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Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce,


Media, Politics
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Timing dangerousness: football crowd


disorder in the Italian and Greek press
a
Anastassia Tsoukala
a
Department of Sport Sciences at the University of Paris XI, Paris,
France
Published online: 15 Jul 2011.

To cite this article: Anastassia Tsoukala (2011) Timing dangerousness: football crowd disorder in
the Italian and Greek press, Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 14:5, 598-611,
DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2011.574360

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2011.574360

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Sport in Society
Vol. 14, No. 5, June 2011, 598611

Timing dangerousness: football crowd disorder in the Italian and


Greek press
Anastassia Tsoukala*

Department of Sport Sciences at the University of Paris XI, Paris, France

This article seeks to shed light on the reasons beneath the emergence of football
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hooliganism-related media-orchestrated moral panics. Comparative analysis of the


upmarket press coverage of the issue in Italy and Greece from the 1970s onwards
reveals that the transforming of football hooliganism into a security threat was to a
great extent dissociated from the scale and seriousness of the phenomenon. In both case
studies, the change in the way journalists perceived football hooligans was closely
associated with an array of social and political factors that were unrelated to football
crowd violence. Contextualization of these findings suggests that the gradual
replacement of the political origins of this threat-focused perception by apparently
depoliticized risk-oriented security threat assessments has played an important role in
legitimating liberty-restricting counter-hooliganism policies.

Although crowd disorder has been regularly associated with football matches ever since
the late nineteenth century, in both the UK and continental Europe,1 it did not attract media
attention before the early 1970s. From then onwards, however, the gradual change in the
nature and scale of football-related incidents towards a more organized, serious and
frequently occurring form of collective violence mainly involving young people moved
from the periphery to the centre of the media coverage of social problems, first in the UK
and later in many different European countries.
The mounting media attention given to football-related incidents stirred up, in turn, the
interest of academia which sought to analyse the way journalists framed the issue. Yet,
quite paradoxically, given the rise in football hooliganism all over Europe, research in the
media coverage of the phenomenon remained an essentially British affair. Not only were
British scholars the first to study the question,2 but also, and above all, their works and
those of their successors3 still represent the major part of all relevant studies in Europe.
Apart from the occasional study of the Italian and Dutch cases, and my own analyses of the
Italian, French, Greek and Belgian press,4 the question has been addressed only briefly, in
studies dealing with football-related issues in general.
Displaying a profound theoretical consistency, the main bodies of British work under
consideration in this article have been developed within the conceptual framework set up
by Stanley Cohen and Stuart Hall5 with regard to the social construction of threat. Analysis
of the way the British media represented football hooliganism led to two key findings.
First, it was clearly shown that, with the exception of the Scottish case,6 press coverage of
the issue relied heavily on many different deviance-amplification techniques, ranging from

*Email: tsoukala.anastassia@gmail.com

ISSN 1743-0437 print/ISSN 1743-0445 online


q 2011 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2011.574360
http://www.informaworld.com
Sport in Society 599

distortion and exaggeration to self-fulfilling prophecies. These techniques were seen as an


