Los 40 USA
NewslettersSign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

Thank heavens for football


We've all see the shocking scenes of how a renowned Real Betis ultra indiscriminately attacked a member of the public sitting having breakfast peacefully in Bilbao's Plaza Nueva ahead of the recent Athletic-Betis game. The ultra approached the man and asked him is he was an ETA supporter and declared "Arriba España" (famous right wing motto) before launching the attack. The victim managed to escape but later refused to press charges. The local Basque police acted on the video evidence which spread virally throughout the day in question and was picked up by all major television news networks with the final outcome being a 9,000 euro fine for the perpetrator and a banning order from all football grounds in the country.

Stills of the attack in Bilbao
Full screen
Stills of the attack in Bilbao

Football related violence

Blessed football! The individual behind the attack held more than 20 previous convictions and is well known to the local police in his native Seville for being a serious trouble maker. On this occasion a LaLiga game was the backdrop to his antics and the story takes on another dimension with "football related violence" being a far more eye catching headline. no-one even knows if the victim was even a football fan. The only motive for the attack was the victim being Basque and the ultra made the assumption that in turn meant an ETA sympathiser. The only link to football was the game taking place later that same evening at San Mames.

The Betis ultra at the scene of the attack in Bilbao
Full screen
The Betis ultra at the scene of the attack in BilbaoDIARIO AS

Media analysis

We're now seeing a trend whereby any incident occurring in or around a football match it gets blown out of proportion. Simply by football attracting such a large mass of people it's inevitable that a small element will be undesirables. These individuals are that way not because of the game, they use the sport as a smokescreen for their own motives. Football has such a  mediàtic power that any incident, no matter how minor will be picked up and analysed in major detail. This is such a case whereby Real Betis were forced to declare that the attacker is not a Betis season ticket holder and has banned for some time form attending home games at the Villamarin stadium. What football has done in this case is highlight that some dangerous and anti-social individuals freely walk our streets.