Why do soccer fans hate cricket

The fight has been going on for 100 years

The rivalry between the two Glasgow football clubs, Celtic and Rangers, reflects the history of Scotland: a history of Catholics versus Protestants and Republicans versus Unionists.

I enjoy sporting rivalry. I say this with a slight sense of shame because this admission may seem a little decadent or perverse - but it is true. I love the extra flavor that goes into sporting battles when we know that the supporters of the two rival sides really and sincerely hate each other. In football, when Barca meet Real, Germany against Holland or Argentina against England. In ice hockey, the USA versus Russia was always a highlight of the Winter Olympics for me. England versus Australia in cricket is another. The rivalries don't have to be big or exist in the mass sports to interest me. One of my favorite rivalries is in the minor sport of Shinty. There is a classic conflict here between the small towns of Newtonmore and Kingussie in the Scottish Highlands. Shinty is an ancient Gaelic sport, similar to field hockey but much more aggressive, and it's a real village sport with broken teeth and broken legs.

Every Saturday amateur players meet in the mountain gorges of the Scottish Highlands in the shade of the wide, green mountain slopes on community sports fields, equipped with wooden clubs and with the aim of sinking the heavy ball into a high goal or, if that does not succeed, in the face of an opponent.

(A Shinty battle chant contains the line: "Live by Shinty, die by Shinty!") Newtonmore and Kingussie are two small towns in the Cairngorm district, no more than a mile apart, I believe, and each with a population of about 1,000. But the two places represent the most powerful teams in the world of Shinty. They are Brazil, they are Argentina. They have won most of the tournaments and championships in their sport. But no amount of trophies can match their desire, defeat the other side again, take the edge off. The walls in the pubs in both places are plastered with photos, trophies and victory slogans. I recently spent a night in Kingussie while cycling north. I listened to the landlord and his stories from sporting conflict and fame that went way back in time. I felt like a wine connoisseur who stumbled upon a particularly rare variety In the cool air of the highlands, I was able to enjoy this delicious local rivalry in its own territory. I think it's possible that I'm so drawn to rivalry because I'm Scotch. What chili means to Mexico is resentment to a Scotsman - it defines us and spices up our lives. What chili is to Mexico, resentment is to a Scotsman - it defines us and spices our lives. Perhaps that's why Scotland is home to the bitterest, deepest and, yes, best of all sporting rivalries. The Château Pétrus of rivalry, so to speak: that between the Glasgow football teams of Celtic and Rangers. This struggle has lasted for more than a century, dividing not only the city of Glasgow but most of the rest of Scotland as well. Celtic and Rangers are the two leading clubs in Scotland. Celtic was founded as a boys' club for the sons of immigrants who came to Glasgow after the famine in Ireland.

That means it was mostly a Catholic club. The Rangers were formed around the same time. The Rangers were not necessarily intended to be established as a Protestant club, but in time they became the club of the Protestant working class of a growing industrial city.

Rivalry as good business. Catholics faced discrimination in the west of Scotland and therefore their loyalty to Celtic became an indispensable part of their identity. As the competition for jobs and resources became fiercer during the recession, the Protestant working class felt its prerogatives were threatened by the Catholic minority, and its bond with the Rangers became all the more important to it. The Ibrox and Parkhead football stadiums provided two communities with an opportunity to express their dreams, but also their hostility and hatred. This rivalry was quickly combined with Scotland's love for football and created the basis for a lucrative business for both clubs. In Scotland the two are known together as "The Old Firm". This can be translated as "The Old Firm" or "The Old Firm" and refers to the fact that the two clubs, although they hate each other, are economically dependent on each other. They are estimated to generate £ 120 million a year in revenue for the Scottish economy. They have fans all over the world who they sell their jerseys and other products to. They need each other; they need the hatred to survive. The rivalry, of course, has deep and ugly sectarian roots stretching across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland, with many of those who immigrated to Glasgow in the 19th century coming from the province of Ulster.

At the same time, the Protestant majority in Northern Ireland descended from Scottish settlers who colonized Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Irish fault line quickly became the key difference between the two clubs. On the one hand republicans (Catholics), on the other hand unionists (Protestants). The majority of fans for both clubs are from Ireland. The current owners of Celtic Glasgow are Irish. Many Scottish Celtic fans still see themselves as Irish to this day - even though they were born and raised in Scotland. Conversely, Rangers supporters do not see themselves as Scottish, but as British. The Irish flag is waved regularly at Parkhead Stadium, home of Celtic. On the other side of town, at Glasgow's Ibrox Stadium, the UK Union Jack is the most common. Interestingly, neither side uses the Scottish flag. Celtic fans support Ireland and Rangers supporters keep their fingers crossed for England. The fans of the originally Scottish "Tartan Army" usually stick to one of the smaller clubs from the rest of the country. That is particularly spicy, since the players of the Scottish national team are traditionally almost exclusively from the two clubs of the "Old Firm" they have the financial means to attract the best talent in Scottish football.

Irish versus Irish. In a sense, the division between Protestants and Catholics expresses a deeper historical-linguistic divide between the Gael, who once inhabited the coasts and islands of Ireland and the north and west of Scotland, and the English-speaking Saxons or "Sassenachs" who lived in the The two forces fought for centuries over those lands, but after the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, the Gael of Scotland turned to a stern version of Calvinist Protestantism.