integral part of a broader discursive pattern, usually applied when constructing otherness
in general,7 in which the frequent recourse to the binary representation of the issue allowed
the drawing of a clear line between the wrongdoers and the rest of the community the
latter stage being indispensable for establishing guilt and introducing stringent coercive
measures. While some scholars pointed out that from the late 1980s onwards the press
tended to de-amplify football-related disorder in the UK, in order first to speed up the
return of English clubs to European competition after the Heysel-related UEFA ban, and
later, to maintain the image of an efficiently controlled phenomenon,8 research conducted
in the 2000s confirmed the longevity of the aforementioned deviance-amplification
process as regards the football crowd disorder involving English supporters abroad.9
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The second key finding of research on the British press coverage of football
hooliganism refers to the reasons beneath the adoption and further development of this
specific representation of the issue. Nowadays, it is widely acknowledged that the turning
of football hooliganism into one of the moral panics of the 1970s is linked to the broader
sociopolitical context of the moment. Widespread social anxiety triggered by both the
decolonization process and the social and cultural changes induced by modernity was to a
great extent being expressed through a growing concern about rising juvenile crime, and
especially working-class youth violence. Because resistance to the alleged erosion of
moral constraint in what was perceived to be an increasingly lax society called for the
introduction of any measure likely to restore law and order, young football supporters
became the target of expanding security demands, together with several other groups of
working-class youth, ranging from teddy boys to skinheads.10
Yet, despite its wide acceptance among academics, the association established
between the deviance-amplification-oriented press coverage of the issue and a given
sociopolitical context only offers a limited understanding of the process in question. What
this association reveals is that the evolving of football crowd disorder into more organized
and frequently occurring forms of collective violence was perceived as particularly
threatening because it was interpreted in relation to an array of domestic social and
political factors. Some scholars have pointed out that the emergence of this press
representation of the issue did not fully coincide with the evolution of the phenomenon
since during the second half of the 1960s, that is, when the changes in the behaviour of
football supporters were already obvious, journalists often downplayed the problem by
disregarding pre- or post-match incidents and/or minimizing the seriousness of the
incidents they did report.11 But, as the scale of the phenomenon was still somewhat limited
and the gap between the emergence of this specific form of collective violence and the
media overreaction was relatively short, it is not possible to draw sound conclusions from
this remark. Although one may easily attribute this gap to the internal dynamics of the
crisis itself and/or of the way people perceived it at any given moment, it can also be
plausibly argued that this gap simply reflected the time that was needed to establish with
certainty the non-transient character of this form of violence. In the former case, it could
be assumed that the media overreaction responded to the crisis effect rather than the
phenomenon itself. In the latter case, it could be assumed that the media overreaction
responded to the emergence and spreading of a given violent behaviour, the interpretation
of which was in part determined by the crisis effect.
Moral panic theorists do not make any time-related distinctions with regard to the
phenomena that end up triggering moral panics. They usually admit that the object of the
social overreaction may be new or long established. Relevant case studies indistinctly
address new, long established or recurrently appearing social problems.12 Yet, what may
600 A. Tsoukala

seem to be of minor importance in moral panic theories can be crucial in the social control
and human rights realm. As I have argued elsewhere,13 the jeopardizing of football
supporters civil rights and liberties following the introduction of a growing web of
surveillance and control mechanisms is to be understood in terms of the evolution of
crime-control strategies and policies in Europe. But the widespread indifference with
which the increasing restrictions on the rights of football supporters were met is to be
linked to the influence of the long-standing and unchallenged image of dangerousness
that, sooner or later, has been broadcasted by the media all over Europe. In this respect,
analysis of the reasons that lie beneath the turning point, that is, the initial adoption of
deviance-amplification-oriented press coverage of football hooliganism is necessary to
better understand the web of interactions that shape and legitimize counter-hooliganism
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policies in Europe.
To address the issue, I analyse press coverage of football-related violence in Italy and
Greece, that is, two countries with a long-standing experience of uninterrupted serious
football crowd disorder from the 1970s onwards.14 Although this analysis draws on a
broader study of press coverage of the issue from the 1970s until today,15 in this article, it
will only encompass the periods that go from the birth of the phenomenon in each country
to the regular introduction in the press of the elements that usually make up a moral panic.
Consequently, in the Italian case, analysis will rest upon press articles published from
1970 to 1985 in the following national upmarket newspapers: La Repubblica, La Stampa
and Il Corriere della sera. In the Greek case, it will rely on press articles published from
1982 to 2000 in the following national upmarket newspapers: Ta Nea, I Kathimerini,
Eleftherotypia, Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia and To Vima.16 In the absence of any relevant
study of the Greek press, only analysis of the Italian press rests upon secondary sources
too.17

Football hooliganism in the Italian press


Once established in the UK, the rising organized forms of football-related violence spread
rapidly across Europe, following the rhythm of organization of international fixtures.18 To
the eyes of continental football supporters, violent English fans were, of course, fear-
inspiring, but also fascination-producing representatives of a new cultural model to copy.
Under this cultural influence and its subsequent interactions with the action strategies and
activist patterns of behaviour of numerous right and left-wing political extremists who
gradually arrived on the terraces,19 the ever-present football crowd disorder in Italy20 was
definitively modified in the early 1970s. The change was first obvious in quantitative
terms. The appearance of the first organized groups of football supporters led to a clear and
significant rise in football-related incidents throughout this decade. Henceforth, mounting
both at First and Second Division fixtures,21 football hooliganism spread in the major part
of the country, with incidents usually involving supporters of football clubs in Rome,
Milan, Bologna, Turin, Naples and many other smaller towns situated in Central and
Northern Italy. These organized forms of football-related violence were now coexisting
with more traditional, that is, spontaneous forms of spectator disorder that remained
prevalent in Southern Italy.22 In qualitative terms, the changes produced in football-related
violence were obvious both in the introduction of a new repertoire of action on the part of
football supporters and the rapid escalation of violence. Newly adopted boisterous and
vaguely threatening behaviour was frequently being transformed into aggressions between
rival groups of football supporters, clashes with police, missile-throwing, pitch invasions
and acts of vandalism. Intergroup fights were increasingly involving fans armed with iron
Sport in Society 601

