Football and Violence – Football Or Fireball?

Recently concluded Euro 2008 was widely covered in the international media, but there was another news that attracted lesser coverage and readers. Spain’s Euro 2008 football victory party turned sour when one fan died and nearly 100 suffered injuries during wild celebrations in Madrid.

The victim, a 40-year-old man, was found lying in a pool of blood by street cleaners in the centre of the capital. The initial media reports suggested that he probably suffered a head wound.

After the national team had broken a 44-year spell, Spaniards took to the streets in wild celebrations that lasted well into the following day. Wrapped in Spanish flags fans let off fireworks and honked car horns.

Police tried to stop fans from jumping into the Cibeles fountain, the traditional way to celebrate a football victory and made baton charges to break up isolated rioting in the capital. More than 50 supporters were arrested for acts of vandalism and public disorder. Luckily there was only one reported death.

The game of football has been closely associated with hundreds of death. Many times it was a result of hooliganism or football riots and many times it was an out come of accidents or stampedes or fights among the fans.

Football and violence have been moving closely since many years. In 1314 King Edward II of UK banned football to prevent football related violence. Most of the football playing nations, have witnessed football related deaths from time to time.

In 1968, over 70 people died when crowds attending a football match in Argentina, stampeded after some youths threw burning papers on each others. In 1971, a fight broke out at a match in Brazil, killing four and injuring 1,500.

In 1964, in another football accident more than 300 football fans died and another 500 were injured in Peru in a riot during an Olympic qualifying match between Argentina and Peru.

In June 2006, Germany beat Poland in a world cup finals match, a result that meant Germany qualified for the second round in the finals. The match was marred by violent clashes between German and Polish fans. The police detained over 300 people in Dortmund after clashes broke out. German fans threw chairs, bottles and fireworks at the police. Various groups of German and Polish fans fought with each other in separate clashes. In February 2007 in Saxony, all German lower league matches were cancelled after about 800 fans attacked 300 police officers after a match.

In Turkey, before Galatasaray’s semifinal UEFA cup match with Leeds United A.F.C. in 2000, many fans were stabbed to death following street fights between Turkish and British hooligans.

At the 2006 FIFA world cup in Germany, there were limited incidences of violence, with over 200 preventative arrests. During that time, Police believe that on average each rioter consumed or threw 17 litres of beer.

In more serious situation, police had to protect Libyan fans in the Egypt from missiles being thrown at them by Egypt fans in the tier above them during a match between Egypt and Morocco.

In another football accident 125 people died and hundreds were injured when football fans stampeded at a match in Ghana in 2001. In Johannesburg, South Africa, on 14 January 1991 forty people died when fans surged toward a jammed exit to escape rival brawling fans at a match south west of Johannesburg.

On April 15, 1989 in England, Ninety-five people are killed and at least 200 injured in Britain’s worst sports disaster after a crowd surge crushed packed fans against barriers at the English F.A. Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough stadium.

In thousands of other cases hundreds of fans were stabbed at various places world wide. Many matches faced cancellation and many clubs paid hefty fines. Public property faced destruction in countless events. All these incidents leave the game with a tarnished image. Now most of the football playing nations, are taking extra security measures for various tournaments. Along with the governments, a lot depends on the fans as well. Only they can help curb such violence. A broader and more liberal outlook among fans is needed to make the sport a sporty affair!

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Devil May Cry 3 Review

Developed by Capcom, which is famous for such Titles as Resident Evil, Street Fighter and my personal favourite Megaman. The first Devil May Cry was released in 2001 and ever since has gained a huge reputation as the sword & gun kick ass bloodlust demon slaying death defying game.

Now that the third in the DMC series is out the game has had time to be fine tuned and ways have been found to take out the annoying bits for example the camera angle has been fixed, a wider selection of moves has been put in and your demon slaying arsenal has been upgraded. Unlike the second DMC this game was hugely successful as you only have one character and the awesome story line has been told from before the begging, that’s right this game is the prequel to them all, but is also the best of them all.

At the start you see the infamous Dante sitting in his chair eating pizza when he his visited by some bald guy who delivers a message from Dante’s brother Vergil, next thing you know Dante’s attack by demons and starts to kick some serious ass in a cut scene before letting you have a try at it. If you didn’t already know Dante is a half human half demon person, at first he looks like an ordinary guy but when you see him fight he aint so ordinary any more. About half way through the game you’ll get to see Dante turn into a demon for a short time and also use this ability in battle.

The battles in the game are virtually tireless as just as you think your getting bored another weapon is handed to you and you can unleash yet another devastating combo. The storyline is pretty unbelievable as well what could be better than Dante wanting to stop his Evil twin brother Vergil from opening the gate into the demon world and absorbing their fathers demon powers?

