Why We Need A Debate About The Effects Of “Sport” On Society

OK – when I say “Sport” I am actually talking about Football (or “soccer”).

What sparked this blogpost was a riot in Rotterdam (incidentally very close to the one year anniversary of the riot in Leicester caused by Leicester winning the Premier League).  Then I watched the news report about Paul Pogba’s agent being investigated in connection with reaping large sums of money from Mr Pogba’s deal to take him back to Manchester United.

If you ask me I think that all sports players should be amateurs in the first place – less chance of corruption and more accessibility between players and fans.  I also think we should go back to having the majority of players at a football club coming from the surrounding area.  Again for reasons of community cohesion.

What I really don’t like is the fact that – in my mind at least – football is all too easily associated with violence and riots.  Never mind the fact that I always attempt to avoid going out when Leicester City are playing at home.

I don’t know whether it is alcohol-induced or merely an outpouring of (usually) negative emotions after a match which causes grown adults to behave so badly in public.  Actually – I happen to live next door to a pub and there is no trouble there after matches.

As I said – we need to have an honest debate about the effects of football on Society.  This debate should be as far reaching as possible – covering things like the costs associated with the clubs themselves, the costs associated with the policing of the matches (and the cost of general policing on match days), whether or not the “oxygen of publicity” should be given to the rioters, and how to make it so that people like me feel comfortable going about my life on match days (or even when there is supposed to be a celebration but it turns violent).

At the moment I feel like I am in a minority and the football clubs and the fans can do and say exactly what they like – without having to face any consequences for their words and actions.

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