balls and knives, thus provoking the death of one supporter, in December 1973, and
numerous serious injuries. Besides, from the mid-1970s onwards, incidents tended to
occur both inside and outside stadiums, before, during or after the fixtures.23
Yet, this widespread disorder did not provoke any rapid significant change in press
coverage of the issue. As had happened with football crowd disorder in the 1950s and
1960s,24 trouble due to the violent behaviour of football supporters was not perceived to be
serious enough to stir up particular concern. Journalists did denounce the aforementioned
quantitative and qualitative changes, but they clearly avoided using stereotyped
discourses. Football-related incidents were usually reported in neutral terms and more
often than not prompted analyses of their causes. For example, reporting of missile-
throwing in 1970 was presented under the headline Throwing of missiles onto the pitch:
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Sampdorias goalkeeper was injured.25 While recognizing that football hooligans went
to matches with the intention of causing trouble,26 journalists also linked such violence
to the behaviour of many different sporting actors, ranging from referees and coaches to
football players, who were often acting in an irresponsible way likely to trigger conflict.27
In seeking to identify the reasons lying beneath this violence, journalists further took
into account both the sociopolitical context and the sociocultural characteristics of football
hooligans. In the former case, the phenomenon was seen either as one of the possible
outcomes of the broader crisis that was affecting then the social and political institutions of
the country or as a symptom of the frustration felt by young people due to their social
marginalization. When not seen as embedded in the evolution of Italian society, football
hooliganism was thought to reflect young peoples need to belong to subcultural groups
and the weak resistance of the former to the pressure put on them by the latter.28
Journalists explanations were occasionally completed by academic analysis of the issue,
with football hooliganism being seen, for example, as a normal reaction of young people
excited by the display of physical energy in the pitch, but not allowed to transfer it to the
terraces.29 In all cases, this violence was believed to be relatively limited in scale. It was
not unusual then to downplay its importance and to stress that, far from being a sadly
unique Italian phenomenon [ . . . ] in many other European countries [ . . . ] incidents were
far more serious and frequent.30
This moderate press coverage of the issue excluded usual recourse to deviance-
amplification techniques and, consequently, did not rely on the binary representation of the
wrongdoers. Football supporters thus remained clearly circumscribed in their social and
political context, which in turn provided their behaviour with rationally identifiable and
contextualized origins. Though the term tifoso, that is, the Italian word for fan, is by
definition surrounded by a pathological aura,31 journalists kept on seeing violent football
supporters as emotion-driven but certainly not pathologically irrational persons.32
Quite unsurprisingly, a similar moderate stance was also taken when claiming for law
and order to be restored. Calls for the authorities to control the phenomenon effectively
were usually framed in terms of an efficient implementation of the existing legal
framework rather than the introduction of more stringent security measures. Besides, such
demands for security did not prevent journalists from criticizing police interventions.
In seeing the latter as frequently brutal and disproportionate, they did not hesitate to hold
the police in part responsible for the escalation of the phenomenon.33
In spite of its apparently puzzling aspect, this indulgent attitude to football
hooliganism is meaningful when seen in light of the social and political context of the
time. Discontent expressed during the Hot Autumn of 196934 led to widespread
sociopolitical upheaval throughout the 1970s.35 Social claims made by workers and
students would often take the form of violent and/or violently repressed protests,36 while
602 A. Tsoukala

