A sport with foul-mouthed fans cannot be beautiful

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  • 0

    Tamarama

    This is one of the reasons I really enjoy watching soccer in Japan. Firstly, it's not just the domain of men - there are loads of girls there which adds balance to the crowd, and secondly, Japanese supporters root for their team, are happy, sing and don't abuse the opposition supporters or players.

    I occasionally go to watch A League games when in Australia, and the team in my hometown - a city that has a large British expat population, has a loud and fairly notorious group of supporters who chant and sing some of the worst possible things you will hear at a sport game - all with a distinctly British accent. They have clearly brought the worst of their British Footballing culture and transplanted it elsewhere, and it's just embarassing to behold. At a day out which is often promoted as a great family excursion, they use the F-bomb, the C-bomb, and a range of other swear words in songs, chants and general abuse directed towards players, the referee and opposition supporters.

    It is entirely moronic, and killed off any desire I have to go and watch the game. And I love soccer.

  • -1

    Probie

    Soccer likes to call itself “the beautiful game,” but that will not and cannot be true as long as some of its fans remain so disgusting.

    Oh, shut up!

  • 1

    Jaymann

    John you write: "English rugby fans don’t make monkey sounds at the All Blacks."

    Well I dare say they do not. Twickenham is usually dead quite after 15 minutes when the All Blacks (the world's most successful international sports team) have established an unbreakable lead :)

    Have been to only one soccer game in my life - was at Wembley for some kind of final (no recollection at all who player... couldn't care less either) - agree that the level of abuse was staggering. Unthinkable at a rugby game - even in NZ where abuse of teams like Oz and England has sadly become commonplace.

    Best crowds in my experience have been at big games in the US. Amazed at how good natured the crowds are there.

  • 3

    TigersTokyoDome

    Whilst I am definitely not condoning the moronic and racist chanting from West Ham fans, unfortunately this turns into yet another sledge against English supporters, when there has been far worse (and unpunished) racism in Serbia, Italy etc etc.

    The author of this article should instead do some research on the under-21 international between Serbia and England, where a black English player was not only subjected to monkey chants throughout the game, but physically attacked by Serbian players at the end of the game.

    This author has also neglected to highlight the attack on Spurs fans in Rome where one fan was lucky to survive a stabbing, and where Spurs fans and players were subjected to anti-Semitic chants throughout the game.

    In the first leg between Spurs and Lazio in London, Jermain Defoe was subjected to loud, audible monkey chants live on TV and right in front of a watching UEFA official who has done absolutely nothing about it.

    Yet again someone has highlighted racist chanting in England, and ignored far worse and physical racism in other countries.

  • -1

    Brainiac

    Excellent analysis of the issue.

  • -3

    Beninasia

    Firstly it's FOOTBALL in England not Soccer ... and secondly "The anti semitic chants" have been going on week in week out for DECADES, the Spurs supporters even refer to THEMSELVES as 'Yiddos' or 'Yid Army'.

    There are plenty more examples of football 'banter' and that is all it is ... 'banter', Man U get mocked over the Munich air crash, Liverpool over the Heysel Stadium disaster etc. I see black supporters that do the 'under arm scratch' to black opposition players!If you don't understand 'banter' don't comment on it.

    It's only the PC brigade and the likes of that nutcase, Peter Herbert, at 'the society of black lawyers' that have never been to a football match in their lives or the tourists that come to London who have to 'try' Fish 'n' Chips and 'take in' a game at Stanford Bridge or The 'johnny come lately' prawn sandwich eating corporate brigade who get free tickets to European Cup finals etc , that have never queued on a cold windy rain-soaked mid-week evening for a League Cup 2nd round ticket to watch their team play some lower league club 'up north' who are the ones complaining about 'the state' of English football! There are hundreds of thousands of English football fans up and down the country that go to support their team home and away that like it just the way it is.

    Before writing this DRIVEL take a look at the violence in the likes of Turkey, South America, Eastern Europe etc ... Which IS an issue.

    If you don't like the banter in English football, don't watch English football, go watch some 'happy clappy' league ... but you won't because the Prem is the best league in the world! SKY, BT etc have got a lot to answer for, paying over 3bn Dollars in TV rights so some people that support a 'red team' and has never been to game in their lives can sit in their living room and comment on things they know nothing about that is happening thousands of miles away.

