Arguably in football, we do not only pay good money for entertainment but we pay for success. No fan wants their team to struggle and when things go wrong it is often seen as tough to take. We want our team to succeed and rightly so, after all that’s why we support them.

When things go wrong on the pitch, it is easy for things to turn sour off the field and in a rapid state of decline, the unsavoury scenes that follow can ruin the day for most.

As a passionate supporter of my club, I am more than happy to partake in the excitement of the game in and amongst the fans, the buzzing atmosphere amongst the masses on a Saturday afternoon, even more so on a Tuesday night, is one I most certainly welcome to the game and there is nothing more exciting. Singing, applauding and breathing in the football at every opportunity is what we pay our money for.

It has recently become apparent again, however, that some fans feel the need to ruin what is our beautiful game with what currently is a minority seemingly out to cause nothing but trouble. Bad language, taunts and provocation in football is almost unavoidable, it’s no great secret that all these are highly common across a large percentage of fans. It is a concern though that hooliganism and these minority of fans could bring a huge amount of trouble into the game in the coming years.

Violence sadly has been part of the game for a while. I am fully aware of the problems fans faced years ago off the pitch, but with our technologically advancing, our moral integrity we adhere to on a similar course and our continuous development as humans as we learn from our past mistakes, you would think that hooliganism would be unheard of. This apparently that is not the case.

Young children are often exposed to crude chants, ‘overly passionate behaviour’ and in general, madness. Often grouped under the title of ‘banter’ or ‘part of the game’. But that isn’t necessarily bad in many peoples eyes, although potentially intimidating, such wild behaviour can tend to open children’s eyes from a young age, although it could clearly be seen as immoral to expose young children to this sort of environment.

I remember personally being around 7/8 years old and hearing an array of colourful language from the stands, certainly teaching me a few words earlier than I probably should have heard them.

What there is no place for in football though is vandalism, hooliganism and most of all, prejudice towards individuals or a group of people be it race, religion, gender or sexuality. Although the other topics discussed are still immoral yet seen as partially acceptable, there is no place for hooliganism in football, with vocal slurs at individuals included.

What purpose is there in football for fans to destroy others, physically and/or mentally?

Vandalism can lead to serious physical issues for individuals and clubs as a whole and can be detrimental to people. Racism and sheer disgust however can affect people in a much more sinister way and can break an individual apart. There is no place in football for either of these horrible things yet mindless hooligans are yet to realise the error of their ways which is a sad ordeal.

Vandalism is a evident issue in football and it was not more apparent than in the recent midweek League Cup game which was live on Sky. A derby between Bradford and Leeds was stopped for several minutes due to disruption and vandalism in the Leeds area of the ground. Reports indicated that around 80 seats were smashed up by the Leeds fans as well as a complete disregard for the welfare and well-being of the disabled fans was evident as fans in wheelchairs were wheeled onto the pitch to prevent them from being potentially hurt or endangered by their own fans.

This happened after the Bantams took a 2-1 lead 5 minutes after going a goal down to their bitter Yorkshire rivals Leeds in the 82nd minute courtesy of Matt Smith. This then prompted unsavoury scenes in the Leeds end where fans were obviously unhappy that their team had thrown their lead away so quickly. The game was paused until the trouble was dealt with where the Leeds fans attempted to invade the pitch to get to the Bradford fans and apparently ex-Coach David Hockaday who the Leeds fans were angry at for their poor recent results and performances.

This is not an attack at Leeds fans as many clubs have a minority of fans who are clearly more bothered about creating trouble off the pitch than concentrate on what is going on with the 11 men in which they are ‘supporting’.

Another example of needless violence and trouble is several years ago in a match which saw West Ham face Millwall in the cup prompting trouble for large periods of the game in the crowd with several pitch invasions interrupting play.

This weekend at a League 1 game as well, it is well publicised that a player was racially abused in a game in which a fan decided to use unacceptable behaviour by racially abusing the player as he left the field. This sort of behaviour is simply unacceptable and regardless of the fact the fan is likely to get a sizeable ban, it is incredibly saddening that such horrendous behaviour takes place in what is seen as a family game.

Football has its moments, confrontation may kick off and it is simply not acceptable when it does, hooliganism as a whole in my opinion, is most certainly not welcome in the beautiful game and should not be accepted in the world in general.

The truth is, in such a modernised society in which the game has developed so well and enjoyed such brilliant moments, should mindless hooligans ruin the sport we love?

I don’t think so.

I’m not saying that fans shouldn’t be allowed to speak their mind and voice their opinions but when they begin to cause trouble and use unacceptable behaviour, I see that as a danger to a great sport.

You however are entitled to your own opinion.

 


About Author

I'm a Bradford City supporter and season ticket holder. I'm also in my second year at the University of Sheffield studying BA Geography.