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English Football Slowly Returning To The Gutter
Footytubeblog (Blog) 3 years ago
Last week, The Premier League voted to introduce goal-line technology for the 2013-14 season. A massive step forward for the sport, which has been full of controversial decisions for years, from Frank Lampard’s shot in the 2010 World Cup, back to England’s triumph in 1966. But finally the debate of whether the ball crossed the line will be ended, and the game can move a further step away from controversial, game changing mistakes.

Then just days later, the football was once again set to be the big talking point. The back papers were all set to describe Wigan’s sensational achievement to reach the FA Cup final. Or how Manchester City beat Chelsea in the other thrilling semi-final. Or Paolo Di Canio knee-sliding as Sunderland won the derby 3-0. But once again it is the off-the-ball incidents that have stolen these golden headlines.

During Wigan’s semi-final clash with Millwall, trouble broke out in the section containing the Lions fans. A small number of their travelling supporters were seen fighting each other during the match, with the TV broadcaster showing shots of supporters covered in blood, and women and children distraught by the scenes. Police, somewhat later than they needed to, arrived on the scene to control the violence. However, heavily outnumbered, they were forced to defend themselves with batons.

With The Sun claiming that hard drugs were also taken during the game by Millwall fans, the FA have been urged to take major action. Scenes of the Millwall fans have been shown across the world, blurring the memory of the two Wigan goals that won the game, which now seem forgotten about. With everybody able to see the shocking violence that occurred, the FA must now react just as strong.

There are calls for the governing body to show their zero tolerance stance, especially as it was at their beloved Wembley during such an important and publicised match. Time will tell if they do put their foot down, as they too try to put together the puzzle pieces as to why the violence broke out, and why the police were not there sooner.

Less than 24 hours later, the Tyne-Wear derby kicked off. An important match for both teams, who were hovering above the relegation zone. The passion of a derby match was present as always, with the importance of Premier League survival an extra incentive for both sets of players. A thrilling game to watch, Sunderland were victors by three goals to nil, which seemed to please new manager Paolo Di Canio. The Italian celebrated every goal enthusiastically, but none more so than his team's second goal, that led to the former West Ham striker to knee slide onto the pitch. Scenes similar to Jose Mourinho after Real Madrid’s last minute winner over Manchester City.

But once again it was the acts after the game that clouded the derby match. Newcastle fans hovered outside the stadium as police tried to push back the Geordie crowd, in order to escort the travelling Sunderland fans to the rail services. But groups of Newcastle fans resisted, and soon they started to fight the police. Some fans set fire to bins, while others emptied them, in order to use bottles as missiles. Hundreds of fans charged at police, threw bottles and rioted the streets. They were ugly scenes, as one fan was caught on camera punching a police horse, before being arrested.

Two disgusting moments, separated by a mere 20 hours. Once again highlighting the issues surrounding football in this country. Thousands of fans who weren’t involved in the fights will try and assure people that it was only pockets of followers that caused the trouble. But these incredible actions fans have taken are too big to be ignored. Sadly, both are nothing new to football. Football hooliganism has happened for decades. However, it had appeared that since the Premier League era, fights and scenes of public disorder had been declining. Yet these two examples remind us all that there is still a massive issue in football gangs and hooligan groups.

It may be that they have had more media attention, but it does seem that this year has seen a sudden rise of disgusting events take place. A Sky Sports special report uncovered horrendous racism at football grounds, most notably at Millwall. The FA have recently denied reports that England fans sung racist chants against Rio Ferdinand during a recently international fixture. Ferdinand had already been involved in disgusting behaviour by fans earlier this season, when the Manchester United was celebrating his team's derby victory at the Etihad. The English defender was hit by a coin thrown by an opposing fan, before another supporter ran on the pitch in an attempt to confront Ferdinand, before City goalkeeper Joe Hart intervened.

That wasn’t the first time this season a fan had confronted a player during a match either. During a match at Sheffield Wednesday, away team Leeds scored past Owls goalkeeper Chris Kirkland. The travelling Leeds fans were behind Kirkland’s goal, and a handful of supporters spilled onto the pitch. As Kirkland cleared the ball back to the half way line, he was then pushed in the face by a Leeds fan who had come onto the pitch, before the disgraceful supporter ran back into the stands without a steward even moving towards him.

The incidents at Wembley and Newcastle were not the first cases of football violence over recent years. Sadly, they were a reminder of what happens in the sport in this country, for whatever reason. A reminder that to some it isn’t just a game, but an opportunity to fight with police and with strangers, when they wouldn’t do any of this walking down the street on their own in the middle of the week. And a reminder that actually football violence in this country isn’t as far from its ugly past as it was once thought.

The fans involved may remember it as a laugh. Some may not remember it due to alcohol or drugs, and some may even be embarrassed by their actions. But the world that watched on TV will remember that small girl crying because of the actions happening just seats away from her.

Written by Dan Eyre

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
Knownskate (Arsenal) 3 years ago
Goal line tecnology would certainly be a step forward, needs to be done
Knownskate (Arsenal) 3 years ago
Redsince63 (Manchester United) 3 years ago
I''m afraid all the problems you mentioned are a product of humanity and society so they'll never get solved or go away.
Racisim is just another form of predjudice which exists in many forms Gays, colour, creed ! Small, fat, tall, shortskinny aect ect the human race revels in it 7, million jews a few million gypsys and africans, millions of south and north amaerican indians and so the story goes on !
As for the general violence the police in Great Britain are despised by many people so when with the mixture of a mob + drink and drugs the police appear youve got an instant riot !
Don't get me wrong I'm not condoning a single one of the above but the fabric of british society is always going to show itself in this way
Johnalbert (Manchester United) 3 years ago
Exactly.... I think you've stolen ma words man! I like your thread

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