    By the way I am 'one of those bastards in claret and blue' who happens to be Jewish. As the saying goes "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me!"

    • Moderator

      In Japan, the sport is referred to as soccer, and so Japan Today uses the word "soccer."

  • 1

    Betraythetrust!

    Football in England was mostly for the working man, cheap entertainment on a Saturday where you could have a bit of banter, swearing and stuff that you would not do at home with the women folk. Those times there were few women at matches and most who attended were used to the language. There was a hooligan problem in Britain from 70's to 90's but they did not represent average supporters. People like stuff blown out of proportion so the myth grew and still exists, I support a London team, not a big one and when younger saw violence and heard racist stuff but that was common with my surroundings at the time. It does not go on like that now. Murdoch has ruined footy and greed is the name of the game with money first and celeb players who act like kids.

    Times move on and the old things change and footy is now more family orientated but idiots like this writer should stick to going to rugby matches and leave our game alone. MInd your own business, the soul has almost gone and these PC mad wallies want it to go for good.

  • 0

    zichi

    In Britain its both football and soccer. The majority of well behaved football fans (those that actually go to the games) as opposed to supporters who may only watch it on TV, can't be judged by a foul mouth minority. Once again it rising its ugly head but the situation in other countries is far worse than in Britain.

  • 4

    Probie

    Don't know why the author of this focused so much on England.

    People get murdered over football in South America.

    Hooliganism is a disease of societies but one that brings out puss-filled boils in just one major sport — soccer.

    This guy's never been in Vancouver on a night the Canucks have lost a Stanley Cup AGAIN.

    Another oft-heard excuse is that hooliganism infects soccer in particular because of its working-class origins, once played and watched largely by factory workers. That is grossly offensive, because of its nasty suggestion that people are thuggish and badly brought up because they’re blue collar. One common trait of hooligans and those who join anti-Semitic or racist chants has nothing to do with class but everything to do with cowardice — these people are vile in public when they have strength in numbers and are lost in the relative anonymity of a large crowd.

    A larger trait is being working class blue-collar people. Sorry, but it's true. I was born and raised in a working class blue collar port town in the North of England, so I'm not being "grossly offensive", or making a "nasty suggestion that people are thuggish and badly brought up because they’re blue collar". Most hooligans are working class. It's a fact.

    The guy who wrote this doesn't touch on the fact that the sports he mentions as being "respectable" = cricket, rugby union and F1, are sports with middle to upper class origins. So, his "class argument is rubbish" hissy-fit is hypocritical.

    The little lord Fauntleroy here probably had a posh upbringing and wouldn't dare mingle with those brutish oafs and their filthy, horrid sports.

  • 0

    Beninasia

    Probie, even though your point about the middle class origin of some sports is valid I don't think the author has been to many sporting events as a 'fan'. Has he never seen mass brawls in rugby matches by the players? That's OK is it, that's different? Has he not seen the 'Barmy Army' scrap in South Africa? or Chelmsford in Essex come to that!!! How about the 'aggro' at the Ryder Cup? I have seen this stuff up front and close, I have even been personally threatened and man-handled by 3 big lumps at a Giants game in Candlestick Park for wearing a blue cap! It's not all "swing low sweet chariot", break for tea, polite clapping and a comment of "nice drive" and it's not all "Take me out to the ball game" out there ... The Author has jumped on the band-wagon he has done little to none of his own research rather he has plagiarized others and thrown in some, to quote, "Little Lord Fauntleroy" personal emotion.

  • 0

    davestrousers

    Of course this article is jumping on the bandwagon, what else would you expect? This is the kind of writing that makes people believe that football is still like it was in the 80s. Many people in other countries still believe it. One of my friends from back home was going through US immigration and the official said to him "have you come here to engage in soccer violence, sir?".

  • 2

    AKBfan

    These days any kind of verbal abuse is seen as being a cardinal sin. To some extent I think the "sticks and stones will break my bones" approach (as taught by parents everywhere) is at least worth taking into account. The fact that physical violence is no longer a routine feature of UK football is a great thing (and not something that can be said for many other countries).

