Sports has been for over the years known to unite people from different walks of life.
In modern times, football has dominated other sporting activities with its fans travelling from long distances and coming together to cheer their teams. It is always a pleasure to mingle, have a chat among the fans as the match proceeds.
This is an easier way of breaking the barriers that might have existed among the fans and players as well. Football in itself is a language understood by all in the game. It requires no further translation and interpretation to miss out every bit of the play. This helps in watering strange feelings created by the evils in the society such as tribalism, nepotism, racism among other vices.
It is strange and undesirable to have players play inside an empty stadium without fans to cheer them. On the other hand, it is not reasonable for the fans to converge inside a stadium without players to entertain them. Players give it all to their fans and fans too reciprocate the same. In fact, football matches without fans in many occasions have been termed to be boring.
Players and fans perform their respective roles in equal measure. They both need one another and this has a created a good relationship between them. This has made football attain the level it is today. The role of the fans is not only limited to activities on the pitch but also to financial benefit to the club and the nation as well. This is actualized through the ticket, shirt sales and publicizing the team.
However, the role of the fans has been criticized for the negative reasons. This happens when fans turn wild to cause chaos and unnecessary unrest to bring the match to a premature end. Hooliganism has been a major vice fans have been associated with. It has not only affected the game but also other people’s businesses who have no whatsoever interest in football. Businesses come to a standstill as hooligans express their anger in the streets. If at all they want to make a statement for a wrong committed to them, is hooliganism the language for communication?
Who are the perpetrators responsible for hooliganism? Many fans have come out publicly to condemn the act and suggested that those responsible for hooliganism should face the law. A renowned Kenyan football fan and a local club faithful authoritatively said that ‘real’ fans are not responsible for hooliganism. He descried hooligans as opportunists, robbers who get into stadiums with ill motives and hidden agenda far from that of having fun. It is quite reasonable to believe that a real fan can’t be responsible for hooliganism. If that is the case, how can the hooligans be brought to book? It is actually disturbing to see how club’s properties are damaged by these group of individuals who seems to be allergic to peace. They destroy what teams and clubs have taken so long to build. Something urgent needs to be done.
Real fans should lead in the forefront to identify these groups of robbers and opportunists. Clubs also need to set structures and systems such as installing CCTV cameras to help in identifying the culprits. The game must be protected. Its glory must remain revered.