The Daily Telegraph

Football fans like a hug not putting the boot in


Football hooligans can show extreme kindness despite their behaviour towards rivals, researcher­s have found.

Experts at the universiti­es of Oxford and Kent found that fans who felt the biggest connection to their team were most likely to swear at, spit at and assault rival supporters. Yet they were also more likely to hug their own group and offer emotional support.

At times they also were seen to act kindly towards rival fans.

Dr Martha Newson, an expert in group bonding at the universiti­es, said: “We have evidence that passionate football fans can have a positive impact at games, not only on their fellow fans but also with fans of rival teams.”

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