more than 2000 attacks were being claimed by several dozen terrorist groups operating
under different names.37 In this climate of widespread social and political violence,
football-related violence was only of concern if it overstepped a certain level of
seriousness.38 Likewise, since the other forms of collective violence were not seen as
gratuitous, football-related violence too was thought to be linked to certain rationally
grounded motives that had to be identified so that the underlying conflict could be
resolved. In including football hooliganism among the other prevailing types of youth
violence, journalists applied to it the explanatory frames already used with regard to youth
involved in violent social and political movements.
However, this way of representing football hooliganism began to change considerably
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when a Lazio fan was killed at the Olympic Stadium of Rome in October 1979. From then
onwards, while still expressing doubts about the competence of law enforcers,39 press
coverage of the issue was increasingly resting upon the deviance-amplification techniques
and binary representation of the football hooligans that were already prevailing, for
example, in the British media. Violent incidents were thus being seen as manifestation of
an absurd war40 and symptom of a collective pathology41 that, in the aftermath of the
Heysel disaster, was believed to have acquired in Italy too the dimensions of a dramatic
problem the solution of which could no more be postponed.42 Yet, the fact that the
transformation of football hooliganism into a major public order problem and the ensuing
introduction of all elements that usually make up a moral panic were triggered by a
specific event in 1979 should not lead us to believe that it was the event itself that led to
such a shift. Events can play a significant role in shaping public discourses only and to the
extent that they are also catalysts of ongoing social, political or other processes. In other
words, this change in press coverage of the issue should not be dissociated from its social
and political context.
For what matters in this article, Italian society of the late 1970s and early 1980s
witnessed the apex and sharp decline of political violence. In fact, the death of the Lazio
fan occurred soon after the kidnapping and killing of Aldo Moro43 by the extreme left-
wing Red Brigades, in 1978, and a few months before the killing of 85 people in the
terrorist attack at the Central Station in Bologna, in 1980, which was perpetrated by the
extreme right-wing Armed Revolutionary Nuclei. While introducing emergency law to
counter the terrorist threat, in football stadiums, government officials saw one of the
possible fields of expansion of the political violence. Justified by the overt politicization of
football supporters, fear that political violence may invade the stadiums was also shared by
security officials and the media, thus leading to what was soon to become the first relevant
moral panic.
The ensuing stigmatization of football hooligans and their turning into key threatening
figures was further reinforced in the early 1980s due to the clear decline, from 1982
onwards, of political violence.44 In a climate in which social peace and sociopolitical
stability were gradually being restored to the country, the political class dissociated itself
from any form of collective violence, whether it emanated from student circles, the labour
movement or small political groups. Having thus become an increasingly isolated social
phenomenon45 that, besides, kept on producing serious disorder and even death, as attested
by the deaths of two supporters in 198446 and the Heysel disaster in 1985, football
hooliganism was henceforth seen as a serious security threat that called for the
introduction of stringent security measures.
Sport in Society 603

Football hooliganism in the Greek press


Although football crowd disorder was not uncommon in Greek football stadiums in the
1950s and early 1960s,47 the 1967 1974 dictatorship prevented football supporters from
being influenced by the then-emerging forms of organized fandom in the UK, Italy,
Belgium and the Netherlands. Therefore, the first groups of organized football supporters
appeared in the late 1970s. From the early 1980s onwards, football hooliganism spread
across the country, and rapidly became a regular feature of First and Second Division
football matches. Violent incidents, which were also occurring at basketball matches,
involved fans coming from Athens and Thessalonica, but also from Patras, Larissa and
other mid-sized towns. In constant rise throughout the 1980s, football hooliganism took
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various forms, ranging from intergroup fights and clashes with police to pitch invasions,
missile-throwing and broad-scale acts of vandalism.48 Often extreme in its manifestation,
it led to the deaths of three football supporters, in September 1983, October 1986 and
December 1986, several hundred injuries and significant material damage. From the late
1980s onwards, this escalation further implied a spatial and temporal displacement of
football-related incidents and a significant rise in the number of football supporters
involved in them. Incidents were occurring more frequently, both inside and outside
football stadiums, well before and after the fixtures, and more often than not involved
several hundred football supporters at a time. In the first half of the 1990s, football
hooliganism led to the death of another supporter, in January 1991, a dozen serious
injuries, several hundred injuries and important material damage.49
Yet, far from stigmatizing football supporters as responsible for such a widespread and
serious violence, the Greek press adopted a highly moderate stance and sought to bring to
light the causes of this disorder. In admitting implicitly the complexity of the issue,
journalists rarely endeavoured to analyse it themselves, and preferred instead to rely upon
academic work. Thus, they often drew on the first academic study carried out in the late
1980s50 to point out that violent football supporters, who often came from broken homes
and were living in precarious socio-economic conditions, reflected the crisis in values
taking place in a society that was becoming increasingly indifferent to a section of its
young people because it was blighted by alienation, commercialization and amorality.51
Violent reaction to the growing influence of these controversial values was thought to be
even less alarming because, given the age of the vast majority of football hooligans, it was
seen as the expression of a process of transition from adolescence to adulthood which
might occasionally take the form of violent behaviour but never lasted.52 Notwithstanding
its objectionable aspects, this violent behaviour remained then somewhat understandable
and clearly circumscribed within a rational action framework as an adverse side effect of
the evolution of the post-dictatorial Greek society.
In seeking to highlight the origins of football hooliganism, journalists did not content
themselves with making abstract associations with the social and political context of the
phenomenon. They further attempted to unpack the web of interactions between violent
football supporters and the other actors who were directly or indirectly involved in the
issue. Frequent allegations of collusion between football hooligans and club officials went
together with denunciations of the indulgence of the public authorities who were
sometimes reluctant to even enforce the law.53 Responsibility was also attributed to
political parties, who were not condemning football hooliganism severely enough for fear
of weakening their electoral base within football stadiums, and to the sports press, who
fuelled intergroup rivalries.54
604 A. Tsoukala

