I have not seen any conclusive study on why soccer seems to be the catch-all for the worst kinds of anti-social behaviours: inter-ethnic conflicts, fringe politics, right-winged nationalism, racism, you name it, they will find themselves to the games.
So in Europe, soccer is almost synonymous with hooliganism and anarchy.
In Italy, soccer is known for fronting racism.
This is what one of the most talented soccer players in the league has to endure.
There is the ugly graffiti on walls leading to the San Siro stadium, where the Inter Milan striker plays. “Non sei un vero Italiano, sei un Africano nero,” it says. Translation: “You are not a true Italian, you are a black African.”
He hears unprintable racist chants and vicious boos when he plays; they live on even after matches are over in videos on the Internet. There was the time in Rome last June when, his sister says, hooligans threatened him and hurled a bunch of bananas into the bar where Balotelli was relaxing with fellow players from Italy’s under-21 squad, prompting the owner to call the police.
And in an almost unbelievable twist, the Italian league has slapped Balotelli with a $10,000 fine, for his mocking applauds towards his uncouth fans, and for saying in a TV interview that “the fans are more and more sickening.”
Racist hooligans: 1; civil society: 0.