What makes football supporters different!

The media coverage on A-league crowd behaviour has been feverish on both sides of the fence.  Now it would be easy for me to put my two cents worth in on the debate, but I thought I would give you an insight in what is so different about football supporters compared to supporters of other sports.

Now the assumption is supporters are either born from another country or are a 1st generation from an immigrant family.  Football seems to attract a cross breed of all cultures that only AFL can compete with.  You can have Stevo from Frankston sitting next to Con from Oakleigh and both will have a huge appreciation of the game.  I tend to notice a more multi-cultural look in the crowd in a football game then any sport in the country.  Football supporters are more organised then supporters of other sports.  Just listen to the chants and songs supporters sing to support their team and yes at times bait the opposition.  They are inspiring and at times humorous in their chants.  Everyone was going how revolutionary Port Adelaide in the AFL have their supporters sing INXS’s Never Tear Us Apart before the game.  Football supporters at all A-League would have been sniggering at that as they have been doing this for years.  While I don’t condone the walk outs Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney supporters did last week, I doubt you would see a bunch of AFL or Rugby League supporters do the same thing in standing up for their sport.  The jumping is unison is another great sight at the game.  Seeing a whole stadium do it at a Wanderers game in the 80th minute is one of the great spectacles in Australian sport.

Being a truly international sport the conversations between football supporters is wide and varied.  I have had conversations at football games ranging from how Victory will do this week, discussing if the EU will continue in its current format, will Jose Mourinho keep his job and who is the better footballer Liam or Noel Gallagher?  Now I am not saying other sport fans are inferior or smart, but the football supporter is a different breed.  They also tend to follow other sports and see no problem with this.  A-League supporters follow AFL and Rugby in the winter and still go to the cricket in the summer as well.

So let me assure everyone we are not thugs, bigots or troublemakers.  The majority of us supporters just want to support our game and see it thrive in conjunction with the other major sports in this country.  All we ask is to be given a fair go.

About Vaughan Menlove

Obsessed with Richmond, Luton Town, Melbourne Victory and Arsenal. The Dr had a soccer career hampered by the realisation he was crap, but could talk his way around the game. Co host of It's Not Called Soccer podcast


  1. [This comment was inappropriate – JTH]

  2. Dave Brown says

    Yep, Vaughan, this code war / fan behaviour bizarre thing that is going on at the moment is just flat out weird. To call FFA’s handling of it ham fisted is an insult to pigs with hands. Every code / sport has its dickhead supporters and this debate is all occurring in the context of a significant improvement in general crowd behaviour at Australian sports in the last 20 years. Back then there would always be at least one fight in the outer at the footy and the eviction of pissed blokes at the cricket would be a steady stream from halfway through the second session. Not so much these days. As for the soccer, if only they could stop the people with flares coming in – fashion faux pas at its worst.

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