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Football fans’ mindless vandalism taints community spirit

Abbie Dodson
Abbie Dodson

With 2018’s World Cup event having finished, it’s time to reflect on the last month, writes Abbie Dodson.

We have all gathered loved ones, calorific snacks in cheap transparent bowls, and bitten our nails as we watched the harrowing matches that saw England narrowly defeat Columbia, and our shocking defeat against Croatia.

Together, we shouted obscenities at the television, and graced beer gardens with our best football manager advice, despite most of us having no prior interest in the sport.

I have really enjoyed the sense of community that the World Cup has offered us. Many a car passes by with slightly tattered England flags waving triumphantly in the breeze, supermarkets have placed so many offers on crates of alcohol, it seems illogical not to buy any.

Whilst the World Cup has brought us closer together as a country, and allowed us to enjoy the heatwave with more of a purpose (and an excuse to drink on week nights) it has come time to assess some of the negative aspects of the World Cup.

Football and hot weather scientifically require alcohol. It’s a winning combination, provided that nobody drinks too much. But that’s exactly what has been happening. People have been going out, watching the match, and consuming far too much alcohol. This has resulted in so much mindless vandalism that it makes the sense of community brought about by the World Cup tainted. On Facebook, I saw a video of football fans jumping on the bonnet and roof of an emergency vehicle, writing it off. Similar videos saw crowds swarming buses and roads, throwing glasses at one another, and other acts of senselessness. A friend of mine had his car windscreen smashed after one of England’s victories, and had to pay to fix it with his own money. That isn’t community, or togetherness, it’s vandalism, and it’s unfair.

I know that this year has been somewhat of a rarity, and I understand that given the weather, etc, people are wanting to go out and have fun, and that is completely fine, but there are ways to have fun without smashing up your own community. That’s not what the World Cup is about. Have you been affected by vandalism during this year’s World Cup? Or are you suspicious of your own actions whilst you have been drunk, enjoying the football? Let’s try to promote community in four years’ time, and not mindless acts of vandalism and violence.