This means that the islands of Lewis and Harris in the far north, as the last strongholds of the Scottish Gaelic language, are now among the most ardent followers of the Rangers in Scotland. That a tiny linguistic community of perhaps 20,000 people direct their sharpest hatred not against the English speakers around them but against the only group they could speak to in their own language - the Northern Irish Gaelic - is a staggering fact. Of course, Lewis and Harris residents have little opportunity to go to a soccer match and when in doubt they are Shinty fans. I don't know, but I'm almost certain that if asked, they would endorse either Kingussie or Newtonmore on the basis that they are a "Rangers team." It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual circumstances of either of them It has to do with the fact that whatever the conflict, wherever in the world, Celtic and Rangers fans will do whatever they can to fuel their conflict.

Fuel the conflict further. When the IRA received support from Arab nationalists such as the Palestinians, some Celtic fans wore the Palestinian shawl out of solidarity. As soon as Rangers supporters saw this new symbol, some of them began waving Israeli flags. Today the Basque flag can be found in Parkhead Stadium and the Spanish flag in Ibrox. Rangers fans often wear orange and support Holland (William of Orange was the great Protestant king who defeated the Irish at the Battle of Boyne), and conversely, Celtic fans can be found in German colors. I am personally neutral on these matters. I stick to the little club "Patrick Thistle". (Our battle song: "We hate the boys in royal blue, we hate the boys in emerald green, so fuck the Pope and fuck the Queen.") To really enjoy rivalry, it is important to keep your distance from it. Ideally, one should look at the passions with objective eyes; much like a voyeur in an orgy. To really feel the hatred, to really dive into it - that's it. Like a wine connoisseur who gets drunk. It's ugly, unpleasant, and it gives you a humming head. The last "Old Firm" derby drew three red cards and thirteen yellow cards. The two coaches attacked each other at the end of the game. There were numerous arrests and police complained about an 80 percent increase in domestic violence and Be Bonnie Prince Charlie per year In 1745 the Gaelic of Scotland turned to a strict version of Calvinist Protestantism, which means that the islands of Lewis and Harris in the far north, the last strongholds of the Scottish Gaelic language, are among the most ardent followers of the Rangers in Scotland today.

That a tiny linguistic community of perhaps 20,000 people direct their sharpest hatred not against the English speakers around them but against the only group they could speak to in their own language - the Northern Irish Gaelic - is a staggering fact. Of course, Lewis and Harris residents have little opportunity to go to a soccer match and when in doubt they are Shinty fans. I don't know, but I'm almost certain that if asked, they would endorse either Kingussie or Newtonmore on the basis that they are a "Rangers Team".

It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual circumstances of the two clubs. It just has to do with the fact that - no matter what the conflict, wherever in the world - Celtic and Rangers fans will always do whatever they can to fuel their conflict. Fuel the conflict further. When the IRA received support from Arab nationalists such as the Palestinians, some Celtic fans wore the Palestinian shawl out of solidarity. As soon as Rangers supporters saw this new symbol, some of them began waving Israeli flags. Today the Basque flag can be found in Parkhead Stadium and the Spanish flag in Ibrox. Rangers fans often wear orange and support Holland (William of Orange was the great Protestant king who defeated the Irish at the Battle of Boyne), and conversely, Celtic fans can be found in German colors. I am personally neutral on these matters. I stick to the little club "Patrick Thistle". (Our battle song: "We hate the boys in royal blue, we hate the boys in emerald green, so fuck the Pope and fuck the Queen.") I think a sporty one In order to really enjoy rivalry, it is important to keep a distance from it. Ideally, one should look at the passions with objective eyes; much like a voyeur in an orgy. To really feel the hatred, to really dive into it - that's it. Like a wine connoisseur who gets drunk. It's ugly, unpleasant, and it gives you a humming head. The last "Old Firm" derby saw three red and 13 yellow cards. The two coaches attacked each other at the end of the game. There were numerous arrests and police complained about an 80 percent increase in domestic violence and abuse after a game against Celtic Rangers. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond convened an emergency meeting to discuss the issue of violence related to the "Old Firm".

We have seen tons of headlines and comments lamenting the old sectarian dispute problem in Scotland. But the truth is: Nobody will do anything. Partly because the rivalry produces good money and partly because - similar to sadomasochism - most Scottish men secretly enjoy this violence. The joy of conflict can be compared to the joy of going on a safari to observe wild animals, chasing tornadoes or staring at the terrifying slopes of steep mountains. It is the tickling that originates in the savagery, the irrational and the frightening. The Scottish identity is defined by the gap between the civilized connoisseur on the outside and the wild animal on the inside. This is the so-called "Caledonian Antisyzygy" - the polarity that we find in classic works of Scottish literature, best known in Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". The Scottish man is superficially a civilized and prudent Christian, but in the cauldron of a football stadium or a Shinty match, after a few drinks, our anger discharges - we become monsters, angry, boorish, disgusting. The great Glaswegian writer Alasdair Gray once described Scotland not as a country but as an archipelago. He meant that Scotland consists of many small islands of identity: Catholic / Protestant, Glasgow / Edinburgh, Gaelic / Sassenach, village / town etc. Each island of the self is determined by a sea of ​​resentment and hatred. But there is one thing that connects Scotland's football fans, an overwhelming feeling that no Scot can hide: every time a German footballer scores a decisive penalty against England, all Scottish hearts bounce - the hearts of Celtic, Rangers, Edinburgh, Glasgow , Kingussie and Newtonmore - and they all sing, "Get up if you hate England, get up if you hate England." Except for me, of course. I'm neutral on these matters.