Boydies Overall Score – 10/10

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Top 5 Young Fullbacks in the EPL

As the football season comes to a close, we take a look at some of the fullbacks who have impressed us over the course of the English Premier League. These wide defenders are some of the most important players in the game, vital to both, the team's attack and defense, and yet most of them are under-appreciated by the general populace.

Here's a look at 5 of the best young fullbacks plying their trade in England:

  • Hector Bellerin

The young Spaniard chose the winters of London over the warmth of sunny Spain, leaving La Masia to develop at the Arsenal, and how has he developed! Beginning his football education as a right midfielder, he's turned into one of the league's best attacking right backs, ably aided by his searing speed which has so often been an asset for the Gunners whenever he has been found out of possession. Arsene Wenger recently compared him to Arsenal legend Lauren, and if the wiry defender continues his development, he may even surpass his 'Invincible' compatriot.

  • Eric Dier

The 22 year old Tottenham man has had a particularly impressive season. He's played across all defensive positions for the Spurs and has performed admirably in every one of them. His great form and occasional goals have helped the Spurs maintain their push for their first league title in over fifty years! His exploits won him and England cap, and he even got a decisive goal for them in their win against World Champions Germany!

  • Cédric Soares

Signed from Sporting CP, Cédric Soares has made an immediate impact at Southampton, replacing the departing Nathaniel Clyne, the right back fit into the Saints line-up with ease, as if he's played in the EPL for years. His great form, along with the rest of the Southampton defenders has been an essential factor in them going on a long streak of clean sheets! Needless to say, Clyne's departure hasn't been missed

  • Luke Shaw

Manchester United signed the young fullback for 30 million pounds from Southampton at the start of the 2014-15 season, then a world record transfer fee for a player still in his teens. He even made his full England debut while still a teenager playing for Southampton. Since then, he has developed year over year, adding attacking nous and defensive intelligence to his gameplay. His performance in his debut season for the Red Devils was such that he made the left back position his own and has commanded it since then, until a horrific injury put him out of action this season.

  • Ben Chilwell

Hailing from Milton Keynes, the 19 year old left back has barely played for Leicester City in the Premier League, but Arsenal have already tried to sign him and had their efforts rebuked. Even Tottenham Hotspurs have the young defender on their radar. The young lad has come through Leicester's academy and has been amazing at the youth levels – the reason for all the interest in him. Currently he earns a paltry salary – by footballing standards – of 800 pounds per week, but it could all change in a matter of months.

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Does Soccer Superleague Hold The Key To One Europe?

If there is one common thread interwoven throughout all European cultures, it must be soccer, right? Perhaps in popular theory. But the conventional wisdom now hangs in the balance as the quest for the almighty buck – that is, the supreme euro – has eroded the very fabric of soccer (no offense to Pete Rozelle, but let's call it what it really is: football). As "European integration" becomes a buzz word for the 21st century, football will likely play an integral role in either facilitating or decelerating this cultural, political and economic merger of countries.

Football club owners have offered to help the cause by composing a framework for the future European SuperLeague, which would consist of the region's most elite franchises. Europe has already made a transformation in showcasing athleticism, whether its unbridled fans are willing, as investors assemble to protect their shares in perhaps the most anticipated "cash cow" in sports entertainment.

However, even top football officials have their doubts. FIFA president Sepp Blatter, arguably the most powerful man in football worldwide, has stated his strong opposition to a breakaway superleague.

Regardless, sports business experts insist that any successful venture in football integration would require the solidarity of ownership policies and fan participation. True, the former condition is already growing at an explosive pace. Corporate investors have estimated the economic feasibility of supporting ESL franchises in various cities across Europe. Plans have already been proposed to compete with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in forming the most marketable superleague. Media Partners International, a Milan-based consulting firm, has garnered over $ 1.2 billion investments from JP Morgan to sustain the ESL for the first three years. Judging from the success of professional sports in the United States, there is no telling of this league's untapped potential.

If any doubts of European football's growth still remain, then consider the burgeoning of players' salaries. Inter Milan recently acquired Italian striker Christian Vieri for an estimated $ 43 million, dwarfing the annual payroll of most professional franchises. And the issue of whether Vieri deserved more or less than, say, Michael Jordan (excluding approv) is irrelevant. For now, football club owners can afford these superstars because consumers are compliant to rising ticket prices.

However, ESL owners must not discount the relationship between European fans and their revered teams. Football, for countless decades in each country, has supplied a measurement of national identity. As Europeans, during the integration process, ponder the potential void of national traditions, football remains their sole source of patriotic autonomy.

If the ESL passes, then UEFA would be subject to drop one of its Cup competitions, likely the Cup Winners Cup. More importantly, UEFA stands to sacrifice two underlying principles which have sustained the organization's existence – a commitment to divide Cup proceeds in an equitable manner for all clubs, and to televise all games free of charge to European subscribers.

