What happened in Port Said was not a football riot

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    Egyptian fans rush into the field following Al-Ahly club soccer match against Al-Masry club. AP Photo

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    The shocking scenes of violence at Port Said Stadium in Egypt this week were a dreadful reminder of the dark side of the beautiful game, but they must be analysed in context.

    Waking up to the world news yesterday was like travelling back to a time when names such as Heysel and Hillsborough sent shivers down the spine of every self-respecting football fan.

    The phrase “soccer riot” was everywhere. Perhaps it provoked knowing nods from those who associate the round-ball game only with sporadic acts of random violence.

    Except, this violence doesn’t appear to have been random.

    I’m a neophyte when it comes to north African politics, but I’ve been around long enough to know football fans are a convenient target when it comes to staging violence.

    And there are so many aspects of the Port Said tragedy – where at least 74 people lost their lives and many more were wounded – which don’t add up.

    Don’t just take it from me.

    Here’s a rudimentary English-language translation from an Al Ahly fan who was at the game.

    Many aspects of the violence are worth questioning.

    Why would El-Masry fans (from Port Said) attack Ahly supporters after watching their team win 3-1?

    Why did security forces armed with batons and shields allow unarmed people to stream down from the stands and run onto the pitch?

    Why were the lights switched off at the height of the violence? (it was actually about three minutes after full-time, not “the moment the referee whistled”).

    So many factors don’t add up.

    And that’s because viewing the tragedy purely through the prism of ‘football riots’ ignores the political vacuum left by the ousting of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.

    It also ignores the fact Egypt’s ‘Ultras’ proved pivotal in bringing about revolutionary change.

    It’s a point well made by Egyptian writer Mohamed El Dahshan, who highlights the fact Ahly supporters teamed up with the Ultras from their most bitter rivals Zamalek to harass Egypt’s brutal security forces at the height of the revolution.

    Were these the same security forces who stood idly by as Ahly fans were attacked inside the locked corridors of Port Said Stadium? Perhaps.

    “This is not football. This is a war and people are dying in front of us. There is no movement and no security and no ambulances,” said Ahly playmaker Mohamed Aboutrika after the match – a player I watched at the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.

    The failure of the security forces inside Port Said Stadium to react to the mayhem around them is deeply suspicious.

    Rumours abound that the violence was pre-arranged, not least because it came so close to the anniversary of the bloody “Battle of the Camels” in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

    On that occasion groups of men rode into the square on horseback, whipping anti-Mubarak protestors – many of whom were known to be Egyptian football fans.

    Egyptian journalist Dima Khatib is in no doubt the events are linked.

    We don’t know who caused the violence in Port Said and it’s probably safe to assume some of those involved took part as opportunistic football fans.

    But it is far too simplistic to call what happened in Port Said a “football riot.”

    It was a riot, certainly, but one which has its roots in the fractured political scene of a country in upheaval.

    Even as the dead are buried and the mourning begins – numbering not just football fans but also security forces – the political point-scoring and finger-pointing has begun.

    And maybe it’s trite to say there are no winners, only losers when 74 people fail to exit a football stadium with their lives.

    But as we remember them, it’s also worth remembering thousands more have lost their lives during the ‘Arab Spring.’

    We should count the victims of the Port Said tragedy among them.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (131)

    • February 3rd 2012 @ 4:25am
      Football United said | February 3rd 2012 @ 4:25am | ! Report

      And surprise surprise, the melbourne newspapers again throw up the headlines ‘SOCCER RIOTS”. it’s was clearly pre planned violence and it is truly saddening that genuine football fans and not anarchists would have lost their lives because of this madness.

      • February 3rd 2012 @ 5:15am
        UK Steve said | February 3rd 2012 @ 5:15am | ! Report

        I’m with you on this buddy. People rioting in a soccer stadium at the end of a soccer match, and the Melbourne newspapers have the cheek to call it a soccer riot. Where do they get off?

