Football Riots

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Football (or soccer) is a really intense sport, moods are high, tensions are swinging, it’s like a volcano that is about the blow. And it has, on several occasions.

No me personally, I don’t really do live matches, I usually watch it at home, that way I have access to free food and access to air conditioning, I can even place bets in this live online casino in Singapore and maybe get a few bucks in if I am lucky.

Just like the sport’s intensity, the fans can be just as intense, like really intense, the kind of intense that has burned down cities. Riots, melees and hooliganism have sadly tainted the sport as hooligans seem to feel like they are obliged to act criminals when things do not go their way. 

Although it is a small minority of people who are like this, their actions have caused hurt and damage to people who didn’t want to be involved, and that is a horrible side of it. Fortunately these days, football associations and major football leagues have taken a firm stand against hooliganism and have penalties for those who cause trouble, like bans, heavy fines and even jail time if it gets serious. 

That being said, we should still look back at the many incidents that has plagued the football world in the past, so here are examples of Riots that have been caused by football matches.

Estadio Nacional Disaster: Peru, 1964

The fatalities and injuries from this riot was actually the result of the police forces actions to quell the riots. The disaster took place in a game between Peru and Argentina. Argentina was leading 1-0. Peru scored a goal with 6 minutes left, a goal that would have equalised the score. But a referee did not allow it, so of course this angered some fans who stormed the pitch. 

In response to this, Peruvian police fired tear gas canisters into the crowd. This caused a panic as people who were not involved in the first place began to flee. The gates of the stadium were made of corrugated steel, and they were closed during the game, as they usually are. From the tunnel entrances, there were stairs that led up to the stands above, and these became filled with people who were rushing to get out, and were unaware that the gates were closed at the bottom. People were pushed against the walls of the gate, which eventually collapsed due to the pressure. As a result of the stampede, 328 spectators lost their lives, making it one of football history’s worst disaster. 

Port Said Stadium Riot: Egypt, 2012

During a match between two Egyptian teams, Masry and Ahly, in the Egyptian Premier League. It all started with a delayed match kickoff due to some Masry fans on the field. After Ahly had scored 3 goals in the first half, their supporters came onto the field. At the end of the match, thousands were already on the pitch, with Masry fans throwing bottles and fireworks at the Ahly players who fled to their changing room. Some Masry fans carried knives and bats, they then began attacking Ahly fans who tried to flee but couldn’t sue to the gates being locked. The melees resulted in the deaths of 72 Ahly fans, 1 Masry fan and one police officer. Many of those killed suffered stabbing wounds and hemorrhages. 

A trial was held which convicted 21 people to death for their involvement in the killings and the Egyptian government had to shut down the league for a while. 

Atatürk Stadium disaster: Turkey, 1967

In a match between two Turkish teams, Kayserispor and Sivasspor, the Sivasspor fans began to become riled up as Kayserispor was leading 1-0. What started as rock throwing turned into a full on brawl. Many of the spectators were armed with various melee weapons like knives and bats. People who were not part of the brawl began to flee as the hooligans were going at it, causing a stampede which saw people being trampled to death.

The violence even carried on in the streets in which Sivasspor fans began attacking random people. At the end of it all, 43 people lost their lives.

Upton Park riot: United Kingdom, 2009

When two London clubs go head to head in a match, you can bet that there is some fierce rivalry going on between them. Such example is shown in the 2009 Upton Park Riot in which fans of West Ham United and Millwall repeatedly delayed the game by stampeding into the pitch. Violence continued outside of the pitch as a Millwall supporter was stabbed. 

And those were some examples of rioting and hooliganism in the football world. It should really serve as a lesson for those who are attending live matches that some actions may cause others to be hurt as you can see in the cases mentioned above. 

So try to keep it civil the next time you get out and support your team.

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