From a link to an article a reader, John, sent me about how fatal violence outside and racist violence inside Italian soccer stadiums mirrors “darker developments in a broader segment of the Italian and indeed the European body politic,” UD was easily able to jump to other similarly appalled analyses of the increasingly unworkable business of putting on a football match in many of the world’s countries (scroll down). Africa, North Africa, South America, the Middle East — ain’t only Europe where the world’s most corruptly run game is also the most violent.  Football, “a sport with a deeply tribal nature and a large captive audience full of disenfranchised working-class males, and thus in many ways the perfect arena for the unscrupulous populist and his macho, nativist fantasies,” has an important “function in the rise of global far-right populism.”

Global football thugs are in some intriguing ways the haredim of Europe:

Their potential for violence is … so strong that pacifying them has been a matter of public order. 

Punishment is as half-hearted as Israel’s efforts to deal with its mobs of violent tribal male ultras – the ultra orthodox – and for the same reason. Violent-Corrupt-People-Is-Us. Absurd moves like making players compete in empty stadiums (there are more and more of these Beckettian theatrics across the globe), allowing only one team’s fans to attend (The Sound of One Side Clapping), or identifying ringleaders and denying them admission to games (guaranteeing violence on the streets — exactly where a nation’s women and children are cowering in an effort to get out of range of fascist gangs) accomplish nothing. Leaders like Victor Urban want it that way. Even as tribes become smaller and smaller (“[S]tadium attendances [in Italy] plummet every year as people decide it’s better to watch games on TV rather than amid the violence and hatred of the terraces. In Serie A, stadiums are less than 60% full…”) their political and social violence, often stoked by governments, intensifies.


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4 Responses to “Fascinating Football Fascism”

  1. dmf Says:

    bread and circuses

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    dmf: bread and circuses and atrocities

  3. dmf Says:

    well it is Italy after all, when in Rome…

  4. john Says:

    Multiple trends towards sports performances in empty stadiums…

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