hooliganism is when you have Football club fans who personally go out of their way to insure some type of action will happen between them and rival club fans. This can happen at a game, on a street corner, or anywhere else the group feels is a suitable place.


When Did It Begin?

The term first gained use in the 1960s, however it is common belief the acts date back further than that. Violent acts occurring at Football games can be traced back to the 19th century. With it "officially" starting in the 1960s, this act really didn't hit its stride until the 1970s and 1980s. These two decades, respectively, had countless wide-spread acts of violence occur during Football matches on consistent basis.

How Is It Now?

Well, ever since the 1990s Football Hooliganism at games, inside stadium grounds, has really calmed down. In addition, there has been a rise in Football game attendance as a correlation with the decrease in violent acts occurring at the games. However, just because it is less likely to happen at games does not mean that they are not still occurring on a regular basis. The Football Hooligans of today have had to become more intelligent with how they show their rowdy spirit for their team, solely basing Football Hooliganism on the deliberate type and removing the unintentional type.

In actuality, this shift from the games has made acts of Football Hooliganism possibly more violent. They now tend to occur in places where it is hard for police officials to make proper arrest, or even control the situation. It is also more likely to occur around UK fans who travel to games, and in the UK. Fans of UK Football clubs are more likely to get into aggressive Football related acts when they travel, weather they are the aggressor or the victim.


How Do you Know Who Is a Hooligan?

Well the typical answer would be just point out a youth that can be perceived as menacing, and there you go. While that might be the case in some instances, because it is quite common for Football clubs to have young fans who are just looking to get into trouble anyway they can and see this as a perfect option. However, it is not accurate to blame a certain age range or group of people because of how these events can occur.

Your typical Football Hooligan of today, that practices the spontaneous type of hooliganism, is commonly under the influence. This being of things like alcohol, drug substances, and phobias(commonly xenophobia). While all these are high percentage causes, there is one more so common no matter the person or type of Football Hooliganism one may partake in. This being the sometimes aggressive police tactics. Policing tactics, if done in an improper manner, can easily spark violent behavior in any potential Football Hooligan.

What Are the Chances of Football Hooliganism Ending?

Well the answer to that, is the same as a lot of types of violence we see in the world. When will gang activity stop? When will there be no more spousal abuse? When will there no longer be a need to go war? The answer to that question is the same simple one that can answer the aforementioned ones as well. That being, nobody really can tell. Violence is apart of our global culture, and has no signs of leaving until we change ourselves.

Check out the video below for a live show of football hooliganism.

August 12, 2011 3:22 PM | Soccer

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