Staffordshire University logo

Football's Dark Side 

Is there any integrity in football? All sport fans know that major professional sports have hidden vices and football is no different. But what exactly do you make of the corruption and violence associated with football in recent years?


1) In April 2013 Fifa Honorary President Joao Havelange quit his role after a corruption probe revealed he pocketed bribes totalling £1m. Was Havelange an extraordinary individual who took bribes, or was he a true representative of an organization that is endemically corrupt?

2) In recent years, gambling scandals involving Accrington and Motherwell showed how all aspects of the professional game are affected by corruption. In 2012, Fifa announced a new team to help tackle corruption in the game. How effective do you think this team will be?

3) Mel Brennan, a Fifa delegate for North America at the 2002 World Cup, called some of his former colleagues "cockroaches" who lavish money on themselves. He also called for Fifa to be scrapped. His views were echoed by another Fifa official Günter Hirsch, who when announcing his resignation in disgust from Fifa's Ethics Commission in 2012 said: "Fifa have no real interest in playing an active role in resolving, punishing and avoiding violations against ethic regulations of Fifa." What are your own thoughts as to whether Fifa really wants to root out corruption?


4) The Dutch sociologist Ramón Spaaij argues: "Although for most sports spectators the excitement and emotional arousal of a sports match suffice, hooligans cherish the peak experiences associated with symbolic and physical violence in the football context. Fighting is one of their main acts to counter boredom and experience high emotional arousal. Many hooligans perceive conventional lifestyles and careers as boring and unchallenging." This suggests violence and football go hand-in-hand. What are your own experiences and views on the extent to which violence remains part of football?

5) Turkey's approach to football violence is perhaps the most severe in the world. Is the clampdown method the only reliable way of removing violence from football? In the UK latest Home Office report (see page 9 in particular) suggests football violence is declining: why? Tick as many boxes as you like:

6) In June 2013, a game between Estudiantes and Lanús in Argentina erupted into violence. A Dutch assistant referee officiating at his son's youth football match was kicked to death by several players in December 2012. While violence in British football seems to be in decline, it persists in many other parts of the world. Do you have any theories why violence is seemingly associated with football in comparison with other sports?

About you

Are you male or female?

Age group:

Optional questions

By clicking submit you are giving your consent for your views to be part of this survey