Soccer Fans and Explosives: A Winning Combination?
With the World Cup approaching, there will be much discussion in the coming months equating the behavior of fans to their national stereotypes: the English are drunk and belligerent, the Brazilians are drunk and naked, the Italians are drunk and enthusiastic, and so on. While we don't buy into those kind of stereotypes--we went to a school that encouraged sensitivity--there has to be some kernel of truth in them. After all, there's a book about it, called How Soccer Explains the World, written by Franklin Foer, who currently edits the New Republic.
Keeping those things in mind, we present to you this clip of the 1991 European Championships semifinal, played at Red Star Belgrade's home stadium. Americans may think their fans are tough, but all they do is hurl abuse, possibly some beers, or disco records. These fans have organized chants and their own pyrotechnics. Hardly seems in the same category. In a related note, whipping a bunch of Serbs into a frenzy in the early 90s didn't end so well. Maybe keeping soccer fans drunk and happy instead of organized is the way to go after all.
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