Why football violence made a comeback in continental Europe but spared England

Ellis Cashmore, Kevin Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Football violence has returned to continental Europe but not to England. This article explores reasons for the different experiences. It is argued that, after the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, English football recreated itself, purging what it considered its undesirable elements and transforming into a type of family entertainment. Hooliganism declined amid the changes and policing of football softened. Traditional conceptions of masculinity associated with football morphed into something consistent with today’s cultural climate. Meanwhile, much of continental European football, especially in Eastern Europe, remained unchanged, leaving a football culture that resembled England’s of the 1970s and 1980s. The unbridled passion, fervour and frenzy once associated with but now absent from English football, remains in continental Europe, fuelling the kinds of violence witnessed in England of the last century.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSoccer and Society
Early online date3 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2024


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