The ESL would consist of Europe's top 32 (mostly large market) teams competing in a comprehensive tournament to determine the European football champion. If the league is supervised by UEFA, it will comprise of little commercial influence – in which case, some officials suggest that a league without proper promotion or relegation will lose people's interest in less than three years. But the traditionalists insist that UEFA's policies, although diplomatic in nature, serve to protect the institution of football from an onslaught of manipulation by massive corporations.

Even if the ESL and its large market teams are successful in growing the sport of football to unprecedented financial and social levels, there will undoubtedly be significant ramifications to the remaining franchises. Once again, the argument of revenue disparity between small and large market teams will assume center stage. Instead of George Steinbrenner clashing with Bud Selig, it will be two others bickering – without regard to the fans, any sport's key ingredient.

The decision of what ownership structure to emulate remains undetermined. The real challenge, at this point, is securing the support of the regional community. It is clear that the combined prowess of European cultures, not the individual national interests, will ultimately ensure the success of supranational football. Owners cannot and will not force an unnatural medium of sports entertainment to their consumers. Most business leaders in the European Union have recognized that integration comes at a cost – a lesson that football club owners are about to discover.

Despite the European Commission's diplomatic efforts to balance competition with equal protection, the fussbudgets will continue to question the motives of not only owners but also everyone else involved.

The fruition of ESL may or may not advance European integration, but the fight to protect one of Europe's most treasured assets – football – will surely accomplish the task.

[Originally Printed: Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal, 7/24/99]

© 2007 LineDrives.com , Michael Wissot ,

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5 Greatest Football Players of All Time

Football is the game of passion, dedication and skill. It takes years of practice and perseverance to master the game and there are many who have done it. To name a few of them is very difficult for anyone as each player is different from others. What is more, there is no universal yardstick to choose the greatest players in the world of football. Choice differs from one person to other as well. However, here are five names that will hopefully make the list of every football fanatic and critic.

Pele: The Brazilian star was one of the strong reasons for his country’s World Cup victories back in those days. He was only 17 years old when he helped Brazil win their first World Cup in 1958. He was also a part of the World Cup winning Brazilian side in 1962 and 1970. He is the all-time top scorer for Brazil and has scored 1281 goals in all competitions. He used to play for Brazilian club Santos.

Diego Maradona: The Argentine rose to fame in an era when brutally injuring an opponent player was not an unpardonable sin. The reason why Maradona is considered one of the best players in the world is he successfully overcame all these obstacles with his skills. He came to prominence in World Cup 1986 and guided his country to victory. His second goal against England in the quarter-final is considered the best goal of the century. However, his first goal in the same match also made him infamous in the eyes of some football critics and people of England.

Lionel Messi: Today, almost everyone in this world knows his name and convinced of his capability on the field. He is one of the key members of both Argentina national team and Spanish club Barcelona. The striker has created history for both his country and club. He controls the ball like a magician and can change the style of his natural play if situation demands. Though he hasn’t bagged any crucial victory for Argentina, he is considered one of the most treasured players in his team.

Cristiano Ronaldo: He is one of those players who have grown over years. Whenever he was criticized for his performance, he has silenced the critics with his commendable skill. He has left no stone unturned to prove it times and again why he is called one of the best players in the world. The winning member of Euro 2016 and the UEFA Champions League 2016, is one of those important players in the star-studded Real Madrid. The Portugal national team captain has helped his club reach its new heights. The striker is also famous for his regular involvement into charity work.

Ronaldinho: The skill and talent of this payer are unparalleled and there is only a few to who can match that. Once a part of the Barcelona and Real Madrid squad, he has helped both of these teams claim success. The Brazilian’s double delights against England in the 2002 World Cup quarter final still enjoy rave reviews from the football pundits.

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Florida is Unbeatable

Florida is no doubt the best team in this National title game. I argue that Oklahoma doesn’t even deserve a shot at the title because of a lack luster performance against Texas. Either way you slice this one up. Florida is the superior team and Tim Tebow who may not be the best «NFL style quarterback». But is most certainly the best quarterback in this game.

Not to mention the rest of the gators outmatch the Sooners in every category other than passing. This years National title game will not be a disappointment…to folks who reside around Gainesville. The Okies will be singing a familiar story of yet another lost opportunity for great glory and the Gators will be yet again champions.

I argue further that the SEC is simply a cut above the rest. The teams like Ohio state and Oklahoma that are getting matched up with the Florida’s and LSU’s of the generation have virtually no chance. Playing against teams that are rougher, tougher and all around just more talented. I think it is a major failure on the part of the BCS to create such match ups. One day a playoff system will be in place and the best teams will truly get an opportunity to shine in that light that only big name schools with a reputation have had lately. Either way this year there was and is no denying who the true champion will be this year.

And yes, yet again the best team in the nation resides in the best conference. The SEC!

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