Some sports fans are sabotaging their own teams' chances of hosting tournaments and games by being violent and misbehavioral.
|The FIFA World Cups are supposed to represent the epitome of Word-Class football in a global platform. This includes not only the sporting side of things but also everything that surrounds the event. One of the main factors that contribute to the success of a World Cup are the local spectators.|
One of the main reasons why a FIFA World Cup is meant to be held in a specific geographical space at the same time is the environment that leads to a global concentration of different cultures and nationalities, and celebrating a global festivity.
For a global festivity to take place the hosts should welcome visitors with open arms, treating them with respect and consideration. Unfortunately, football fans not always behave well.
During the last Euro 2020 fan several English fans misbehaved, engaging in bullying and outright violence, including to fans of their same country. For this reason, the English national team has been sanctioned with a one-game penalty where they will play behind closed doors.
Across the Atlantic, fans of the Mexican national team have repeatedly caused their national team to be sanctioned by FIFA with games behind closed doors, and the game has been suspended in CONCACAF competitions when some of their aficionados have shouted a word that has homophobic connotations.
Regardless, in 2026 Mexico will receive the FIFA Football World Cup -albeit a minority of the games- and the UK government has committed £2.8 million (BBC) to study a bid for the 2030 edition.
The majority of the fans behave well. The fact that a number of individuals or specific groups decide to misbehave should also not lead to a false characterization of the majority of true sporting followers from these countries and others. In the end, we can find misbehaving fans and criminals everywhere.
National federations should take care of the fact that their fans misbehave and take appropriate measures to ensure that they are able to protect players, collaborators and spectators from forms of violence within their purview.
But England should nit be prevented from bidding to host the 2030 World Cup nor Mexico from potentially opening the 2026 festivities at the historic Estadio Azteca. If these bids are the best overall then a single aspect should not make everything crumble.
However, if it is indeed clear that their fans continue to act violently and it is either determined that the federations have not done enough from what is in their hands and especially if there is a clear risk of violence then indeed the priority should lay elsewhere.
Sporting events can become mechanism for change. Hopefully they become a platform to prevent hatred and violence.
When they become a platform for such actions then indeed the best is to unfortunately determine that certain hosts -a word that goes beyond the organizing committee- are not mature enough and the tools are given to grow up, then unfortunately there is not much more to do in order to allow their hosting pretensions.