Saturday, 16 October 2010


That many European soccer teams, both national teams and clubs, have trouble with hooliganism is nothing new. Lately this has perhaps been apparent in Eastern Europe, and now less than a week ago a national team game between Italy and Serbia in Genoa had to be stopped due to Serbian hooligans. This is tragic, and even though the hooligans were unusually violent it was still nothing exceptional.

Now in the aftermath of the event some sources tell a story of organised criminal gangs paying the Serbian hooligans to cause chaos. It was likely that the two gangs, despite being in a financial dispute with each other, financed the riots because both have interests to create chaos in the state of Serbia, the source, who asked not to be named, told Politika. I wonder how they will try to benefit from this chaos and if the gangs felt the action met their objective. An investigation is currently being started, and more information is likely to come.

In many parts of Europe, and possibly elsewhere as well, firms belonging to different soccer teams are fighting each other on a regular basis. Most of the time this does not affect the "regular" supporters and often these fights are not even in the proximity of the arena. This is a troubling development, but to some extent I believe there have always been gangs of men fighting other gangs. The soccer and supporting a club is not really the root of the problem, but rather an excuse to form these kind of groups. Of course the club is linked to the trouble, but noe solely responsible.

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