Hooliganism and racism has tainted football for a long time. WE have to ensure that football is no longer ill. School children are disrupting the game. The evils of soccer must be addressed and removed.
THE YEAR 2008 has barely started and the cancer of football hooliganism rears its ugly head. The place is Greece and the game was Olympiakos against Panathinaikos. After the four to zero victory of Olympiakos against Panathinaikos, a supporter of the Olympiakos team was stabbed after a fight between supporters of both teams.
While three people have been arrested and will have their day in court, I cannot but condemn hooliganism. No country is safe from this cancer that eats at the heart and soul of football.
I have to agree with FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, "…that our football is ill" and that there is a need to address the issue. One of the issues has been provocation by certain fans and many teams in the world. It is these people who ruin the game for those who go for the love of football and to support their teams. Who would how supporters of teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, or even the English National Team going to Russia, France, and Italy to support their teams, were injured by hooligans from those countries?
The American continent is also filled with hooliganism. Clubs in Argentina have had their games filled with those who have used violence. Many of the hooligans from Argentina even have schools
with students from Mexico and Colombia, learning the latest tricks on how to disrupt games.
It is easy to say that the supporters will be supporters, but that does not resolve the issue. While hooliganism is going to remain, steps must be taken to reduce it. There are some positive steps taken by certain countries and a lot has to be taken.
Greece has initiated some measures, such as banning sporting fan clubs. There is even a proposal by the president of AEK (Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos), Athens Demis Nikolaidis, to ban Greece from international competitions for three years. Nikolaidis stated that such a ban "worked for English Football and can work for Greece".
Maybe Russia, France, Italy and the American continent may want to ban clubs and countries from international competitions for three to maybe five years. It would serve as a deterrent.
In England itself, the FA (football association), has fined Chelsea Forty, thousand British pound sterlings after supposedly John Terry (Skipper) confronted the referee over the expulsion of Essien.
Essien was accused of pushing a rival team player in the face. In this case, the referee has been the cause of most of the hooliganism secondary to their biased decision against a certain team. In many cases, England has had a decrease in hooliganism.
There should also be a permanent ban on those supporters, who go to a game with the sole purpose of creating trouble. Celtic FC has a code of conduct with regard to hooliganism. The code of conduct applies to those who according to Celtic FC "engage in anti social behaviour". It would also be great to identify those who have been recipients of ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Ordinance). An ASBO could be approved as a measure by FIFA and applied to habitual hooligans.
Let us start 2008 with the following declaration: "Hooliganism and racism has no part in football, and we the football community must take steps necessary to reduce or eliminate it".
Let it be our New Year
resolution, and let us keep it in our heart. Say no to racism and hooliganism in soccer and say yes to football!