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Oi Oi Lads, let’s smash his face in, just after this game is over.

Football hooliganism was, and is, a very strange thing. It reached its worst in the 80’s. English football teams in particular were very bad indeed. In fact, ALL English teams were banned from ALL European competition from 1985 to 1990. What caused this ban? It was put in place because of the Heysel Stadium disaster, in Brussels. Basically what happened was that during the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus. The hooligans from both teams started a bit of a riot, and part of the stadium collapsed. 39 Juventus fans were killed, and 600 more were injured. It was deemed that the Liverpool hooligans were largely to blame, and so they were banned from all European competition for 6 years. All other English teams were banned for just 5 years.


Heysel Disaster Madness

You see, football, when it’s played very well, is one of the most beautiful things you could possibly see in your lifetime. Why then, does such a relatively non-combat, gentlemanly game have in its past, and still does to some extent, the most vicious and violent fans of any other sport?

 A lot of the ferocity may come from the fact that football teams are, here comes the gooey cliche, just a fact of life for many many people around the world. Religion is often inextricably linked to certain football teams as well. For example, if you’re a Catholic born in Glasgow, you’ll almost certainly be raised a Celtic fan. If you’re a Protestant born in Glasgow, you’ll almost certainly be a Rangers fan. So in the Scottish capital city , you have a very old religious disagreement acting itself out within the two football teams.

 I love football, but I can’t figure out why you’d want to smash someone’s face in just because they support a rival team. It’s supposed to be about friendly rivalvry, even at the pinnacles of the World Cup or the European Cup final. If you’re a hooligan, or you feel you may have hooligan tendencies, let me tell you, “STOP! Don’t punch anyone, don’t throw bottles at opposing supporters, just enjoy the game. Sit back, sing for your team, boo the other team if you want, but don’t let it get physical!”

Thank God that hooliganism has been very harshly dealt with over the years, because the vast majority of us football fans just want to be able to go to the stadium, watch the game, buy some horribly overpriced beer, and enjoy ourselves. It’s very hard to enjoy yourself when you’re spending most of the 90 minutes dodging bricks and having to take your friend to the hospital for stitches.


I don’t know how this works, but Scottish police use totally 
non-violent tactics like this at Celtic/Ranger games.

 Thank you police, I never thought I’d ever say that! Thank you for making football a viable and safe alternative to watching TV talent shows and visiting relatives you don’t like.





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September 2013
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