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Soft Hands

Pic: The Daily Mail
The long-running problem of "soccer hooliganism" has blighted the game for decades. Once again its been in the news with more idiots who call themselves soccer fans acting like Neanderthals again.

While soccer often gets lumped with these morons, it is hardly the game's fault that social tensions come out around such common mob activities such as soccer. The problems are with society and with the prejudices that leaders and others in control either encourage or don't do enough to quell.

But, the truth is that soccer does attract thuggish behaviour, if only because it exacerbates mob mentality and allows large groups to get together, get boozed up and coalesce around a common cause via simplistic signals like team chants or colours. It is a recipe for trouble.

A new approach, more about being pro-active rather than reactive seem to be finding good results.

This adaptation sees security working closely with the fans themselves, most of whom don't want trouble and with broader police data to cut-off trouble makers at the pass.

This approach looks particularly relevant as 11 young men await a possible death sentence in a Cairo jail due to violence at a soccer game there in 2012. If a more sensible and less knee-jerk strategy was taken, might these young men (if they are guilty) not have been given the chance to wreak havoc, and might the more than 70 fans who died in the incident still be alive today?

It's sad when soccer becomes a ground for such tragedy and human insanity. This isn't the game.

A better approach to the hooligan issue is appropriate. Then, perhaps, the scene in the pic above will be the only kind of street action we see around football venues.


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