The Lack of Respect in Football – A Vicious Cycle to Break

In the world of football, rivalry between teams is an intrinsic and often exhilarating component of fans’ experiences. However, in recent years, the fiercest dark side of this rivalry has emerged: a constant escalation from disrespect to insults, verbal abuse, and even threats and physical violence.

It seems to have become commonplace and acceptable to cheer for tragedies that have befallen rival fan bases, as well as to wish for deaths and new disasters. Needless to say, this situation has become utterly unacceptable, scandalous, and unworthy of a civilized society. It is evident that it reflects a complete failure on the part of those responsible for writing the regulations, monitoring their enforcement, and taking action to punish violations.

The Jdentità Bianconera Foundation was established to protect the rights of Juventus fans and with the specific aim of initiating every possible effort to reverse this trend by reporting, denouncing, and loudly demanding that the rules be respected and enforced. Last Sunday, we reported to the authorities a “highly questionable” behavior by some AC Milan players who, after a match, posted a video on social media in which they sang derogatory chants against Juventus fans.

The reactions to this report have been varied, but too often based on a relativism that ignores the fact that football players are not just athletes but also public figures with tremendous visibility and influence on society. When the same protagonists set a bad example by behaving irresponsibly and insulting opposing fans, the result is a negative spiral of mutual insults and violence that can only worsen.

In accordance with the ideals pursued by our Foundation, football must return to being a sport that unites, celebrating the passion and enthusiasm of fans, regardless of the teams they support.

We understand banter; we learn to live with it from a young age, and it’s part of the game. But downplaying, as is now often done, every insult and defamation as mere “banter” is profoundly wrong and has significantly contributed to the current climate. It is important to remember that football has a vast audience of young, impressionable fans who are inclined to emulate the behavior of their idols. When players show disrespect and inappropriate behavior, they are sending a distorted message to young fans, promoting a culture of insult instead of mutual respect.

Football institutions, media organizations, teams, and players themselves have a massive responsibility to be positive role models for their fans. Football leagues must intervene with appropriate sanctions to punish unacceptable behavior, and teams should promote awareness campaigns to educate players about mutual respect.

In conclusion, it is essential for all true sports enthusiasts who genuinely love football to seriously reflect on the lack of respect in the world of football and the negative consequences it can bring. We are all passionate about this sport, and we must work together to build an environment of respect and celebration of competition that can inspire future generations.