        • February 3rd 2012 @ 6:55am
          Kasey said | February 3rd 2012 @ 6:55am | ! Report

          When the Cros and the Serbs got into a Barney at the AusOpen Tennis, it wasn’t billed as Tennis riots, it is only Soccer that gets painted with the broad brush. When a large amount of Vancouverites rioted after the Canucks failed in the Stanley Cup, it wasn’t the whole sport of Ice Hockey having its image tarnished was it? Sadly a legacy of the terrible administration during the SocAus era is that football in this country has had its image shaped by external sources towards their own ends. That’s not something that likely to change in the next 20 years, no matter how well(or otherwise) the FFA run the game IMO. Ultimately its just an excuse for unscrupulous and lazy(key-word) news editors to put the words soccer and ‘riot/violence’ in the same headline. That way people get to hear what they want to hear, what they just ‘know’ is true, that Soccer is a violent sport (off the field at least) Nothing to do with the fact that a massive power vacuum combined with cultural upheaval exists in Egypt at the moment, but to explain that would require journalistic effort and that doesn’t sell papers and attract viewers like a snappy “Oh look, those crazy soccer types are at it again” angle does it?

          • Roar Rookie

            February 3rd 2012 @ 7:29am
            SideShowBob said | February 3rd 2012 @ 7:29am | ! Report

            Seriously, did you wear your “I’m a victim” T-shirt while typing this out?
            How about the recent FIFA and Australia’s bid fiasco?
            More cheeky news editor hyperbole?

            • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:01am
              Kasey said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:01am | ! Report

              The only victim here is the sport of football and it is the victim of lazy stereotypes. These stereotypes are not likely to change in my lifetime. there’s no victim mentality in recognizing the reality of the situation and how that hampers football’ s image and desire to move forward in this country.

              In a country like England where football hooliganism was(past tense) a real problem, I see that some fans are already making jokes in bad taste. they have that luxury. I wish we could shrug this off , but when people line up to kick the entire sport of football using any excuse, how do you expect us true believers to respond?

              • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:23am
                Tigranes said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:23am | ! Report

                Kasey there were 72 people dead – I would put them as victims before the sport of soccerfootball.

              • February 3rd 2012 @ 10:30am
                Kasey said | February 3rd 2012 @ 10:30am | ! Report

                Tig: you are right. It was selfish and insensitive of me to forget the poor souls who went to a football game and lost their lives.

          • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:41am
            B.A Sports said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:41am | ! Report

            I will put my hand up and say that i know only the basics of the situation in Egypt over the last 12 months or so, but..

            Kasey; The problem with your comment above – The incident at the Aus Open (what about 4 years ago) was that it is the only incident of significance at just about any tennis tournament any where in the world, ever. The Vancouver debacle, post Stanley Cup, again an isol;ated incident. But fights, riots, demonstrations, they are sadly not uncommon at football matches and football events.

            Soccer needs to be more responsible – If it becomes aparent that violence is imminent, take steps to prevent it, or to minimise the kaos.

            Maybe as Tigranes points out, the fundemental problem with football is that its fans see the bigger problem being the picture in which their sport is painted as more significant than over 70 people dead and an entire nation in political unrest. Sometimes it seems Football, its administation and its supporters need to get off the giant pedestal from which they sit upon and look over the world, and realise they are just a game and not more important than any other sport, cause, race, religon or individual on this planet.

            • February 3rd 2012 @ 6:39pm
              Nathan of Perth said | February 3rd 2012 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

              Actually, the Vancouver thing wasn’t really an isolated incident, they’d done the exact same in the exact same situation a few years back…

          • Roar Guru

            February 3rd 2012 @ 9:52am
            langou said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:52am | ! Report

            Nearly every newspaper refered to the Vancouver riots as either Stanley Cup Riots or Hockey Riots. If you were working for a paper what name would you give the riots in Egypt, you can’t just call them the Eqyption riots, you have to define them in some way so people know what your talking about.

        • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:51am
          Australian Rules said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:51am | ! Report

          Football United

          Just before you jump to Melb newspaper conspiracy theories:

          “73 dead from Egypt soccer match riot” – Courier Mail, Brisbane
          “Scores dead in soccer match riots” – Sydney Morning Herald
          “Egypt Football riots” – Telegraph, UK
          “Egypt mourns soccer riot victims” – New York Times

          • February 3rd 2012 @ 12:00pm
            Jack Russell said | February 3rd 2012 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

            Didn’t you hear? It’s a worldwide conspiracy!

            • February 3rd 2012 @ 1:04pm
              Axelv said | February 3rd 2012 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

              If only AFL was the world game, then there would be world peace because the game is so much faster and more exciting with Australian values!

              • Roar Guru

                February 3rd 2012 @ 1:10pm
                The Cattery said | February 3rd 2012 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

                Interesting thought Axel – perhaps one worth pursuing.

              • February 3rd 2012 @ 4:28pm
                Australian Rules said | February 3rd 2012 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                I like the cut of Axel’s jib.

