Football Hooliganism raises its ugly head once again

Some will argue what does the crowd trouble at the Manchester Derby have to do with Arsenal. As I written before the mindset of supporters is something that should concern every fan, no matter who you support, especially if you attend match days.

There has clearly been an increase in the modern man/women thinking that in the confines of a football stadium, they can say, act however they want. One reader commented on AFTV, claiming at least they didn’t go as far as the crowd did at the Etihad.

Yet we all have to take responsibility how we are educating the next generation. Wherever it’s the language being used on social media, the disrespect shown to your own players, etc, this sport, meant to fun and entertainment is increasingly becoming a toxic environment.

A couple of months ago the likes of Ian Wright saw England players threatening to walk off the pitch in Bulgaria as a watershed moment, the time where we told the world we were not going to accept racial abuse anymore.

One of my friends messaged me to say how proud he was of our English fans for how they united around the likes of Sterling, Mings and Rashford.

I pointed out we have been equally as guilty over the years. A fan caught racially abusing Sterling at the Bridge, Chelsea warned about chants made away in Europe, Pogba being abused on social media. His thought process fascinated me.

His argument was not to the lengths where a gang are making Nazi salutes. Which is true but are we not meant to have zero policy over this issue in this country. Is not one person guilty of this crime one too many? What’s the number before we too have to admit we have a problem in this country?

We are quick to look at the associations of Montenegro and Italy and question why they don’t seem to handle these situations more seriously. If the events of Saturday Night had happened in Serie A, we be talking about how their domestic game is being allowed to police itself.

Did our governing body really look itself in the mirror when an FA Cup tie was abandoned last month for racism? Did we discuss how that’s been allowed to happen in 2019 or were we all wrapped up in our own interests? Did it even make the back pages?

Yes, this weekend there have been arrests made over the Manchester derby. Yes, if found guilty there will be football bans and embarrassment as friends, family and work mates now have video evidence of the true nature of this person.

Extract from the Guardian report: Supt Chris Hill of the City of Manchester Division said the force was taking the matter extremely seriously. “I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support with this incident,” he said. “Racism of any kind has no place in football or our society and I hope this arrest shows that we are taking this matter extremely seriously. We will continue to work with Manchester City and Manchester United on this incident and will investigate any other lines of inquiry.”

But like we want the Italian press to get more than a slapped wrist for their headline regarding Lukaku and Smalling, surely monkey gestures and having lighters and coins thrown at you is just as sickening?

Yet what will happen? City will get a small fine, one they can easily pay. This will be reported in a couple of months when it’s been forgotten, and we will sit here in a year’s time having the same conversation when someone else has to go through this.

It also needs pointing out we shouldn’t just be disgusted because these missiles hit Fred. Even without the racial element, why are these people doing throwing objects at someone simply based on the colour of their shirt, I don’t get it. If a white player had got hurt, they should just as much have the book thrown at them.

This wasn’t based on the colour of your skin. Just a minority who have sense of entitlement and have been taught that if they lose in sport, they have the right to express themselves.

I was watching the facial expressions of an elderly lady, dressed up for Xmas with two kids next to her and couldn’t believe the anger in her face while she quite clearly mouthed words I can’t say here.

The only way to have zero tolerance is to literally have zero tolerance.

Chairmen meet each summer to debate /agree on any rule changes they would like to implement. If all were serious, these 20 rich people could all sign off on a rule that any scenes like this weekend result in points deductions. That’s the only way to educate these morons. Hit them where it hurts, show their actions will impact the one thing they seem to care about.

Owners wouldn’t do this because in reality the price of getting into Europe or avoiding relegation is more important then what is morally right? Which is fine but then don’t tell the world you have zero tolerance.

The Premiership know that any sanctions like empty stadiums harms their brand of ‘ the best League in the world’.

Fine – but again, don’t say you have zero tolerance?

Dan Smith


  1. Dan,
    Really appreciate your efforts and persistence in the fight against racism. It is not a matter of race politics it is simply a matter of common decency. Just about every team in England has a black player. If you abuse the opposition you are abusing your own, why would you do that?

  2. Disclaimer,I’m not a recist but the bitter truth is that racism is a human trait with no cure.You can punish a few fans here and there but its a personality trait that can never end.

  3. As a libertarian, I want to see all the individuals who perpetrate racism and other related crimes – because CRIMES are what they are – publicly punished, humiliated and banned from football for life. Plus imprisoned, if their crimes warrant that. We must NOT punish the majority of normally evolved fans for the dinosaur attitudes of the minority of “not fully and mentally proper humans” who behave this way. Do not close grounds for the actions of small groups. Or even larger groups! Punish ALL those responsible and throw the book at them. And them ONLY! With CCTV, at least in grounds, finding these dinosaurs is now fairly easy. So let us do it!

    I realise that we cannot legislate for other countries but all we can do is pressurise FIFA to do what I suggest. Punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty is unjust, foolish and calculated to breed righteous resentment. It is a matter of principle! And only unwise folk ignore vital life principles.

  4. I wish to point out that a racist fan who just happens to be British does not count as “we”, as this article refers to him. “WE” are that vast majority of fully evolved, thinking and compassionate humans, whether from London, Nairobi, Sau Paulo, Timbuctoo, Baghdad or Melbourne. The other, dinosaur thinking but in human form are “they”. “THEY” are the enemy of mankind, of love, of goodness , of progress and are little people in IQ and they also come from places the world over. But they are NOT and NEVER WILL BE, “WE”!!!!

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