Liverpool’s Europa League last-16 tie with Manchester United was overshadowed by banners both in the ground and surrounding areas that made reference to tragic events of the past. I think it’s time that football fans get real.
In the past football has been plagued by the disease that is hooliganism, which is not as rife as it once was, although it still happens in certain countries.
Now it seems to be unsavoury chants and banners that give these idiots a forum to cause trouble.
Not just banter
Football rivalry is about banter and a laugh and joke, but things like Hillsborough, the Munich disaster and Heysel are not laughing matters. It may be decades since those tragedy’s occurred, but there are still families hurting from those incidents.
Football is a tribal game, but that is all it is at the end of the day, a game. We all love it and in some cases we make a living from it, but all it comes down to at the end of the day is that it is entertainment.
Taunting of lost lives and tragic events should have no place in modern football. We as a football community has come a long way since those dark days of the 1980’s of hooliganism and widespread racism. Yet some people are still backward in their behaviour.
I very much doubt these people would act in this way in any other walk of life, as they would be given sort strife, so why do it when going to a football match?
Morals do not have a team
I must add that the recent behaviours of a small band of supporters have brought this situation to the fore. Most football fans are right-minded individuals who would not dream of insulting those lost in should terrible circumstances.
It is those right-minded fans that must stand up against this small group of supporters who wish to behave in a poor way and use football rivalry as a way to do it. Not everybody can claim to be an angel, but there are certain lines of morality that should not be crossed.
At times all fans get carried away and assign hate to rival teams, but some things should be considered going too far, like when they taunt opposition fans over those lost in tragedies.
Clubs attempting to prevent these incidents
Most clubs need to be applauded for their attempts to prevent these sorts of incidents. Unfortunately they cannot control every action of their so called ‘fans’.
Clubs can ban supporters who decide to use chants to be offensive or banners for that matter. We do not want to take the enjoyment, rivalry and passion out of the game, but these sorts of incidents have no place in the beautiful game.
Football is trying to do more to attract families to football, but how can you explain to your inquisitive child what offensive chants or banners mean? It is hard.
Football fans are held to certain behavioural criteria, but at times some football fans go too far in the way they behave.
For me it is time that the small minority of football fans are held responsible for their behaviour and not allowed to act in such a moronic manner. In every walk of life there is group that likes to cause trouble.
Unfortunately for football its group of trouble causers get to voice or show their behaviour to millions of people. Thankfully football clubs are relatively good at dealing with this group of people and instants of this sort of behaviour are far rarer these days.
The recent acts of offensive chants and banners may not be the worse offence in the word, but football could do without the vitriol that some fans want to bring to the game.
Can football clubs do more to prevent offensive behaviour at matches?