              • February 5th 2012 @ 6:53am
                Tizzo said | February 5th 2012 @ 6:53am | ! Report

                Australian values?

      • Columnist

        February 3rd 2012 @ 5:54am
        David Lord said | February 3rd 2012 @ 5:54am | ! Report

        Mike, if there’s going to be madness if any football code why is it only soccer?

        • February 3rd 2012 @ 7:35am
          Pete said | February 3rd 2012 @ 7:35am | ! Report

          David, Football is, as is repeated ad nauseum, the world game. It is played in more places. It is played in places where civil unrest is more the norm than an unusual occurrence.

          In greece for instance, violence often occurs at other sports

          Basketball:
          http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5258248

          Volleyball
          http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5258248

          I have also been to Australian Rules matches where the crowds have descended in to violence. The difference is in Australia that our clubs are not politicised, and our policing is very good (generally).

        • Roar Guru

          February 3rd 2012 @ 7:59am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | February 3rd 2012 @ 7:59am | ! Report

          David Lord

          I guess, there weren’t any cricket matches or AFL/NRL matches being played yesterday in Port Said? And, if there were such sporting events in Port Said I’d be surprised if there would have been enough people watching to start an argument let alone political mayhem.

        • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:17am
          JAJI said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:17am | ! Report

          Simple answer David. The sports you follow and write about (Rugby Union, Cricket, Rugby League) are played by about 5-10 countries professionally in any serious form, if that. Australia delights in being big hitters in sports that dont really register on the globe. A review of any sports bulletin on CNN, BBC, Eurosport let alone any of the major USA networks attest to that. Cue the cricket fan about to mention a billion Indians love cricket…..and the Rugby League fan mentioning “NRL is killing them in PNG”

          Most, of those countries, not all, but most are the same stable Commonwealth countries – ie Australia, NZ, England and the white support base of South Africa etc where this type of thing aint going to happen

          Conveniently you wont mention what happened in Pakistan shy on 2 years ago when terrorists attacked and shot at Sri Lankan players on a bus after a Test Match. Pakistan and to a lesser extent India are the only countries in cricket where this could possibly happen

          Football is the only sport played by the entire globe – AFrica, Asia, Americas, Europe, Oceania. Like it or not for us as football fans Football represents all that is good and bad of todays world because it is the world game. Whether ist problems in the Middle East, North Africa, Western Africa, Central and South America Football is going to be the popular pastime where this will be happen through because ITS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN in all these countries

          You write some good stuff David but that post above has got me putting you in the “Channel Seven 6.00pm news/Terrorgraph Mirror/Ray Hadley talkback” level of intelligence and trust me thats not a place for you to be…..

          • Roar Guru

            February 3rd 2012 @ 8:34am
            Fussball ist unser leben said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:34am | ! Report

            Excellent points, JAJI.

            Would David Lord, or anyone else in the Aussie media, suggest that the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in March 2009 was a sad reflection of “cricket violence”? Or, did they offer the more intelligent analysis that terrorists simply attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in order to maximise media attention for their political views?

          • Columnist

            February 3rd 2012 @ 8:43am
            David Lord said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:43am | ! Report

            Hang on JAJI, there have been many ugly soccer riots over the years in Australia and we aren’t a problem country. Perhaps the fanaticism of soccer supporters is more at fault than the state of the nation where it occurs?

            • Roar Guru

              February 3rd 2012 @ 8:48am
              Fussball ist unser leben said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:48am | ! Report

              What a load of rubbish, David Lord! Name one example of “ugly soccer riots in Australia” since the HAL formed?

              My mates in VicPol tell me there are far more serious assaults – on police and on the public – that occur during and after Cricket and AFL matches in Melbourne than HAL matches.

            • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:31am
              Football United said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:31am | ! Report

              name a single ‘soccer riot’ (actual ones, not a channel 9/herald sun definition) that has happened in australia that is even comparable to overseas. The ones here are minor scraps subject to hyperbole by lazy journo’s.

            • February 3rd 2012 @ 10:07am
              Punter said | February 3rd 2012 @ 10:07am | ! Report

              David,
              Are you for real, have you ever been on the hill during a one day int’l during the eighties, I saw more fights in one night than in all the football matches I have see in Australia in the A-League or the Socceroos.

