Another sorry outbreak of the English disease

Share

Of all England's exports to Europe, few have been quite so unwelcome as football hooliganism

Of all England's exports to Europe, few have been quite so unwelcome as football hooliganism. And it seems that the old English disease has broken out on the Continent once again, despite assiduous efforts by the Government and the Football Association to stop trouble-makers travelling to the European Championships in Portugal. In the small hours of Tuesday and Wednesday morning, in a scene reminiscent of past competitions, Portuguese police found themselves fighting it out with drunken English football fans in the town of Albufeira, in the Algarve region. More than 40 Britons have been arrested, and there are fears the England team could be ejected from the championships if the violence continues.

But it is important to keep a couple of things in mind when dealing with the phenomenon of English football hooliganism. First of all, these trouble-makers are by no means representative of all England fans. Some 40,000 have travelled to Portugal to enjoy the championships and most have behaved impeccably. Only a few hundred were actually involved in skirmishes with the police. What we are dealing with is a small number of violent individuals who, like parasites, hide in larger groups of supporters.

Second, it is questionable to what extent such hooligans are actually football fans at all. This week's trouble took place 300km from where the England team has been playing. The Algarve has been popular with English holiday-makers for decades. The drama of England's match against France on Sunday may have intensified the atmosphere, but what we have really seen this week is drunken louts on a holiday rampage. It is as mundane as that.

Thankfully, Uefa, who run the championships, seem to accept this and do not intend to punish the England team itself, although that could change if violence breaks out at an England match, or around a stadium where they are playing. For the sake of real England fans out in Portugal, and the Algarve locals who have had to tolerate this uncivilised behaviour, let's hope we have seen the last of this thuggery so we can get back to enjoying the football again.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Support Worker

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A rewarding opportunity to work with an easy-...

Recruitment Genius: National Sales Account Executive

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company leads the market i...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager - Cyber Security

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager for Cyber Secur...

Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst - Application Support - Central London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum