Yesterday I read a story on Yahoo! regarding the use of "spotters" to keep an eye on unruly hooligans. That seems like a good idea to me, but it wasn't what I found most interesting about the article.
-HOOLIGANS GROUNDED-Apparently, England has confiscated more than 3,000 passports from people they consider to be dangerous and/or violent soccer fanatics. The "spotters" responsibility is to mingle with the crowds, and keep an eye out for the fans that are known to be troublemakers. They will be tracking them based on their "well-known faces". Even Sweden has singled out roughly 800 known hooligans, though they aren't able to confiscate passports and believe that "maybe 200 to 300 of them are coming to Germany".
The article even documents a case last year where Polish fans setup times and dates for fights with foreign fans. Sort of like a soccer version of "Fight Club".
Let me state on the record that I don't condone violence at sporting events. However, this article makes me wonder if this is why the U.S. hasn't ever really been considered a strong WC contender. I highly doubt any U.S. fans have clashed with foreign fans while sporting their Cobi Jones or Alexi Lalas replica jerseys.
Maybe this year, one or two fans can engage in some fisticuffs while donning their Eddie Johnson jerseys in order to let the other countries know we mean business. Of course that could backfire horribly, leaving us looking more like Marla Singer and less like Tyler Durden.
Friday, June 09, 2006
Posted by BDoc at 9:42 AM