Hooliganism in British Football – Is It Returning?

Another week goes by for British football and there are more and more talking points on the topic of racism and hooliganism.

During the Manchester Derby, a coin was thrown at Rio Ferdinand causing minor injury to the players face. The player was left bleeding as he celebrated United’s injury-time winning goal in their 3-2 victory at City’s Etihad Stadium, and the incident is currently being investigated by the FA and police.

Manchester City have apologised to Rio after he was hit by a 2p coin and a Manchester City spokesperson told Sky News: “We apologise to Rio. We condemn the actions of the individual concerned.

“We are reviewing the CCTV with the police and our normal security. We will support the police with any investigation and hopefully identify the person as soon as possible.”

The only possible conclusion for the adherer of such hooliganism would be to ban the individual from football for life – to stamp out any unsociable behaviour in the football society.

With blood pouring down Ferdinand’s face there was more controversy as a City supporter ran on to the pitch to confront the player. The fan slipped and fell as he approached the defender and then City goalkeeper Joe Hart stepped in to restrain the pitch invader who was eventually arrested.

This sort of behaviour should not be seen in today’s football society. When it comes to hooliganism in football years gone by they both seemed to come hand in hand, but progress in the modern-day has meant that football and football stadiums alike are family friendly – this sort of behaviour is unexpected by the fans and sets a terrible example for the younger generation.

Joe Hart conceded in the 93rd minute in a very feisty Manchester Derby but he still prevented a Man City fan from getting to Rio. Does this show that there is more respect on the pitch than off it? After the game, Ferdinand said on Twitter: “Respect to Joe Hart for protecting that idiot who ran on!! Love the banter between fans but there is a point when it goes too far … calm it!”

An opinion by a professional should be respected, banter in football makes up part of the game but when this banter goes too far it has repercussions, not only on the individual or group who endeavour into the behaviour but also on the footballing world.

Besides the hooliganism during the game Greater Manchester Police also confirmed that an arrest was made after racist chanting was heard from part of the ground. The matter of racism in British football has come alight once again after the Terry and Suarez incidents – the incidents have portrayed racism in football as a major talking point in this country once again and racism is in the foreground of fans minds. The FA, British clubs and fans alike must join together and take a stand to kick it out once and for all.

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