The Football Champions League was on Saturday, the day
my family returned to Munich and the 14 years old son said to his Dad:…”we must
be careful when we go by subway, the game will just be over and the hooligans
are expected to be out to make trouble…” I thought, what is this, where are we?
What happens to us?
I am not a football fan myself but I do remember the
modest sports fields where our village youth played and the families got
together and friends to cheer them on, but I have never experienced violence
around sports events, or in this case football. Or, for example, in the USA, in
Louisiana where we joined our grandchildren for all kind of ball games, for
competitions between schools, but there were never any fights or ugly scenes
like we have in Europe, with fire in the stadiums, street fights, people kicked
who have nothing to do with it.
We won’t find this readiness to use violence in any
other sports such as tennis, golf tournaments, equestrian sports, winter
sports, why with football? In the internet I find it explained with the
comments by some hooligans questioned: “Football gives me a kick, it unleashes
me and violence and brutality liberate me…” So it has actually nothing to do
with the outcome of the play but to get rid of frustration which had built up
Football is a type of sport for the masses in the
narrow space of a stadium, emotions whip up passions in waves and are passed on
that even the coolest person gets infected. One wrong word in the wrong
direction call for verbal or body attacks. I have never been in such a
situation and am not looking for it but I have watched it build up on
Sports have become an industry, it has no longer
anything to do with national pride, players ‘de toutes les couleurs’ are bought
for millions and citizenships are no question, clubs are bought and supported by
rich people, whatever their nationality is. This strikes me as very strange as
just around the corner we find racists groups shout and protest, kick and kill,
but if the same person plays football, it is a different matter.
I don’t believe it has anything to do with the idea of
sports and competition if one club has all the means to get the best players
and best trainers and other clubs will never get the chance to reach that level
because of the lack of money.
So tell me, what get these hooligans so excited about.
By the way, do you know where the term ‘hooligans’ stems from? In a music hall
song of the 1890s a fictional Irish family by the name of Hooligan, rowdies and
thieves, became known and thus the name became a synonym for street gangs and
it appears in police reports of 1894. Hooliganism, however, was associated with
sports in the 1970s in the UK, the football hooliganism.
Hooliganism has become a movement, these people travel
across continents to make trouble, but in the depth of their heart they are,
regarded separately, tiny insecure personalities that only outgrow themselves
in big groups, there they find their identity, as a group they are strong. The
problem is the alcohol that pushes these groups to the extreme, lowers their
moral limits and makes them into dangerous often deadly weapons.
All this energy could be better used, perhaps some
scientists find a way to store such energy in huge batteries for us to warm up
our Middle European climate.
I found a shocking photo on internet, a small boy
following in the steps of a hooligan, becoming a hooligan freshman.