Spanish soccer supporters are back in the spotlight, but again, it’s for all the wrong reasons. In the wake of the recent tragic event outside the Vicente Calderón, Paris Saint-Germain fans were stabbed near the Nou Camp after yesterday’s Champions League match between the French champions and Barcelona. According to AS, members of the “notorious” Boixoz Nois ultras are suspects, with revenge the hypothesized motive.
Two years ago, supporters of both clubs clashed in Paris when the teams met in Champions League’s knockout rounds. Yesterday, at around midnight Barcelona time, two suspected ultras armed with knives attacked a PSG fan on the Avenida Madrid. The victim is in stable condition at a local hospital.
A second victim was attacked under the guise of a mugging. According to a member of the victim’s party, shouts of “Long live Barcelona” rang out as the group was assaulted on Felipe de la Paz Street near Camp Nou.
“When the French supporters went to the Mossos to report the incident, they were told that the streets where it took place were dangerous and frequented by ultras linked to the Boixos Nois. While at the station, Guillame (a witness) said he saw other PSG fans with cuts and reporting similar incidents.”
For years, the underbelly of Spanish supporter’s culture had been overshadowed by higher profile stupidity in places like Russia, Eastern Europe, Italy, or occasionally South America. The exception was always incidents of racism, which remained unfortunately present among fans, but the instances of this type of violence were considered exceptions, not rules.
Now, between deaths and stabbings, Spain’s compelling people like our own Nando Vila to describe the seeds in the soil. For people who follow the league intently, this moment may have always been in the making. It may have just been a matter of these rogue planets aligning to draw attention to the worst part of Spanish soccer.
Regardless, there are still too many people tying themselves to soccer whose real motives align with violence, stupidity, and anachronism. The game’s long past tolerating the type of moron who perverts tradition into destruction.
Some clubs might not want to piss off established fan bases, but that view carries an obvious misconception. By any modern definition, any view that’s learned some the past decades of progress, those people aren’t fans to begin with. They’re hooligans.