Wednesday, November 23, 2011

23rd of November 2011 - Off Pitch

7 Spey Terrace
Telephone: 0131-550 0895

23rd of November 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,


The Scottish Government's attempts to legislate against "offensive behaviour" at football matches demonstrates the total lack of understanding of what is essentially a working class sport by middle class lawyers and self styled intellectuals.

Intrinsic to Soccer is a tribalism which often spills over into ritualised verbal and physical violence off the pitch. For a significant proportion of match goers, it provides a weekly safety valve for the pent up aggression which they are, quite rightly, unable to vent in daily life. The Saturday scrap between opposing supporters is part of the genuine working class football experience and is well understood by the real football fans who inhabit the terraces rather than watching on TV.

It is sad to see MSPs buying into the commercialisation of the sport which requires a squeaky clean family image in order to attract major advertisers. They should stick to the violence of Rugby with its off pitch politesse and stop trying to impose their standards on a milieu of which they are totally ignorant.

John Eoin Douglas

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