Consequently, although policing of the issue was often thought to be inadequate, calls
for the adoption of a new counter-hooliganism policy were not framed in terms of
enhancing the security mechanism. While insisting on the need to effectively apply the
existing law to all actors in the sporting field and to introduce long-term preventive
measures, journalists kept linking efficient counter-hooliganism policy to the introduction
of measures likely to clean up professional football.55
To explain the moderate stance of the Greek press, one may, once again, focus on the
social and political context of the time. In fact, from the late 1970s onwards, Greek society
experienced a period of intense sociopolitical conflict. More often than not, student and
worker protests were leading to violent clashes with police that, following the rise of the
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anarchist movement in the late 1970s and especially from the mid-1980s onwards, were
occurring on a practically daily basis in the major towns of the country.56 Besides,
although the population did not feel targeted by the mounting activity of the numerous
terrorist groups that emerged after the fall of dictatorship,57 the sharp rise in terrorist
attacks throughout this period58 ended up enhancing the overall feeling of disorder. In this
climate of widespread social and political unrest, football hooliganism was seen as a
worrying public order problem that, however, was not serious enough to be included in the
list of key domestic security threats.
This indulgent stance nevertheless began to change in the mid-1990s. From then
onwards, press coverage of the issue tended to rely upon deviance-amplification
techniques and to adhere to a binary representation of football hooligans, thus admitting
and further fuelling the image of their dangerousness. What was now increasingly
described as a pathological behaviour adopted by people with problems,59 was
believed to be an important parameter of a particular type of criminality [which was]
eroding the foundations of Greek society and cost[ed] taxpayers vast amounts of
money.60
Notwithstanding the major changes that had occurred in the post-bipolar security field
with the rise in risk-focused crime-management policies and their ensuing impact on the
prevailing perception of security threats,61 the gradual turning of football hooligans into
security threat can arguably also be seen as one of the outcomes of restoring social peace
after long-standing social and political unrest. Although Greece was still regularly shaken
by domestic terrorist activity, in the mid-1990s, the student and worker movements were
fading, while the anarchist movement was rapidly declining. As observed in the Italian
case, once football hooliganism became an isolated violent behaviour in an increasingly
pacified society, it came to be seen as particularly threatening.
This change in the perception of football-related violence was further accelerated due
to Greek societys growing concern about rising crime. Whereas it was widely admitted in
academia that the striking increase in serious crime from the early 1980s onwards was the
unavoidable effect of an array of social and economic parameters, ranging from
modernization and economic growth to urbanization and changing patterns of
consumption,62 the media tended to attribute the phenomenon to the large-scale arrival
of illegal immigrants from the late 1980s onwards. In a media-orchestrated and often
government-sustained process of criminalization of illegal immigrants,63 the mounting
sense of insecurity in a country which until then had been relatively shielded from crime64
was translated into, inter alia, increasing intolerance of any type of disorder. Quite
unsurprisingly then, football hooligans came to be seen as particularly threatening
(anti)social figures, along with drug users, juvenile delinquents and other forms of youth
disorderliness.65
Sport in Society 605

