A Better Class of Soccer Fan | Letters | Chicago Reader

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A Better Class of Soccer Fan

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To the editors:

While not wishing to portray Scottish soccer fans as angels or choirboys, I think your article "Hooligans at the Gate" was wrong to include Scottish soccer fans in the same category as Dutch or English soccer hooligans [May 14]. I don't deny that in the 70s Scottish fans were out of control on the biannual trip to Wembley. This in the main took the form of public displays of drunkenness and drunken high spirits. At no point was there ever any suggestion of organized or planned violence.

Your article points out that the introduction of legislation in Scotland regarding the consumption of alcohol in or around stadiums or whilst traveling to and from games has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of incidents of crowd trouble at soccer games in Scotland. What readers of your article may be astonished to know is that in the recent European championships in Sweden, Scottish fans were voted the friendliest fans of the tournament. During both Italia '90 and the 1992 European Championships in Sweden not a single Scottish fan was arrested. With these last two facts in mind I think you'll agree that you have exaggerated when you include Scotland's be-kilted tartan army of fans in the same class as the skinheaded, neo-Nazi thugs who regularly follow the likes of England, Holland, or Germany.

I hope all my friends in Chicago have a fantastic World Cup '94. The only reason I'm over here this year is Scotland's chances of qualifying for their sixth successive world cup finals are about as likely as the Cubs winning the World Series. Good luck Team USA, you'll need it!

Andy Morrissey

Newarthill

Strathclyde

Scotland

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