Soccer, or football to most of the world, has been one of the oldest sports in the history of the world. It is by far the most viewed, played, and biggest attendance sport throughout the countries, with the exception of the USA. Being the biggest sport in the world means having the biggest fan base as well. This sport has become as close to many fans hearts just as the bible can change people who read it. In this paper, the reader will understand how soccer has changed throughout the years, what the ideals of a unified code are in this sport, as well as the differences and similarities between youth and professional.
Many people have heard the saying, “soccer is a gentlemen’s sport, played by hooligans. And rugby is a hooligan sport, played by gentlemen” and most probably don’t understand the actual meaning behind it. I have been lucky enough to play both sports throughout my entire life, and can say this is a true statement. Soccer is a sport based on fitness and the ability to act. If one can find tapes of old soccer games from the past, and compare it to the games of today, one would realize the game has completely changed. In today’s society, people are all about things such as goal line technology, instant replays and such which prolong the game and take away some of the fun about them. In the past, referee’s had to do their best to guess when a foul was committed should actually be called or not based on the intent of the player. Nowadays, referee’s are easily fooled after a play because many of the players of today’s age fall down and “act” as if their ankle or knee has been shattered, and as soon as they have gotten the other player in trouble, they hop right up and start running perfectly again. This has slowed down the game over the years and has committed to very serious outcomes in games as well as what happens in the stands.
Soccer have some of the largest fan bases in the world, and aren’t always the best kind to have. There are more soccer “gangs” than there are actual gangs in most cities. Just like in most sports, they have rivalries and along with those team rivalries are gang rivalries. These soccer “gangs” are called firms, and each team has one, and the most notorious ones are located in England. There was a movie that came out about ten or so years
ago that is based off of what the life is like in the world of soccer firms, it is called Green Street Hooligans. These firms don’t always have to be based off of how good their soccer teams are, for instance Manchester United has a great soccer team, but not a very good firm. In the movie, one can see what all happens in firms and how big of a part it is in their lives. We here the occasional, “A riot erupted outside of the stadium after the super-bowl” but this is normal for a weekend soccer match in England. I couldn’t find any research about when these firms started, but I would have to say they have been going on for quite a few years. These type of “gangs” are just a preview of how serious sports are taken and how much these codes of behavior will be broken.
A little background behind the movie, Green Street Hooligans, is that’s about a college journalist drop out who moves to England to live with his sister but ends up joining one of the firms there, Green Street Elite. Usually firms don’t take outsiders that they don’t know very well, let alone an American. In this movie, one sees how the fights start during the soccer game and continue even after the game is over and sees how ruthless these gangs are to each other. The college student is played by Elijah Wood, and ends up wrecking the whole firm he joins and is sort of the reason the head gang leader gets killed at the end. Journalists are one of the worst types of people according to the firms and when they realize who he was in college, is when everything goes downhill.
When playing any sport as a child, the parents strive for their child to do well and sometimes they take it a little too far. It isn’t uncommon for parents to yell at referee’s in a match, however, there have been accounts of parents taking it to the extreme. Parents have thrown things at referee’s, walked onto the field and pushed referee’s, and have even gotten into physical fights with the ref’s. These are things that have taken the sport to the extreme and need to be dealt with. For one, these type of behaviors set bad images for their children and are viewed by others as immature and dumb. In no way should the referee be contacted by a parent, this is the job of the coach and should be dealt with in an accordingly manner.
The only difference seen between the youth and professional soccer games dealing with crowds is the parent to gang type relevance. In youth’s they have the parents that start the fights, and with professional games they have the firms. These fights will always be around unless FIFA, Federation International Football Association, put more extreme punishments to the leagues and teams for such behavior. They have some tolerance of some things, such as fining a professional team, however, this doesn’t really attack the fans but only the team. There needs to be more strict punishments to the fans of soccer games or else this kind of behavior will continue down the road and could eventually grow to an all around the world dilemma. Luckily, here in the U.S. soccer isn’t our biggest sport so we don’t have these types of professional riots in the cities. Due to that fact, I believe if we do start to expand further down the road and become one of the tops sports here, we should keep working on how to restrict the amounts of riots here so that we don’t start adapting the ways over in England.
In this case dealing with soccer, I would have to say that England has a feudal society, while we have a modern society. The reason I believe we are a modern society still is because we are still adapting the sport in our country and its ways while other countries such as England are a stabled society that really don’t plan on changing their ways. I think soccer has one of the biggest differences in the codes of behavior throughout the world compared to any sport, just because it is the number one sport in almost all countries and how dedicated people become to it. In America for instance you have NBA, MLB, and NFL which are just the professional leagues and at the end of the season you just have playoffs and a big game winner. While in soccer all across the world, teams are able to join multiple competitions while playing in their regular season games. For instance, Manchester City are allowed to play in the English Premier League (their normal league), and then are allowed to play in other tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League, Carling Cup, and the FA Cup. Not only are the players allowed to play in all those games for their club team, but when a national game comes along and they must play for their country, they leave the club for a
weekend and go to where they are needed. This is why soccer is the biggest sport in the world and can be seen differently as a modern society in some places compared to a feudal society.
Overall, soccer is seen as both a modern society and a feudal society still. But all in all soccer is mostly a feudal society structure due to the fact that it isn’t changing in most countries since it has been around for so long that they don’t have to adapt to anything these days. However, soccer is still rapidly changing and growing in the USA and is adapting to the lifestyles that fit us compared to those that are truly dedicated to the sport in such places as England, Spain, and Italy.