Concluding remarks and contextualization of the findings


Notwithstanding certain national specificities, with regard to the time of appearance both
of organized forms of football-related violence and the rise in media concern about it, this
comparative analysis of the press coverage of football hooliganism in Italy and Greece
clearly shows that the perception of the dangerousness of football-related violence is to a
great extent dissociated from the scale and seriousness of the phenomenon. In both case
studies, the target of the emerging media-orchestrated moral panics was a long-established
phenomenon, the seriousness and escalation of which could reasonably be taken for
granted many years before the shift in its public representation. In both case studies,
change in the way the issue was being perceived by the journalists was intermingled with
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the assessment of an array of social and political factors that were unrelated to football
hooliganism but crucial in shaping perceptions of crime, threat, (in)security and danger.
In both case studies, as further analysis has revealed elsewhere,66 this politically grounded
image of dangerousness gradually excluded all other ways of representing the issue and
became prevalent from the early 1980s and mid-1990s onwards, respectively.
Once introduced at the heart of the key perception of football hooliganism,
dangerousness produced multiple effects, as integral part of a circular process of
initiating and legitimating football hooliganism-related discourses and security policies.
In the name of protecting society from such a security threat, journalists implicitly
justified, if not called for, further coercive policies which, in turn, legitimated the initial
perception of the former. In this vicious cycle of mutually reinforcing discourses and
security policies, the prior political origins of the threat-focused perception were soon
dismissed and replaced by an array of apparently depoliticized risk-oriented security threat
assessments, which in fact were fully consistent with the core elements of the prevailing
binary representation of the issue. Subsequent increasing recourse to such threat
assessments accelerated the introduction of many different control and surveillance
measures that ended up jeopardizing the civil rights and liberties of football supporters.67
The legitimating effects of the broad dissemination of the henceforth depoliticized
dangerousness of football hooliganism become all the more obvious if we take into
account the amount of criticisms raised by the introduction of liberty-restricting counter-
hooliganism measures. One cannot but acknowledge then that the main difference
between counter-hooliganism policies and other crime-control policies lies not with the
liberty-restricting facets of the former, but with the unreserved acceptance of these facets
by both the Italian and Greek civil societies. In fact, the tension between liberty and
security has been a regular feature of post-war politics in most European liberal
democracies. What is more, the infringement of civil rights and liberties in the name of the
efficient protection of security has greatly increased in the post-9/11 era.68 Yet, such
attempts by the executive to extend its power in the political field at the expense of the
people have always been met with fierce resistance on the part of the civil societies
concerned. In both Italy and Greece, human rights associations and professional groups
have regularly protested to protect the rights of the members of an array of social and
political groups targeted by the social control apparatus, ranging from juvenile delinquents
and drug users to anarchists and terrorism suspects. But, apart from a few reactions
emanating from the Italian sporting milieu,69 football hooligans have never enjoyed such
support.
One of the keys to understanding this startling widespread indifference may lie
precisely with the impact of the prevailing threat-focused press representation of the issue.
In an era of increasing instability,70 with both perceptions of proliferating sources of
606 A. Tsoukala