  • 0

    lostrune2

    The fans have to police themselves, or risk being labeled along with the rubbish. If they see some behaving badly, do something about it, not just let it be. Without that active participation amongst the fans, all those slogans are for nothing.

  • -2

    philsandoz

    As the old saying goes, "Football is a game for gentlemen played by hooligans, while rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen." The same, alas, goes for the supporters.

  • 1

    lucabrasi

    @Ben

    that have never queued on a cold windy rain-soaked mid-week evening for a League Cup 2nd round ticket to watch their team play some lower league club

    Much as I sympathise with your opinion generally (and I have a lot of affection for the Irons), have you honestly ever heard of anyone having to queue up for tickets to a 2nd round league cup game? I doubt it's happened in the last thirty years : )

  • 0

    Betraythetrust!

    If the writer doesn't like swearing and stuff like that, most grounds have a family section. He can sit there with the kiddies and their mummy and daddy's and maybe have an orange juice and a Kitkat.

  • -6

    hoserfella

    If your sport - soccer- continues to be defined by overt racism and hoolaganism, then that is what your sport is.

    Soccer, European Football, whatever you want to call it, is a racist cesspool which is a reflection of pathetic European views towards minorities. When I think Soccer, I think racism. Whos fault is that?

  • -4

    hoserfella

    This guy's never been in Vancouver on a night the Canucks have lost a Stanley Cup AGAIN.

    Probie - just how many deaths in the Vancouver riots were there in 2011? None? Right. How many complaints of racism? Zero?. OK. What was your silly point again?

  • 0

    Jerome_from_Utah

    My father played soccer in high school because my grandmother thought football was too dangerous. That's been a family joke ever since then. ;-] By the way, I haven't seen any comments about the origin of soccer; somewhat gruesome.

  • 0

    some07791

    unfortunately, there is still a small problem with racism and violence in soccer in europe, especially in the east. The recent fines from uefa (to serbian, croation, russian and italian teams) for racism offenses is evidence of this. However, like many other despicable elements of human culture this is confined to small minority. Soccer in europe isnt a "racist cesspool which is a reflection of pathetic European views towards minorities" - which is it self a racist view, hoser.

    I know from investigation and research combined with decades of experience as a european soccer spectator that racism is not as prevalent as some canadians think and doesnt reflect european attitudes to minorities which are (in the wes of europe) just as progressive as canada, o'canada's attitudes.

  • 1

    AustPaul

    I can understand fans being passionate about their sport but when it comes to soccer I can't help but think that ''passion" is more fanaticism. What's the deal with the flares at the games?

    At the end of the day, if your team loses, hey, it's just a game!

  • -1

    Jimizo

    I've been going to football matches for 30 years and can remember John Barnes having bananas thrown at him. English football has progressed since then but there will always be a minority of knuckleheads.

  • 0

    Thunderbird2

    I remember just before Euro 2012 a BBC team went to Ukraine and the 'fans' there are just nasty... not only do they Nazi salute in the crowds, but they were filmed physically attacking some Indian people who had turned up to watch a game. That wasn't England, it was Eastern Europe, and that's where the worst fans are.

  • -2

    Wolfpack

    I've been to a few baseball games in Japan and it was a nice "family friendly" experience. I've never even heard of fans being aggressive towards each other or fighting. Has anyone else?

    I am always amazed by the stories I hear about European "football" hooligans and by some of my own experiences with sports in the US. Although I've never witnessed some of the most appalling of the European hooliganism in the US, I have heard of fights and verbal shouting matches between opposing fans. The worst I've experienced myself was at a college football game in the US at an opposing teams stadium. A fan sitting behind me was drunk (of course) and said a few not too friendly words when I asked him to quit standing in my friends seat whenever we stood up to see a play or cheer for out team.

    People just seem to lose their minds at sporting events these days. As opposed to Western fans, I hope Japanese fans will be able to maintain their sanity.

  • 0

    Wolfpack

    When I think Soccer, I think racism. Whos fault is that?

    The fault would be yours.

    You cannot generalize the actions of a few with all fans - that's called stereotyping which itself can be considered racist.

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