Dying for a football team

Abdo Khal


AFTER each crucial football match, we hear about victims who suffered because of the outcome. Sometimes people lose their life because of their intense emotions.

The cases of heart attacks and fans fainting in football stadiums during and after matches need immediate attention. Take for example, the latest match between Riyadh rivals Al-Nasr and Al-Hilal. Al-Nasr won the match 3-2 and temporarily took the top position in the league standings, sending Hilal to the second place.

A large number of ambulances were seen at the entrances of the stadium dealing with the cases of fans who suffered health problems during and after the match. One Hilal fan died because of shock and sorrow after Al-Nasr scored the winning goal in the last minutes of the match.

The Jedda-based Al-Ahli Club announced that the revenue generated from the ticket sales from the upcoming match with Al-Hilal will be donated to the family of the dead Hilal fan.

Although this is a welcome move as an act of kindness, we need to review the cases of fans with intense emotions overreacting to the results of football matches.

Football fanaticism has crossed the limit in our country. Sports authorities need to interfere and establish awareness seminars to discuss the dangers of overreacting match outcomes.

Sports journalists need to play a big part in combating the rising phenomenon of sport fanaticism because it only generates negative emotions.

It is worth noting that sport programs are intensifying sport fanaticism through TV programs and debates. They keep fueling negative emotions among fans without being held accountable.

These TV channels at the same time can play an important role in combating sport fanaticism by banning frenetic commentators and fans from appearing on their programs. We can do a lot to prevent more fans from dying in our stadiums and outside because of highly emotional reactions to match outcomes.