insecurity and security demands being on the rise, the long-standing and unchallenged
dissemination of media-orchestrated moral panics about football hooliganism arguably
ended up, inter alia, contributing to creating widespread social consensus around the need
to protect at all costs the common well-being from the dangerous football hooligan.
In other words, the systematic divorcing of football hooligans from any rational frame of
action, be it individual or collective, and their ensuing transformation into sources of
gratuitous danger eventually deprived them from the right to have rights or, at least, to
enjoy full protection of the latter. Far from stirring up hostility, counter-hooliganism
policies are then met with indifference even if they entail serious restrictions on the civil
rights and liberties of many people.
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Notes
1
Brug, Football Hooliganism in the Netherlands, 175; Dunning, Murphy, and Williams, The
Roots of Football Hooliganism; Dwertmann and Rigauer, Football Hooliganism in Germany,
78 9; Koulouri, Sport et societe bourgeoise, 111; Roversi, Calcio e violenza in Italia, 85 91.
2
Cohen, Campaigning Against Vandalism; Dunning, Murphy, and Williams The Roots of
Football Hooliganism, 132 56; Hall, The Treatment of Football Hooliganism in the Press;
Murphy, Dunning, and Williams, Soccer Crowd Disorder and the Press; Pearson, Hooligan;
Whannel, Football, Crowd Behaviour and the Press.
3
Armstrong, Football Hooligans, 85 104; Crabbe, The Public Gets What the Public Wants;
Murphy, Dunning, and Williams, Football on Trial, 96 128; Poulton, Tears, Tantrums and
Tattoos, English Media Representation of Football-related Disorder; Weed, Ing-ger-land at
Euro.
4
Brug and Meijs, Voetbalvandalisme en de media; Dal Lago and Moscati, Regalateci un sogno;
De Leo, La violenza fra rumore e mesaggio; Louis, Le mouvement ultras en Italie, 134 9;
Tsoukala, Sport et violence, 169 72, La construction mediatique de la figure du hooligan dans la
presse francaise, Football Hooliganism in Europe.
5
Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics, Campaigning Against Vandalism; Hall, The Treatment
of Football Hooliganism in the Press.
6
Throughout the 1990s, Scottish media tended to ignore any disorder involving Scottish football
fans abroad: Finn and Giulianotti, Scottish Fans, Not English Hooligans!, 197 200.
7
Tsoukala, Boundary-Creating Processes and the Social Construction of Threat.
8
Dunning, Towards a Sociological Understanding of Football Hooliganism, 147 50; Redhead,
Post-Fandom and the Millenial Blues, 24 5.
9
Poulton, English Media Representation of Football-related Disorder; Tsoukala, Constructing
the Threat in a Sports Context, Football Hooliganism in Europe.
10
Hall, The Treatment of Football Hooliganism in the Press; Taylor, Class, Violence and Sport;
Whannel, Football, Crowd Behaviour and the Press.
11
Murphy, Dunning, and Williams, Football on Trial, 115 17; Taylor, Class, Violence and Sport,
71 2.
12
Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics; Critcher, Moral Panics and the Media, Critical Readings;
Downes et al., Crime, Social Control and Human Rights; Goode and Ben-Yehuda, Moral Panics;
Hall et al., Policing the Crisis; Jenkins, Intimate Enemies; Pearson, Hooligan; Rowbotham and
Stevenson, Behaving Badly; Thompson, Moral Panics; Ungar, Moral Panic Versus the Risk
Society; Welch, Price, and Yankey, Moral Panic Over Youth Violence.
13
Tsoukala, Football Hooliganism in Europe.
14
Aperti, Societa; Astrinakis, Subcultures of Hard-Core Fans in West Attica; Astrinakis and
Stilianoudi, Heavy Metal; Balestri and Vigano, Gli ultra; Courakis, Report on the Incidence of
Violence at Greek Sports Stadiums, Football Violence; Dal Lago, Ermeneutica del calcio,
Descrizione di una battaglia; Dal Lago and De Biasi, Italian Football Fans, Un certo sguardo;
Dal Lago and Moscati, Regalateci un sogno; Francia and Goso, La violenza negli stadi;
Golfinopoulos, You Will Never Become Greek; Louis, Le phenomene ultras en Italie, Le
phenomene ultras en Italie; Marani, Indagine sulla violenza negli stadi; Marchi, Ultras, Il derby
del bambino morto; Papageorgiou, An other Sunday; Roversi, Calcio, Tifo, Violenza, Calcio
e violenza in Italia, Football Violence in Italy, The Birth of the Ultras; Roversi and Balestri,
Sport in Society 607

