See, I can think up fancy (and fairly lame) headlines, too!
According to the Herald Sun, “It seems nothing less than stripping clubs of premiership point” will prevent any form of misbehaviour at football matches in Australia (article here, but don’t click it)
I’ll attempt to keep this as simple as I can to avoid potentially confusing the Herald Sun or likeminded individuals. Note that the following scenario is entirely hypothetical/fictional and does not, in any way, represent a real event, nor does it represent any individual or supporter group.
Imagine I was a passionate Central Coast Mariners fan, and my team is in second place. The final round of the season is to be played this coming weekend, and if the current top team, Western Sydney Wanderers, draw or win against the Newcastle Jets, my team finishes in second after a strong performance throughout the season. How devastating that would be considering CCM was first for much of the season.
So instead of leaving it up to chance, I decide to do the short drive from Gosford to Newcastle to catch the WSW’s final game. Because I am aware of the consequences of fan behaviour on clubs, I decide to stand with the red and black supporters. In the back of my mind, I know that if WSW fans misbehave, the team will be punished, so I light a fire, break a chair, steal some food, mug a local, swear uncontrollably, run on the field, etc.
As I stated very clearly, this does not represent a real incident, nor does it indicate such events occur. It simply proves a point through basic logic.
Mind you, some public Australian figures seem to celebrate such behaviour, as seen in an episode of “20 to 1” (video here).
The Herald Sun article also features some other interesting assumptions. There is, apparently, an “aggressive culture” in football – a slightly amusing comment from someone not willing to identify themselves as the author of an article about the world’s most popular sport. The unnamed author cites an “Interstate rivalry between [Melbourne] Victory and Western Sydney” as responsible for injury to a police officer and the use of capsicum spray. I don’t know about the rest of you who were at that game, but I distinctly recall not only Victoria Police, but AAMI Park security applauding the WSW fans after the game, and witnessing dozens of fans thanking the same personnel for their guidance throughout the day. I also do not remember the presence of capsicum spray anywhere near me. I cannot speak for what may or may not have occurred on the other side of the field, because I was about 100 metres away.
Some other language used by this mysterious author is interesting too, such as “thugs who take over the terraces.” I’m not sure what the author is attempting to say here. Australian Police have, on many occasions, distinctly stated that a minority is to blame for the minimal incidents that do occur. Police reports outlining the small number of arrests throughout the entire season are testament to this. Where is this “take over”?
My favourite segment of this article is the last three paragraphs. That’s some serious investigation there; no further comment needed.
Yes there are incidents of anti-social behaviour in football, as there are in every other sport. Although it seems the Herald Sun is not a fan of making a big deal about the abuse of a disabled man who was supporting Geelong at a recent AFL match. Don’t worry, sokkah fans won’t begin to label all AFL fans as insensitive and discriminatory criminals for the advertiser dollar.
The Herald Sun is definitely worthy of a regular spot on ABC’s Media Watch.Google+