Media and police response to football hooliganism have tended to be disproportionate to the nature and extent of the phenomenon

Further, the excesses of the media in covering hooliganism manifests in the dehumanizing framework in which hooligans are shown.  Under this bestiality theme, not only are hooligans shown devoid of their socio-economic context, but also portrayed as sub-human “because their behavioural patterns are seen as complying with animal rather than human norms of behaviour. Needless to point out that the subsequent denial of any possible in-group status implies the destitution of the right to have any rights at all”. (Crawford, 2004, p.225)  For example,

“Schematically speaking, the representation of football hooligans relies mainly on the broad and repetitive diffusion of irrationality and bestiality themes and   on the total dissociation of the wrongdoers from their historical context…Their dangerousness is not only assessed in terms of the impact of their acts on persons, property, and public order but also, and above all, in terms of the very origin of their behaviour, which is believed to result from an unknown irrational impulse that makes it incomprehensible, unpredictable, and, ultimately, uncontrollable. Once established, the irrationality thesis prevails over antithetical representations that link the dangerousness of the phenomenon to the high degree of organization of the wrongdoers.”

But what is excluded from this common representation is the idea of hooligans as integral members of society and not outside of it.  This severing makes difficult any constructive dialogue between hooligans and the larger society.  Equally impossible under the media stereotyping and simplification of the issue are workable solutions to the problem that take into account the socio-economic backwardness of hooligans.  In this scenario, beefing up police security remains the only option, which is far from an ideal remedy. (Daily Post, 2009, p.16)

Hence, in conclusion, as the above examples clearly illustrates, there is a definite disproportionality in the way media and police treat football hooligans.  While in the case of the media, the misrepresentation can take the form of class-bias, racism and fear-mongering, in the case of the police they manifest as brute force, unwarranted detention, etc.  The nexus between police and media is also evident in this systematic tarnishing of a social group.  While there is no denying the existence of the problem, the response from the two institutions in question have clearly been disproportionate to the frequency and effect of the phenomenon.

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