Italian Ultras Today; Salvini, Il rito aggressivo; Tsouramanis, The Behaviour of Football
Hooligans.
15
Tsoukala, Football Hooliganism in Europe.
16
Data come from my personal press archive and from primary research conducted on a regular
basis from the late 1980s onwards. For practical reasons, the presentation of each point relies on a
selection of quotations that are believed to be representative of its whole coverage. When, for
technical reasons, the specific page numbers are not available, I mention the headline.
17
Methodological choices have been greatly determined by the fact that the present analysis draws
on a broader study of press coverage of the issue from the 1970s until today. The latter
encompasses, among other countries, France, that is, a country with only one national sports
newspaper (LEquipe) and no tabloids. Hence, for coherences sake, the whole study excluded
both tabloids and sports newspapers.
18
Football hooliganism emerged in Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands in the early 1970s. By the
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end of the 1970s, it was also to be found in Germany, Greece and Spain.
19
Francia and Goso, La violenza negli stadi, 494, 500; Roversi, Calcio e violenza in Italia, 93 6;
Segre, Ragazzi di stadio, 58, 82 6.
20
Marchi, Il derby del bambino morto, 116ff.
21
In 1973/74, for example, incidents were recorded in 31 First and Second Division fixtures
(Roversi, Calcio e violenza in Italia, 93).
22
Roversi, The Birth of the Ultras, 361 6.
23
De Leo, La violenza fra rumore e mesaggio, 286ff; Roversi, Calcio e violenza in Italia, 93,
The Birth of the Ultras, 371.
24
Roversi, Calcio e violenza in Italia, 86.
25
Il Corriere della Sera, 16 February 1970.
26
La Stampa, 12 January 1976, 12.
27
Borghini, Violenza negli stadi, 42.
28
La Stampa, Ultras, perche, 14 November 1978; see also De Leo, La violenza fra rumore e
mesaggio, 291 2.
29
U. Eco, I commandos dello stadio, La Stampa, 28 March 1975.
30
Il Corriere della Sera, 13 January 1976, 24.
31
Its root, tifo, means fandom but also typhus.
32
The image of the rationally acting football supporter was further reinforced by the fact that
football hooligans did not tend to act under the influence of alcohol.
33
De Leo, La violenza fra rumore e mesaggio, 293; Borghini, Violenza negli stadi, 44.
34
Period characterized by a very high number of strikes in the factories of Northern Italy.
35
Crouch and Pizzorno, The Resurgence of Class Conflict; Della Porta, Social Movements;
Gigliobianco and Salvati, Il maggio francese et lautumno caldo italiano.
36
Della Porta, Social Movements, 58ff; Della Porta and Reiter, Da polizia del governo a polizia
dei cittadini?, 437ff, Policing Protest.
37
Della Porta, Institutional Responses to Terrorism, 151.
38
De Leo, La violenza fra rumore e mesaggio, 288 9.
39
La Repubblica, 16 May 1984, 15.
40
La Repubblica, 31 May 1984, 16.
41
La Repubblica, 5 June 1985, 1.
42
La Repubblica, 17 August 1985, 1.
43
Leader of the Christian Democratic Party, and former prime minister.
44
Della Porta, Institutional Responses to Terrorism, 163ff.
45
Marchi, Il derby del bambino morto, 88 9.
46
In February and September 1984, respectively.
47
Papageorgiou, An Other Sunday, 51 2.
48
Courakis, Report on the Incidence of Violence at Greek Sports Stadiums, 2 3, 8 9.
49
Broussard, Generation supporter; Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia, 7 December 1997, 104 5;
Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia 5 September 1999, 90.
50
The findings of the study were reported in: Courakis, Report on the Incidence of Violence at
Greek Sports Stadiums.
51
Vima, 9 October 1988, 39 42; Eleftherotypia, 19 March 1990, 23 5; Kathimerini, 19 January
1992, 13.
52
Kiriakatiki Eleftherotypia, 2 November 1986, 46.
608 A. Tsoukala
53
Vima, 2 November 1986, 42; Nea, 17 February 1988, 16 17; Eleftherotypia, 19 March 1990,
23 5, 10 February 1992, 27 9.
54
Nea, 17 February 1988, 16 17; Vima, 17 February 1991, A43.
55
Kiriakatiki Eleftherotypia, 2 November 1986, 25; Eleftherotypia, 19 March 1990, 23 5; Vima, 17
February 1991, A41.
56
Katsaros, I the Provocateur; as regards the volume of strikes and protests that took place in the
1980s, see also the list posted in , http://web.ku.edu. .
57
When they were not only meant to provoke material damage, terrorist attacks were targeted
against specific persons, ranging from Greek police officers, judges, businessmen and politicians
to foreign senior officials and diplomats.
58
Bossi, Greece and Terrorism; Karyotis, Securitization of Greek Terrorism.
59
Vima, 2 February 1997, 29; Kathimerini, 23 February 1997, The Official Cloak of Football
Hooliganism.
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60
Vima, 17 September 1995, A53.
61
Tsoukala, Football Hooliganism in Europe.
62
Lambropoulou, Crime, Criminal Justice and Criminology in Greece, 218ff; Spinellis and
Spinelli, Report on Greece, 3.
63
Karydis, Foreign Criminality in Greece; Koukoutsaki, Images of Crime; Tsoukala, Le traitement
mediatique de la criminalite etrangere en Europe, Looking at Immigrants as Enemies.
64
Spinellis and Spinelli, Report on Greece, 3; Zarafonitou, Insecurite et extension du controle
social.
65
Paskevopoulos, The Crackdown on Drug Users in Greece; Magganas, State and Drugs,
Zarafonitou, Insecurite et extension du controle social.
66
Tsoukala, Football Hooliganism in Europe.
67
Tsoukala, Security Policies and Human Rights in European Football Stadia, Football
Hooliganism in Europe. For an analysis of the infringement of the civil rights and liberties of the
English football supporters, see Pearson, Legitimate Targets?, Qualifying for Europe?; Stott
and Pearson, Football Banning Orders.
68
Balzacq and Carrera, Security versus Freedom; Bigo and Tsoukala, Terror, Insecurity and
Liberty.
69
Progetto ultra, Il Manualetto di sopravvivenza del tifoso; for an analysis of the reactions of certain
football supporters groups, see Louis, Le phenomene ultras en Italie, 141-143.
70
Bauman, Liquid Times.

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