            • February 3rd 2012 @ 1:02pm
              JAJI said | February 3rd 2012 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

              David I cant recall a riot at a football game here since the 1980’s and that game at St George Stadium between the Greeks and Macedonia

              Also David I was in Germany in 2006 and there would have been 25,000 Australians travelling across the country – not one incident……

          • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:45am
            Rough Conduct said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:45am | ! Report

            How do you explain the football violence in a stable, commonwealth nation like England? If the violence is only the result of civil unrest and political upheaval – how could there ever be violence in the UK or Western Europe?

            • Roar Guru

              February 3rd 2012 @ 8:52am
              Fussball ist unser leben said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:52am | ! Report

              Rough Conduct

              I guess you don’t watch any World News? You probably missed the London Riots that caused mayhem and terror in one of the World’s greatest cities in August 2011?

              And, guess what … the football season hadn’t started!!

              Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/london-riots-spread-as-police-lose-control-20110809-1ijmm.html

              • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:10am
                Rough Conduct said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:10am | ! Report

                So we have now established that England is capable of public riots, a country where professional Football, Rugby and Cricket is played – so the amount of crowd violence/rioting at each of these sports should therefore be equally representative?

            • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:52am
              Titus said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:52am | ! Report

              How do you explain the London riots or the Cronulla riots?

              • Roar Guru

                February 3rd 2012 @ 8:53am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:53am | ! Report

                Since the majority of the Cronulla riots featured people, who support NRL, we should view the Cronulla Riot as a “blight on NRL”?

              • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:08am
                Titus said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:08am | ! Report

                The Cronulla rioters, to me, were indistinguishable from the drunks in an Australian cricket crowd. I have witnessed more sports violence, racism and foul language at a game of cricket than any other sport.

                What happened in Egypt was a tragedy, but the people of Egypt are fighting for their freedom and basic human rights against a tyrannical and oppressive military government. The Football family needs to come together and codemn this episode and try and bring about meaningful change, because like it or not they are involved.

              • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:26am
                Tigranes said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:26am | ! Report

                Fussball believe it or not the number one sport in the Cronulla area is soccer.

              • Roar Guru

                February 3rd 2012 @ 9:30am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:30am | ! Report

                @ Tigranes

                Nice to know football is No. 1. We constantly get told by sockah-haters that Stryians don’t like SOCKAH?

        • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:13am
          TomC said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:13am | ! Report

          What are you suggesting, David? That there’s something inherent about the sport of soccer that causes people to riot?

          Journalists who are given considerable time and space to voice their opinions on this site should be required to back up their thoughts, rather than making snide insinuations like this one.

          The code war rubbish on this site is tiresome. Surely an experienced journalist like David Lord knows better than to feed it with nasty half-truths.

          • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:28am
            Kasey said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:28am | ! Report

            Of course its soccer’s fault, all those nil-all draws drives the fans to riot dont you know:(

          • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:59am
            Australian Rules said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:59am | ! Report

            I agree TomC.

            However I will say this:

            1. Soccer itself does not “cause people to riot”. But I’ve often wondered…the feeling at a soccer game when a goal is scored is one of sheer euphoria. There is a frenzied release of energy after a goal which often occurs after a long build up of tension – it can be an incredible thing to experience. That makes it distinctly different, as a sport, than most other sports when scoring happens more often.

            2. Disenfranchised people want to feel part of a gang. Some people (clearly a minority) take that euphoria, energy, release…whatever, and allow it to channel into raucous, intimadating, sometimes violent behaviour. This is obviously not exclusive to soccer but because of its global reach, soccer provides a vehicle for people who are often politically or socio-economically disadvantaged to feel part of something successful, powerful and united. As Australians with an incredible quality of life, we can’t understand or relate to that.

            Yes, it happens in London and other Western countries , but I would bet those involved are on the downside of advantage, or just pretty crims who want to feel part of a gang. And the game of soccer provides that feeling. It’s a shame.

            • Roar Guru

              February 3rd 2012 @ 10:21am
              Fussball ist unser leben said | February 3rd 2012 @ 10:21am | ! Report

              Australian Rules you make some very valid comments.

              However, the London riots demonstrated that, once law & order breaks down, society – of all classes – will morph into characters from Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”.

              As the UK Daily Mail reported:

              “… shockingly, among those in the dock accused of looting are a millionaire’s grammar school daughter, a ballet student and an organic chef. A law student, university graduate, a musician and an opera steward also said to have taken part. They are just some of the youngsters from comfortable middle-class backgrounds who have been charged with criminality.”

              Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2025068/UK-riots-Middle-class-rioters-revealed-including-Laura-Johnson-Natasha-Reid-Stefan-Hoyle.html

              • February 3rd 2012 @ 11:32am
                Australian Rules said | February 3rd 2012 @ 11:32am | ! Report

                That’s interesting and I agree that when order begins to fray people can descend very quickly into lawless behaviour purely because an opportunity presents itself.

                My point is that soccer games (by virtue of the energy at games and the tribalism of fans, esp in poor areas) seem to provide that opportunity to behave poorly. And it happens more with soccer than with other sports.
                I accept the point that people at the cricket also get ejected, but that’s usually cos they’re pissed after drinking for 7 hours. No excuse of course, but it is different to the mobbish style violence that occurs from time to time at soccer matches all over the world. Port Said looks like much much more than that (at the very least it’s an extreme example) but sadly for the sport, soccer games seem to provide the vehicle.

            • February 3rd 2012 @ 11:30am
              TomC said | February 3rd 2012 @ 11:30am | ! Report

              Your first point has a ring of truth about it AR, but I’m not sure I’m totally convinced.

              I think the second point is an excellent one. Soccer is just so universal that it becomes a vehicle for competition and conflict between ethnic groups. Football in Tito’s Yugoslavia is a good example. Probably the Old Firm as well.

              That said, its important to refute David’s suggestion that ‘only soccer’ attracts violence. Brawls are depressingly regular events in country football in Australia. Canucks fans rioted in Vancouver just last year after their team lost the Stanley Cup. Bulldogs and Tigers fans brawled in the carpark at ANZ Stadium in 2006. In 2010 police had to use tear gas on fans at a Greek basketball game. We could spend all day running through other examples.

              • February 3rd 2012 @ 1:13pm
                Australian Rules said | February 3rd 2012 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

                I don’t think it’s “only soccer”.

                But undoubtedly, violence/riots happens more in soccer than in other sports. Perhaps that’s just because it’s the biggest sport in the world. Whatever the reason, the gang mentality and opportunity to incite riotous behaviour, has attached itself to soccer all over the world. It’s a great shame but it’s undeniably true.

                Interesting to hear this guy’s experiences of Egyptian football before the Port Said tragedy:
                http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/16857189

                The same stories appear in South America, Europe, the Mid-East, the rest of Africa etc

        • February 3rd 2012 @ 2:32pm
          c said | February 3rd 2012 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

          Is this the same David lord that presents sport on sportslline foxtel? Goodness me

      • Roar Rookie

        February 3rd 2012 @ 6:30am
        SideShowBob said | February 3rd 2012 @ 6:30am | ! Report

        Blaming what the newspapers report or don’t report according to your world view isn’t addressing the actual image problem that soccer just can’t seem to shake. But then what to do when you have a governing body FIFA in charge?

        The fact is there was a massive loss of life at a soccer match… again.

        What mindless hatred drives soccer people to such crazed lunacy?

        • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:13am
          Lucan said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          I think it has been established this wasn’t “mindless hatred”, this disaster was the result of considered actions from a section of politically aggrieved people.

          Save your sweeping generalisation for when MVFC and SFC fans clash for no other purpose than trying to look “well ‘ard”.

        • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:35am
          Roger said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:35am | ! Report

          SideShowBob, I think you had best get up to speed with the events and politics surrounding this, rather than clinging to the media hype generated here in Australia as truth.

    • February 3rd 2012 @ 7:12am
      chris said | February 3rd 2012 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Was there any Islamic Fundamentalist involved.

    • Roar Guru

      February 3rd 2012 @ 8:08am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:08am | ! Report

      Great article, Mike.

      For those of us, who follow World News, we know that Egypt is undergoing massive political upheaval after a bloody revolution, which started in February 2011 and culminated in the ousting of the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.

      Although Mubarak resigned during the Revolution, those of us who follow World News, are fully aware of the protests that have continued unabated during the past 12 months amid concerns that the military junta will indefinitely take control of Egypt.

      Whilst the Heysel tragedy was blight on football culture, only the most ignorant people will see this tragedy as anything to do with football. In 1997 Egyptian militants kill 60 foreign tourists, who were visiting a temple in Luxor, in southern Egypt – another example of horrific politically-motivated carnage.

      If a terrorist wants to cause mayhem across a community, it’s obvious they will target areas where big crowds congregate. And, the World Game attracts huge crowds in Egypt.

    • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:17am
      Bondy said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      Egypt as a Nation politically is struggling right now” hardliners Islamist’s” I was watching S.B.S ‘s World News “a few nights back ” and a B.B.C reporter did a story on the current state of Egyptian politics and to notice in the local touristy sectors of Cairo where alcohol is allowed although “with hidden camera ” the journalist tried to order a beer and was told no alcohol served here,the journalist then proceeded to do a interview with a local school teacher who suggested there should be segregation of women and men at beaches.

      When there is a major off at a football match it’s 90.0 % politically motivated ,thats what the English police couldn’t understand “for a while ” with football hooliganism it was politically motivated that time by white extremists” One England and it will be white” .

    • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:20am
      Rough Conduct said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      Thanks for letting us know that this was definitely not a football thing – as long as football’s image is not tarnished, that is what is most important.

      • February 3rd 2012 @ 12:26pm
        The Bear said | February 3rd 2012 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        Let’s not get irrational and narky now…. there is no place for that in our country ; )

    • February 3rd 2012 @ 8:33am
      Roger said | February 3rd 2012 @ 8:33am | ! Report

      Spot on Mike.

      What I particularly liked about the “SOCCER RIOTS” stories in the Melbourne papers was the extra mile they took to remind readers about previous SOCCER RIOTS too.

      • February 3rd 2012 @ 9:17am
        Kasey said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        Doe anyone know if is it true that chief AFL writer for The Age Caroline Wilson, lists in her CV “covering the UK Soccer Riots” as a career milestone? or is that a football-urban myth?

        • Roar Guru

          February 3rd 2012 @ 9:27am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | February 3rd 2012 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          Not an urban myth – in black & white on the ABC Offsiders website (Source: http://www.abc.net.au/sport/offsiders/aboutus.htm )

          Football has Cinderellas – the football-literate Mel & Lara – AFL and NRL have the Wilson “sisters” Caro & Rebecca.

          No wonder football is called “the Beautiful Game”!

          • February 3rd 2012 @ 11:34am
            Roger said | February 3rd 2012 @ 11:34am | ! Report

            OMG,I can’t believe that is actually true. I thought for sure it was an urban myth as Kasey suggested.

            • February 3rd 2012 @ 11:52am
              Lucan said | February 3rd 2012 @ 11:52am | ! Report

              It is tongue-in-cheek. I doubt Gideon Haigh lists that he bowls “quiches” for South Yarra Cricket Club on his actual CV.

              • February 3rd 2012 @ 12:12pm
                Kasey said | February 3rd 2012 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

                apologist.

          • February 3rd 2012 @ 11:41am
            TomC said | February 3rd 2012 @ 11:41am | ! Report

            Unfortunately, Mel McLaughlin’s A-league previews are, well, kind of crap. She doesn’t really compare to AFL journalists like the excellent Emma Quayle or even the mediocre Caroline Wilson.

            Of course, the Roar’s own Katie Lambeski shows that there are intelligent women out there capable of writing excellent articles about football. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before a larger media outlet wises up and employs some of them.

            • February 4th 2012 @ 7:40pm
              amazonfan said | February 4th 2012 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

              Carro is far from perfect, and sometimes she drives me mad, but she is far from mediocre. I think she is a brilliant sports journo, and one of the best at reporting, and analyzing, behind the scenes machinations of anyone in Australian sport. I’m a huge fan of her.

              • February 7th 2012 @ 11:48am
                TomC said | February 7th 2012 @ 11:48am | ! Report

                Well, I watch her on Offsiders every week, and the last thing I would describe her as is a ‘brilliant sports journo’. The way she tries to bring back every conversation to AFL is absolutely cringeworthy.

              • February 7th 2012 @ 5:12pm
                amazonfan said | February 7th 2012 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

                I don’t watch Offsiders so I can’t comment on that. I do watch AFL Classified, and I think she’s great. However, the main reasons I thonk she’s brilliant are her newspaper articles. Some are incredibly annoying, but many IMO testify to her brilliance.

          • February 3rd 2012 @ 11:55pm
            Evan Askew said | February 3rd 2012 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

            You forgot Marriana Rudan!

          • February 3rd 2012 @ 11:59pm
            Evan Askew said | February 3rd 2012 @ 11:59pm | ! Report

            I hate the ABC with a passion! At least with the commercial networks what you see is what you get. But I think the ABC is a dirty snake in the grass who try to prevent themselves as objective but puch the same agendas in their predictably smarmy manner.

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