Hooliganism is an unfortunate byproduct of the the most popular sport in the world, sometimes it feels like for some cities the events that occur between fans before, during or after the game will overshadow the events occurring on the field between the two teams. Over the past few decades the intensity of these hooligan groups has increased, it has gone from people getting into fist fights during games to now where each team has a hooligan club that supports them and these clubs will take to the streets and participate in gang fights. The purpose of this blog is to identify why people join these hooligan groups and how these hooligan groups affect the sport of soccer.
After scouring the internet, one major theme has emerged as to why these young people gravitate towards these hooligan groups. The majority of studies have identified a sense of belonging as the main motivating factor for young people. The people that join these hooligan groups may feel like they do not belong to anybody in the their everyday lives, so when they see how the hooligans accept each other and take care of each other they are automatically attracted to the group. These groups do a great job of attracting new recruits, they mainly target troubled youth that have been outcast by society due to their troubled ways and they put them in a situation where they can channel their troubled ways into an asset for the gang.
These hooligans have impacted the sport of soccer in the most negative way possible. Over the past several decades while the intensity and recklessness of the groups became more evident, the sport of soccer has been the one to suffer most from it. People who are visit the region and would love to take in a soccer game, but recently it has become less attractive for people because of their fear of these local gangs. These gangs think they are doing a great deed for their clubs supporting them and driving opposing team gangs out of the city, but in reality they are casting a dark shadow over their home teams and they are taking business away from their teams. The hooligans have instilled fear into the eyes of soccer spectators, so much so that even the most die-hard fans have abstained from attending live soccer matches due to the fear of what idiotic things these hooligans might do.
The many violent clashes between soccer hooligans have led to many fatalities and total destruction of soccer stadiums. In order for the sport of soccer to to regain their reputation, they must continue to implement new rules and strategies that prevent these hooligans from acting up at the games. As a soccer fan, I can honestly say that I have been turned off from attending live games and every time I go back to Serbia it breaks my heart that it is not safe to go watch Red Star Belgrade play against Partizan Belgrade. Hopefully these hooligan groups diminish and eventually fade so that we all can enjoy soccer like we used to.