Euro hooli­gans have zero in­ter­est in sport

Bray People - - OPINION - with Deb­o­rah Cole­man

OH what joy! The Eu­ros are fi­nally here and we get to spend a whole month lis­ten­ing to foot­ball talk, strat­egy and about all the craic we are miss­ing in France while the rain beats down at home.

I could think of noth­ing worse than be­ing in France amidst Euro fever - the lager louts, the ri­ots, the dec­o­rated cam­pers vans... but, as they say, each to their own.

This, for many would be and is the trip of a life­time, fans bond­ing to­gether over their shared sup­port for their na­tional team.

For those who have pumped a con­sid­er­able amount of en­ergy and re­sources into their ad­ven­ture I’m sure the preva­lence of fan ri­ots are some­thing they would rather avoid.

The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple are sim­ply sports fans who are there for a good time and to en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence and the sport.

Why do a cer­tain per­cent­age of spec­ta­tors at foot­ball events see fit to be­have in this way and to mar events for oth­ers who are sim­ply there for a good time?

What is it about soc­cer that brings out that el­e­ment of hooli­gan­ism? Why do foot­ball fans set off abroad to an in­ter­na­tional sport­ing event and then spent their time throw­ing punches and all sorts of fur­ni­ture around in the streets?

This be­hav­iour is noth­ing short of an em­bar­rass­ment for their coun­try and in­deed for the na­tional team who they rep­re­sent in the tour­na­ment.

Do they think any of their sport­ing heros would con­done such be­hav­iour or be in­ter­ested in hav­ing fans of that cal­i­bre cheer them on?

It is pretty pa­thetic that the first head- lines to come out of Euro 2016 were about fans act­ing like wild an­i­mals.

Is there some ex­tra level of fun at­tached to get­ting off their heads in France and fight­ing with fans of op­po­nent teams? Why do they have to take their loutish be­hav­iour abroad and shame their coun­try.

I think that a lot of th­ese hooli­gans just use events such as the Eu­ros as a rea­son to go out, get drunk and raise hell. They have no gen­uine in­ter­est in the com­pe­ti­tion, the coun­try it is be­ing hosted in.

Re­gard­less of the bad press it amazes me the level of in­ter­est that th­ese events garner. I will never un­der­stand the ap­peal or why 30,000 Ir­ish fans have made the pil­grim­age.

The sooner nor­mal ser­vice re­sumes the bet­ter.

A tear­gas grenade ex­plodes near an Eng­land fan ahead of Eng­land’s EURO 2016 match in Mar­seille. I could think of noth­ing worse than be­ing in France for the tour­na­ment right now.

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