Thursday, May 13, 2010

Most Violent Sporting Fans May Get Rowdier this Season

A riot at a soccer match? Unheard of!

Yeah, right, there have been more riots by overly aggressive fans at soccer stadiums over the past decade than in any other sport worldwide. Some soccer stadiums have even been set ablaze by the very people in attendance.

Never hear of that happening at a tennis tournament.

Not that tennis is completely innocent from violent acts, for those of us old enough to remember John McEnroe’s tossing of his racket and other protests in the 1970’s and 1980’s when he wasn’t happy with the score.

But soccer fans are known to be – shall we say passionate – enough to cause riots, destroy public property and run drunkenly rampant through the streets.
SO why is Canada’s largest city encouraging – if not making it easier – for soccer fans to get sloshed?

Yesterday, city councilors in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, voted in favor of allowing bars and restaurants to start serving alcohol one hour earlier during the World Cup of Soccer next month. Currently they aren’t allowed to start serving beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages until 11am – but during the World Cup they can begin serving these drinks at 10am.

The reasoning Toronto’s politicians gave for allowing the earlier drinking, was due to time zones – those watching the World Cup wouldn’t be able to toast their team’s victories, or drink in their losses because of time differences conflicting with bar and restaurant serving hours.

Drinking in of itself isn’t a bad thing, when done responsibly. But Soccer fans the world over have proven just how irresponsible they can be – over turning cars, lighting buildings on fire, looting stores, getting into drunken fisticuffs . . .

“Drunken fisticuffs” . . . a statement taken directly from a news report after the last World Cup.

Maybe the politicians in Toronto were under the influence when they made their decision yesterday, because they certainly weren’t thinking straight.

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