They can be traced back as far as the middle ages (Peterson, 2005:78). This was in England. This led to the ban of football by King Edward the second. This was in 1314. During this time, football was a primitive and very violent game. It had no rules and brought rival villages together. The king believed that the violence in football could have detrimental effects. It could lead to social unrest and acts of treason.
As a result of the violence that seems to perpetually follow the game of football, there have been introduction of control measures. This is to control the fans in a stadium and around the stadium during or before a game (Gerry, 2001:98). Many institutions have been formed to implement these measures. Rules have been introduced that fans have to observe, failure to which they are liable to prosecution (Wayne, 2008). Due to the relative success that has been attained so far through these measures, attempts have been made to introduce them into other games where violence is also occurring.
On May of 1985, the football world suffered a tragedy in Brussels. Approximately forty fans were killed in Heysel stadium after violence broke out (Palin, 2009:34). This led to the adoption of a convention to prevent such an act from occurring again. This was called the European Convention. It was adopted the same year of 1985. It was set-up to look into violence and misdemeanour perpetrated by fans. This was in sports events with particular emphasis to the football sport (Johnstone, 2005: 12). It was signed by thirty four states.
The convention provided a raft of changes to rules governing football especially when control of fans is concerned. It is still there today and continues to revise the rules to reflect the changing times and techniques of the game. But football is not the only game that has fans. Almost, if not all sports, have a dedicated base of fans. These fans are prone to engage in hooliganism just like their football compatriots (Irwin, 2004: 23). That is why there is also the need to control them too. These fans tend to go out of control and engage in destructive acts that, if left unchecked, may result to lose of life and property destruction. Basket ball is such one game that is marked with violence and hooliganism.
It is important to note that fans are not controlled solely to avoid violence. They might be controlled to ensure that they have tickets and enters the field in an orderly manner. They might be controlled to ensure that they do not occupy spaces in the stadium that are not meant for them. This is like entering the pitch. There have been efforts to apply the rules that are used to control football fans to other spheres of sports. This paper will critically look at the need for such rules in other games other than foot ball.
Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this paper is to assess the need for the control measures applied to football fans to be applied to other sports. But the paper is guided by specific objectives as outlined below:
Why is it important to control fans in a game
What are the causes of violent and unruly behaviour by fans during a game
What are the results of unruly behaviour by fans
What are some of the control measures applied to control fans in