Ronaldo once said, “I have to say thank you to all the supporters of Juventus. What they did for me was amazing. This has never happened in my career so far.”
So, what is it, football fans? Are these people just passionate about their favorite sport, or are they real hooligans? Are they a threat, or do they peacefully go to games? And what stages of development did this culture go through? Let’s look into this.
Who Are Football Fans?
Each football club has its army of fans — someone more, someone less. They determine the status of the team. The higher the rate of a football club, the more traditions and achievements in sports the club has, the wider its recognition, and the higher its popularity.
Club owners and coaches come and leave, and new sponsors appear one after another, but football fanatics remain committed to their favorite team’s colors.
- Football enthusiasts are the most active group of fans regarding social pressure and psychological impact on the events around the team and in the football environment.
- Such groups exist worldwide, in all countries where football, or soccer, has reached a professional level.
- People who identify as football fanatics are blindly devoted to the ideals of their beloved team and bear club culture and traditions.
- Fans often form unions, clubs, and other organizations to improve social adaptation and establish communications with the sports environment and society.
Does It Matter How Many Fans the Club Has?
The number of fan clubs matches the number of football clubs. No surprise that Manchester United and the second-division Bokel equally have an army of fans. The difference is only in the number and the extent of their impact on the football community and society.
The influence of football supporters in modern football is enormous. Almost every professional team that plays at a high level monitors the mood in their fan camp. In some cases, team personnel changes are indirectly related to the opinion of the fan sector. No self-respecting football club and its owner will ignore the idea of their fans.
The History of Origin of Football Culture
Football hooliganism comes from England. British land is the birthplace of such famous clubs as Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton, Aston Villa, Manchester City, and many more.
This place is steeped in the spirit of football, and it is impossible to avoid it. Everyone has stood by one or another team, furiously and desperately, despising the fans of other teams — the first fights between football fans in this country date back to the 19th century.
Street fights have become an available leisure activity for the poor segments of society. Gradually, it became not enough for them to support the team at home matches, and fanatics also began to support the away games.
This is where the first problems started:
- Most people sitting in the stadium crowd identified themselves with violence.
- Every second match ended in brawls and injuries.
- It has become dangerous to appear in some city areas during games.
- Hooligans traveled from city to city, trying to prove their strength.
- Newspapers and magazines quickly picked up the theme of football aggressors, pushing them to continue.
- People learned about the football hooligan movement, and this culture gained popularity.
The actions of football hooligans have received condemnation throughout the world community, both on the political stage and in the sports environment. Each team strives to have nothing to do with this phenomenon since any manifestations of aggression based on football are severely punished at the level of UEFA and FIFA.
Psychologist View: Why Do Football Fans Show Aggression?
According to psychological studies, football fanatics show aggression when the game score does not meet their expectations. The fans so strongly personify themselves with their “favorites” that the team’s defeat is perceived as a personal insult. But the most exciting thing is that if “their” team wins, the primary reaction is aggression. “So have you! You want us to pity you?”
Football Fans in Modern Football
The number of hooligans and their degree of aggression have significantly decreased. Now, fans are divided into two main groups:
- Ultras — people who go to the game with fireworks, banners, and flags and arrange a show in the stands in honor of their favorite team. Ultras support the team no matter if it wins or loses, attend all their club games, defend the club’s colors, and spend the whole match on their feet, whooping and waving banners.
- Hooligans — football hooligans stick together with the Ultras at the stadium, but after the game, they fight “for the club” regardless of the game’s outcome. The fights of football hooligans are on top on YouTube and the best scenarios for blogs and films.
How Do They Sort Things Out?
In today’s world, every team has loyal fans that help it move on. Of course, troubles happen, but their number has significantly decreased. And due to the changed mentality and modern means of ensuring security, arranging a mass fight now takes enormous effort. The government prevents or timely stops anyone who misbehaves and tries to disrupt public order.
Now every peaceful fan can safely go to the match of his favorite team without fear of being caught up in a conflict. Street fights turned into information conflicts. Planned conflicts are sometimes discussed for months and only occur on the stage of replicas and threats.
The code of honor among hooligans has become stricter and more demanding. You can’t just leave the stadium and fight the other team’s fans — the fan association does not welcome such measures.
Many fans open their stores with products that feature team logos. Thus, they found a hobby for the soul and earned their living.
Some fans try to catch their luck in the online casino — the quickest way to earn money without losing faith in their team. Why not? Knowing your team like no one else, you can easily bet on the match’s outcome and get the more exciting odds.
The history of football hooliganism has gone through many stages. There were all kinds of things: mass fights, arrests, traumas. But now, football fans pose much less risk than before. Of course, incidents happen occasionally, but the main thing for a new generation of football fans is to support their favorite club, inspire the team at the stadium, follow away games, take photos, record and upload videos, and write quick posts in the team’s blog.
At this stage of its development, football fans are a culture that every football lover can join.