Saturday, June 12

World Cup Hooligans: The Fans, the Players or the Coaches?

As all of Europe (and parts of the U.S.) gears up for the World Cup games in South Africa, I came across a terrific editorial from the WSJ in which the writer bemoans the bad behaviour of footballers today.  In it, the author delineates a fine line between the players in the soccer stadium and the hoodlums who wreak havoc on the stadiums, the fans, and on the cities that host them.
It's a hot topic as the UK has mandated that their hooligans turn in their passports, arresting and fining (over $8000!) anyone who did not comply.  A gang from Argentina was turned around right upon arrival in S.Africa's airport.  The Africans have designated train cars cum makeshift jails with judges aboard - and speedy trials and sentences - just to prepare for the pithed-brain jerks who are in serious need of attention.
In March, the Italians tried to clean up their players' act by outlawing blasphemy on the field.  The international Fifpro organisation said it's an 'infringement of free speech'.  But, as Coach Trappattoni so astutely remarked, "If you play like a jackass, what has God got to do with it?" And while the debate ensues, my question is: Like most laws in Italy, who's going to enforce it?  With multi-cultural teams, who's to say that the guy from Cameroon didn't just insult a god of the skies of some sort? The referee?
As the writer mused in his editorial, he'd travel far and wide for a good game of Rugby, and wouldn't go near the soccer stadiums as it is not a sport that shows off good sportsmanship.
In the end, his reflections were nothing more than a twist on the old saying, 
"Football is a gentleman's game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligans' game played by gentlemen"...


TEFL Ninja said...

Lip reading during Inter games this season(can't hear anything cos Sock Dropper is busy turing the air blue in solidarity) I'd say that the rules weren't being enforced nearly as much as they need to be.

Dave514 said...

Massimo, my Italian driver says,"Italians would rather watch football than have sex." However, some, recently would rather stab one another over it.

Football, as you call it, in England was never a gentleman's game it is strictly for hoi poloi.

Jacques said...

It was funny listening to the comments on RAI-1 for the US-England match last night, where they claimed that the Refs had to take a crash course in English and American slang just so they could catch the swear words and name calling during the match...

TEFL Ninja said...


I'd like to have taught that lesson

"you slaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag ref !"

cuz liz said...

or "whuck???!!!"

Lisa said...

Too bad! We don't have a copy of an English hide this™ book out just yet! But, you can get them in French & Italian...!!!

Dave514 said...

Actually. the professional Football and Ruby players are both hoi poloi.

In England, unfortunately, gentlemen play cricket. It's as about as exciting as watching grass grow.

In the rest of Europe, what do gentlemen do...or not?

In Canada, everyone but everyone, plays hockey, affectionately known as, "High Mass on ice."

In the US, except in the Liberal East, men shoot pistols. (that ought to rattle a few cages...tee hee hee.)

Un abbraccio forte,