“Hundreds of English fans have been departed from Belgium after scenes of mass violence in Belgian cities and football authorities have threatened to expel the English team from the competition if there is another outbreak of the English Disease”
This was an article dated 20 June 2000 written by an English journalist. It is obvious from this article that world is facing a great problem nowadays.
Actually it would be wrong to use the term ‘nowadays’ because the ‘English Disease’ namely hooliganism have been a problem for many centuries.
There are many things to say on hooliganism but first it would be better to start with its definition. Hooliganism doesn’t have a standard definition. But it can be defined as destruction of properties or injury to persons, sometimes involving theft, whether by a gang or a small group of young people. Hooliganism is characterised as a lack of self-control, love of malicious mischief and idleness passing into dishonest and crime. Hooligans are usually made up of boys and young men, aged between 15 and 25 and their main targets are other groups, who only differ from them in their being composed of fans of another football team.
And another interesting fact about hooligans is that they consider themselves to be true fans: they support the team for better or worse, they create the highly praised ‘atmosphere’ inside stadiums. Their main interest does not seem much to see brilliant football but to see their team win.
As I mentioned in the beginning football hooliganism is known as the ‘English Disease’ but it has been a problem throughout Europe especially in Germany, Holland, Italy and Belgium as well as in the UK. Also Greece, Czech Republic, Denmark, Austria and Turkey witnessed these disturbances in football matches.
There are a lot of work done all around the world to avoid the harm hooligans give to the environment and themselves. European Parliament and the National Parliaments of the European Union made effort to avoid the violence throughout Europe. European Council issued a report on hooliganism September 1999 and tried to take further steps on this problem.
After all the work done by various sociologists and initiatives of the European Institutions still it is difficult to observe decline in violence in European Stadiums.
To make it clear that World is suffering enough from hooliganism for many years I will give some events that took place in various stadiums of the world. They are all violent and they are all dreadful. Then I will have a look at the background of the hooliganism. Then we will be able to study this subject within sociological perspective.
Past Violence Acts at Soccer Stadiums
1982 Moscow - 340 people are reported to be killed at a European Cup match between Soviet club Spartak Moscow and Haarlem of the Netherlands.
1985 Belgium - 39 people are killed at the European Champions Cup Final at Heysel Stadium when riots break out and a wall separating rival fans of...