Fans and Supporters - The Main Cause of Violence in Sports

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 856 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Aug 30, 2022

Words: 856|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Aug 30, 2022

Fans in the audience are expected to hold a certain level of respect for the stadium, teams, and the athletes the support and oppose. However, there comes a level of competitiveness when it comes to fans and supporter and can often escalate to extreme levels when put in the same environment with other superfans.

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Dysfunctional behaviour is common and is at the lightest end of the scale, whereas at the opposing end is hooliganism. Hooliganism completely abolishes the rules of respect and fair play within sports. The spectator violence between teams, opponents and often referees and outcomes is unprofessional and can cause on bad image on the person or team they are supporting. Safety of others is put at risk and can lead to a decline of spectation from those who do not participate and can lead to a decline in participation when the sport has a bad name due to the violence from its fanbase.

All sports can have a level of hooliganism but known for its competitive fans and extreme escalation of situations is football. Due to the popularity of the sport, there are plenty of cases in history of spectator violence at football matches which have often led to fatalities and has happened throughout history up until modern day society.

An example of standard dysfunctional behaviour is the Hillsborough Disaster of 1989. This was a fatal human crush during a football match at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, which occurred during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. More than 24,000 Liverpool fans travelled to Sheffield for the 1989 FA Cup semi-final match against Nottingham Forest. As they waited for kick-off, a large crowd built up outside Hillsborough stadium. When a gate was opened, thousands of fans went into an already busy part of the ground and many of them got caught up in a crush. Ninety-six people died and hundreds more were injured. The inquest has decided that the 96 people who died at Hillsborough were unlawfully killed. This means that their deaths were not an accident, but that the police, ambulance service and other organisations had made mistakes that led to the disaster. However, although ruled to be the responsibility of the services there to control crowds, the behaviour displayed by the supports did not impose that they were looking out for the safety of themselves or others around them. This event from history allows us to understand the importance of managing the behaviours of supporters and how we are able to reduce the risk of fatalities and injuries in the future, as dysfunctional behaviour from fans will never be abolished, we shall just learn how to handle it.

Rival teams in football have the highest amount of hooliganism displayed at matches and is to be predicted even before the match takes place. Matches such as Man City v Manchester United, or Tottenham v Arsenal, are games between which spectators class as rivals often had many reports of hooliganism and can result in bans for those who participate in spectator violence. These types of matches are heavily regulated by officials who attempt to cut down the amount of dysfunctional behaviour between fans.

In the 1984 European Cup final, in which Liverpool beat AS Roma, a number of Liverpool fans had come under attack from the Roma fans. It is believed a number of Liverpool fans travelled to Brussels with the intention of seeking revenge on Italian football fans; this still being at a time when hooliganism was a significant problem within football. This event is known as the Heysel Stadium disaster and this act of hooliganism is arguably one of the largest cases in football history and still has a direct impact on modern day football. About an hour before kick-off at the 1985 European Cup final, a group of Liverpool fans crossed a fence separating them from a neutral area containing mostly Juventus fans. As they fled the threat, the fans were crushed together in a section of terrace hemmed in by a concrete retaining wall, which eventually collapsed. Thirty-nine people died. The game was played despite the disaster in order to prevent further disorder, with Juventus winning 1-0. Among those killed were 32 Italians, four Belgians, two French fans and one from Northern Ireland. It resulted in all English football clubs being banned from playing in Europe for five years. Fourteen Liverpool fans were also found guilty of manslaughter and each jailed for three years.

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In the end, supporters are the most essential part to an athletesteam's progression within their sport, not limited to football but all sports. Fans can also hold a lot of power when it comes to judges and referees during competition and may be the lifeline the team or athlete need to take the win. Its socially accepted that the dysfunctional behaviours displayed by some supporters is not an accurate reflection of all fans, and the majority want a fair and friendly game between teams. The poor actions made by those who take it further than friendly can damage the image of the team they are trying to support, which ultimately defeats the purpose of being a “supporter”.

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Fans and Supporters – the Main Cause of Violence in Sports. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“Fans and Supporters – the Main Cause of Violence in Sports.” GradesFixer, 30 Aug. 2022,
Fans and Supporters – the Main Cause of Violence in Sports. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jul. 2024].
Fans and Supporters – the Main Cause of Violence in Sports [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Aug 30 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
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