Link between Football Violence and Sectarianism Name Institution Tutor Date Link between Football Violence and Sectarianism Introduction In regard to Ward & Williams (2010), sectarianism can be hatred, bigotry and discrimination that arises from attaching importance to differences perceived within a group, and consequently causing subdivisions within the group…
In Scotland, sectarianism takes the form of political sectarian rivalry and religious sectarian rivalry which occurs between Catholics and Protestants. Sectarianism is clear in football clubs such as the fierce rivalry between Celtic football club and Rangers football club. Discussion Sectarianism According to Murray (2000), sectarianism in the Scottish football arises from offensive behaviours on the pitch. The behaviours include expression of religious, social, political and racial incitement. This aspect may occur between players of two opposing teams or among the fans. The behaviour of managers and players influences sectarianism whereby, players may receive influence from the manager who is in rivalry with the manager of the opposing team (Murray, 2000). This implies that the players will consider the opposing team as a rival, not just in the football contest, but also in the physical sense. The managers play a vital role in ensuring that there is no sectarianism among players since they are the role models of the players. Sectarianism may also occur during the broadcasting of a match where the commentary may use sectarian terms and incite the fans. The commentators have personal beliefs and interest. Their interests may be on one team compared to the other team; this implies that, in their commentary, they will favour one team leading to rivalry between the two teams. Sectarianism in a broad perspective may lead to threats of solemn harm, which intend to cause fear and alarm to an opposing team. To demonstrate the rivalry that one team has over the other, there is the use of implied threats such as images that depict serious harm such as bullets and threats that incite religious hatred (Murray, 2000). In the Scottish football, many deaths and assaults have occurred and have a direct link on sectarian tension within the nation. Such assaults leading to death occur before or after a football match featuring rivalry teams. Sectarianism, which is present among the old Firms in Scotland, occurs due to religious conflicts where some of the teams identify themselves as Catholics while the rest, which constitute a small percentage, are protestant and are from the rival team as seen in the study work of Ward & Williams (2010). Sectarianism is openly demonstrated where some clubs put up the Union flag on their pitches while some put up Irish tricolored flags. The clubs, which demonstrate Catholic faith, sign players who are Catholics. This applies to Protestants who do not allow Catholics to play for their club such as Rangers football club. Though many researchers argue that football is not the main cause of sectarianism in the Scottish football, there is evidence to show that sectarianism is until now rampant among many fans as seen in the research work of Potter & Jones (2008). Sutherland (2012) states in his research studies that politics plays a considerable role in promoting sectarianism around Scotland. This is because influential politicians are supporters of some teams. If an influential politician supports a club while the rival politician supports another club, it implies that the supporters of the different politicians will become rivals not just on the pitch but also outside the football pitch. Football violence This is the act where the fans or the players’ turn against each other during a football match leading to destruction of property and injuries of people. ...
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