Derby Violence – A step too far?

On derby heavy weekend consisting of Everton vs Liverpool, Fulham vs Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham vs Arsenal is upon us. Having reported on the Brighton vs Crystal Palace the other day and witnessing the violence first hand I felt the need to blog.

Derbys are effectively the most important game of the season. Before points go on the board you already know a victory of your bitter rivals is going to be essential of fans and players alike. The atmosphere is taken up a notch and often the standard of football goes down. In go sloppy challenges and poor passes and pressure mounts on a must win game. Fans who haven’t witnessed any other league games turn up and violence and chaos is a usual occurrence.

Now one thing I don’t understand is this need for violence. I love derbys and the way that if your team suffer a devastating loss yet your rivals do the same , you are instantly uplifted. I love the history behind each derby and the brilliant memory of wins. Every derby is different and special to the clubs involved, nothing can take that rivalry away.

Violence, it seems inseparable from football now and happens at practically every match, none more so than derbys. I still don’t understand the pointless violence in hurting another football fan for liking a team you don’t. Yes there is history and chants and game incidents can anger fans but it should never get to such extremes that fans are getting hurt. Don’t get me wrong in derbys I hate opposing fans as much as the next fan but at the end of the day I would never go as far as to attacking fans.

Working for The Argus the other night at the game I was made to record as much controversy and violence as I could and after nearly getting hit by stones I decided that there is no need for these extremities. Police had to cordon off fans with riot gear and horses to prevent an all out brawl. I don’t think sport should ever get to the point where a large amount of police is needed. Fans who turn up for a fight should not turn up at all. Show passion for your club inside the stadium, don’t throw punches off of it.

Nathan Price @NathanLeePrice

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