LETTER : 'Ere we go again

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The Independent Online
THE fighting at Lansdowne Road prompted the inevitable mix of sentiment and hysteria from the media. "Men behaving badly" (19 February) was no exception. Despite all the talk of "decent fans" versus "thugs" Ian Ridley betrays a fervent distaste for the working class people who are the majority of fans. He seems appalled that people who have beer bellies and say rude words in the wrong accent are still allowed into grounds. I didn't realise journalists were so sensitive. For 100 years ridiculing rival fans and players was an accepted - and fun - part of the game. Now it marks you as a would-be psychopath.

Blaming "the yob culture" only fuels the calls to take away the passports of "troublemakers" - ie anyone who the police say is one.

The experience in Italy in 1990 illustrates the police's attitude to arrests in crowds worldwide - hit the person closest to you and then nick them. And the Gardai's truncheon work didn't look too "sophisticated" to me. Still, their targets probably deserved it - short-haired Sun readers to a man, eh, Ian?

Myself, I'll carry on supporting Spurs, hating Arsenal and drinking lager, while Ian dreams about the "gentrification of the beautiful game".

Nick Edwards

London N16