Lots of football fans are worried that, at some point, hooliganism will spoil the World Cup for everyone. He is a proud hooligan and supporter of Dynamo Dresden , a second-tier club in eastern Germany. Dennis claims his father is proud of his "hobby", but says he hasn't told his mum that he likes to participate in organised fights in fields and forests with two dozen other grown men who are as passionate about punching as he is.
According to the German police , there are roughly 3, football supporters in the country who have been officially categorised as "violent fans", while thousands more are considered "violence-inclined".
I spoke to Dennis to find out why he loves fighting so much, what sort of injuries he has suffered and whether he is a danger to the public. VICE: Do you go to matches just to fight?
Dennis: No, I go to support Dynamo. Fights don't actually break out inside stadiums very often anymore.
Disorderly, violent or destructive behaviour perpetrated by spectators at association football events. At an international football friendly between Australia and Serbia in Melbourne in June , fans lit flares both inside and outside the stadium, and in city streets. A particularly serious incident was the so-called " Battle of Beverwijk " on 23 March , in which several people were seriously injured and one killed. From the s and onwards, the nuclei of the biggest barras bravas began to attend the matches of the Argentina national football team in the FIFA World Cups. Lots of ground staff are on minimum wage.
It's been almost 20 years since there's been a proper brawl in a ground. Back then, club owners would encourage hooligans to be aggressive — giving us free beer at halftime, before things kicked off on the final whistle. But the police have really cracked down on all that now. The real fights take place outside the stadiums, sometimes in fields and forests.
Most of these fights only last a couple of minutes, but it feels like an eternity. In Germany and across much of Western Europe, hooliganism is part of our football tradition.
Eastern European hooligans are more into ice hockey, basketball and, sometimes, even water polo. What's the worst injury you've ever inflicted on someone?
I don't know, because I don't really care about my opponents. I don't send them a card afterwards to check that they're OK. I once heard that someone I punched suffered a double-jaw fracture, but I can't say for sure if that's the worst injury I've caused. As soon as I knock someone to the ground and they stay there, I leave them alone.
It's in our code of conduct that it has to end there. Has anyone ever died in a fight? Not that I've seen, but I know someone who ended up in a wheelchair. Personally, I've broken several of my bones. I once fractured my wrist because I hit someone too hard.
But saying all this, Russian and Polish hooligans are a lot worse than us. How do you arrange fights? Every group has a leader, who calls up other leaders to organise fights. Not only because these fans tend to be more committed to their group, but because they tend to experience the most threatening environments, e. While the findings were linked to Brazilian football fans, the authors believe that they are not only applicable across football fans and other sports-related violence, but to other non-sporting groups, such as religious groups and political extremists.
The psychology underlying the fighting groups we find among fans was likely a key part of human evolution.
We hope this study spurs an interest in reducing inter-group conflict through a deeper understanding of both the psychological and situational factors that drive it. Skip to main content. Social bonding and a desire to protect and defend other fans may be one of the main motivations not only for football hooliganism, but extremist group behaviour in general, according to new Oxford University research.
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Football hooliganism or soccer hooliganism is disorderly, violent or destructive behaviour perpetrated by spectators at association football events. Football. Beginning in at least the s, the United Kingdom gained a reputation worldwide for football hooliganism; the phenomenon was often dubbed the English.
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