Violence in amateur football: the president of the Haute-Garonne district sounds the alarm

the necessary
In the Haute-Garonne, in amateur football, violence is increasing. It is not uncommon to hear insults about young referees or educators. To cope with this increase in rudeness, the Haute-Garonne football district is launching a campaign and preventive spot: “Don’t touch my football”. Marco Sentein, president of the Haute-Garonne district, explains the future awareness campaigns.

The Haute-Garonne district produces a mockery and a campaign against violence around the site. Why produce this video?

The purpose is twofold. This is the start of a campaign that we want to launch in the Haute-Garonne district. We are working on a scenario with actors who are children, especially the animation group for 5-12 year olds. In recent years we have noticed that especially parents display violent behavior when playing matches or sets. I’m talking about a few sets where there is no sports problem. We can have educators physically approved by parents because their sons or daughters didn’t play the entire game.

Who are the main victims of this violence off the pitch?

The main victims are young players and young referees. They are the ones who suffer the damage of this environment, which becomes more and more unbearable over the years. Things are going really well on the field. But around, we have a phenomenon of violence that is intensifying.

Are there reasons for the increase in rudeness?

I think there are several factors. It is often said that football has this opportunity and wealth to welcome all children from social background. It is the reflection of society. Football is very popular. The introduction of covid has strengthened certain benchmarks. The level of education is sometimes overlooked. The second reason is what some sports media dangle around the salaries, popularity and sporting successes of certain football players. Some think they will do their best to make their sons become the future Neymar or Mbappe. They switch clubs, yell at the edge of the field or at the umpires. At defeat, some parents will brood for weeks. Sometimes there is an accumulation of hatred towards educators, opponents or partners.

What types of violence do we see on the pitch?

For example, verbal abuse. We can hear insults to a young umpire or to the opponents. We hear “catch it” or “break it”. These are violent terms when they are 8 or 9 years old. Parents want their sons to be successful in an environment where millions of dollars are at stake… Sometimes we see other inappropriatenesses. We had the case two seasons ago of an educator who was attacked because a young player hadn’t played long enough.

Isn’t that a bit of a reflection of professional football? There are many insults, homophobic or racist comments in the stands…

Yes, we saw it at the beginning of the sports year, in the stands at professional matches. There was a lot of violence with games being discontinued. If football is exemplary, it is a wealth. If they win, it’s fantastic. But alas, when there are outrageous facts, it is also dramatic on amateur grounds.

In some sports, there is real discipline off the field. Why doesn’t football impose rules?

There are two factors. Football, as I said at the beginning, is fortunate to be able to accommodate all social backgrounds. It is an accessible sport. It also gets a lot of publicity. Athletics or tennis, for example, are slightly less so. Parents project themselves to a certain glory or wealth and completely forget the values ​​of sharing and the collective.

How to change this mindset?

=For our part, we are going to make a kind of small specification for the children. It should be done from an early age. I often say that in football the children raise the parents. Education is better on their side.

Leave a Comment