Recently I had a conversation with a fellow Indian who was living in UK for a while for studies. And as a massive Chelsea fan he didn’t miss the chance to visit our beloved Stamford Bridge on more than one occasions. As delighted as I was for him, then he told me of the incidents that he had to face while attending the games. And that’s what caught me off. He told me of the time he once got off at the wrong station only to be mobbed by a bunch of Arsenal fans. Is this really what football has brought us to?
Within a 5 minute Google research I came across dozens and dozens of articles which display the shameful side of football in the recent history. Racism and hooliganism has always been the major setbacks that football has suffered. Before the match against Galatasaray, 2 Chelsea fans were stabbed, luckily both got through safely. An eye witness claimed that a gang of around 30 Gala fans attacked a group of travelling 10 Chelsea fans. You can read the whole article here. I agree we love to see the spirit of Gala fans causing riots in the stadium with their voice and passion oozing out of their hearts, but that’s where it should end. There are things more important than a game of football. And no, these aren’t the things that needs to be taught, the basic human value of standing by each other despite the differences, yes that is what is one of the major responsibilities of being a human being! There have already been so many cases of stabbings and murders in the name of the game that makes it really a shame that where players put in so much efforts to respect their opponents, the fans drown their efforts with such inhumane acts.
During an El Classico in 2012, one of the major stories that went viral was the story of how in Iraq, a Barcelona fan stabbed and beheaded his friend, an individual who apparently supported Real Madrid in the name of some silly argument. ‘Friend’, this was what the murdered man was called to be in the newspapers, but I seriously doubt that! The most I could hurt a friend was with words and banter, that’s all! And the boundary isn’t too far away even when it would be some stranger. Killing in the name of sports is one of the most craziest reasons to adopt violence.
The arch rivals like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have shown their class off the field by reserving nothing but praise for each other. And even if on the field they might act as bitter enemies, it is merely because of the tensions of the game. And trust me, even in the severest of tensions, these people whom many of us idolize wouldn’t resort to physical violence as much as to hurt each other seriously. And this doesn’t just limit to these duo, just recently we saw England and Manchester City goalkeeper protect arch rival Rio Ferdinand from his own team’s fan. These footballers keep trying to show that football is a game where respect is the priority, passion is the essence but violence is not the route to any of these.
And those reading this article who disagree with me and believes that violence is just an unavoidable part of this game and also the ones who take pride in it, I’ll just tell you one thing, you might support Chelsea , United or Barcelona or any other club in the world, but you are supporting a club where the players shake hands at the start of the game and embrace each other after it. They face off each others as rivals, not enemies. If you’d give them a dagger to stab each other, they’d drop those to let their football do the talking for them. It is time that each of us start to follow suit as well! Football, like all sports should be the reason to bring the whole world together, the same world which already has been contaminated with too much hate in the name of states and nations and religion, football is a game of magic, and a game of love! Peace and love should always triumph against war and hatred!
There are far more passionate ways to show your love, wear the club colors, raise your voice, sing aloud, wave your flags, show your opponents that you are there, your presence should shadow theirs, your heroes should look at you and feel proud, your rivals must wish you were theirs, and in the end, show your class, respect the man standing in front of you in your rival colors, and this is just one of the many ways you show your love and bring in more respect for your team!
When we lose a game, we just lose the game, we exist, our heroes exist, our loved ones exists, tomorrow exists, hope exists but when you resort to violence and end up hurting someone the game which brings together the world loses its meaning and someone loses their loved ones, the tomorrow that you might be looking at will not seem so promising and hope, well it just dies! Love the game, appreciate the spirit, and after the game, shake hands and let’s get back to being the common yet special beings that we are, humans!
Has anyone of you experience hooliganism in football? What do you think of it? Please share your valuable thoughts below! I’d love to hear from each of you! 🙂
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