Title: Sport Fans
Footballenjoys huge following across the globe. Regarding the number of fansattending matches or watching on television, football is second tonone. FIFA is the world governing the body of football it sets rulesof the game and spearheads its development. Such rules of thefootball are a football match involves two competing teams. Eachteam consists of eleven players, ten of which are the outfield andone is the goalkeeper. Players in either side use any part of theirbody apart from the hands to maneuver the ball and score against theopponent. FIFA is also responsible for organizing the world cup whichtakes place after every four years.During the world cup,thirty-two teams from all continents compete for the FIFA world cuptrophy. Brazil and Italy are the most successful nations in FIFAworld cup with six cups each (Harvard etal.,2015). European leagues such as (EPL), Serie A (Italy), France Ligue1, Bundesliga (Germany), Primera Division (Spain) attract playersfrom across the world. Consequently, European football clubs are themost popular in the world.
Fansare vital to football clubs they bring energy and live to a match.The behaviors and habits of the fans can be used to categorize themas the know-it -all, the screamer, the fantasy guy, the front guy andthe die hard.
Theknow-it-all group of fans is well versed with the club, the players,and the league. Most often, this type of a fan is on the phoneduring pre-match warm-ups reading about the club history, clublegends, analyzing club statistics and reading pundits reports(comments). A know-it-all fan uses statistics in analyzing playersuitability for selection to play a match. They are, therefore,highly opinionated regarding team selection and the coach tactics fora match, never shy to give their suggestion on how they wish the teamwas selected or the team played. Their post-match analysis andcomments are blunt and based on numbers (player stats), puttingcriticism and praise where it is due. In a nutshell, a know-it-allfan is always abreast with the happenings at the club and the leaguein the whole. They are good in analytics, and their evaluation of agame is based on the team statistics rather than pundit’s reportsand predictions.
Ascreamer fan will be laughing off the opponents when his team iswinning. Also, the fan will be taunting opposing fans if their teamis losing. Screamer fans can be quite a nuisance. They are unsettledand keep moving their feet and throwing their hands during the match.Screamer fans can also be detrimental to the game by shouting downreferees when a decision is not made in their team’s favor. In someinstance, screamer fans invade the field of play and rough up thereferee or players from the opposing teams. For example, in 1932,during a Liverpool versus Everton FC game, the referee was attackedby Liverpool fans when a penalty was awarded to Everton FC. Thescuffle started on the touchline when a fan threw a projectile at theassistant referee. As the center referee ran to find what hadhappened to his assistant, a group of fans descended on him withkicks and blows, seriously injuring him. In the end, the game wasstopped, and Liverpool was fined by the FA (Association of Englandfootball) for the failure to tame their fans. Further sanctions wereissued upon the manager with a three games ban for his gestures whichturned the fans against the referee.
Ifthe at Anfield (Liverpool home ground) was bad, then what happened inBrazil in 2014 was worse. A group of fans started taunting theopponents at the dying minutes of the game. The losing side fans gotinfuriated and charged at the home team fans, resulting in massbrawls in the whole stadium. The result of the confrontation was lossof lives (Harvard etal,2015). However, bad as their characters may be, they are crucial inbuilding the game atmosphere in the stadium during a match. Theimportant point to note is that, while screamer fans are essential inbuilding the atmosphere of the game, they can be detrimental whenthey become emotional and violent. In summary, screamer fans arefervent in their team support. In most instances, they shout absurdwords to the opponents and in extremes launch physical attacks on theopponent fans. Therefore, screamer fans have to be tamed for theoverall good of the team.
Thefront-runner fan does not have a commitment to any team. Theirroyalty changes depending on the performance of the team. Forinstance, in the EPL, the table topper is Chelsea FC, should anythinghappens and Chelsea falls in the standings, their support will shiftfrom Chelsea to the new league leaders. Due to their lack ofattachment to any team, front-runner fans are peaceful. Also, if theymove to another city for example, from Manchester to London, theywill start supporting London teams instead of Manchester. Despitetheir apparent lack royalty, front-runner fans are well informedabout the team they support they know the coach and all the players.
Afantasy guy type of a fan knows little about the team, league or thegame. Nevertheless, they agree to offer support based on expertevaluations of a team. In virtual leagues, the fantasy guy is alwayslearning how well to beat the opponent, which areas to improve andhow to develop tactics for different teams or formations. Thoughinitially lacking in knowledge and skills, the fantasy guy zeal andcommitment earns them wins over the opponents. In the end, a fantasyguy may end up winning the virtual league despite the initial lack ofknowledge and skills regarding the game.
Adie-hard fan is crazy about the team they support. They keep acollection of club memorabilia, may also paint their car and house inthe colors of their clubs (Harvard etal.,2015). A die-hard fan does not miss any match involving his/herteam. In their schedule, their team games are given utmost priority. Die-hard fans just like screamer fans have an emotional attachment tothe team they support. Their love for the team extends to facial andbody paints to show support to the team.
Infootball, fans are vital for the team`s motivation. Fans build thematch atmosphere and mood. However, irrational behaviors from thefans can have tragic outcomes. Consequently, measures must be takento ensure the safety of both fans and players during a match.
Havard,C. T., Gray, D. P., Gould, J., Sharp, L. A., & Schaffer, J. J.(2013). Development and validation of the Sport Rivalry FanPerception Scale (SRFPS). Journalof Sport Behavior, 36(1),45.