BY JIM BROWNE
On the eleventh of April, yet again some of Britain’s football fans went abroad and disgraced the nation. This time they staged a mass brawl, attacked beggars in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor and were filmed chanting “You Spanish b******s, Gibraltar is ours.”
In mitigation, Spanish riot police are notorious hotheads and know full well that they can claim personal compensation from fans who behave like hooligans and cause them even the slightest injury, while Spanish authorities are fond of collecting fines. Of the seventy Leicester fans involved, eight were sentenced by a duty judge in Madrid on Thursday for public disturbance, and six of these were given a four-month sentence for actual bodily harm against police officers. Surprise, surprise: their custodial sentences can be avoided if they pay a substantial fine.
The BBC did some of these Leicester fans a public service by showing them getting caught up in police action by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, so clearly the Spanish Police were keen to pocket as much as they could from the situation. Nonetheless, there’s no escaping the fact that some Leicester-supporting yobs decided to behave badly. Abroad. Just as they had done in Seville for their previous Champions League Spanish encounter, where they also complained about Spanish Police ambushing them and using rubber bullets unnecessarily against them.
So, what happens to these yobs now they are back home in England?
Their football club is likely to review the Spanish Police reports and footage of any criminality and then hand out club bans to guilty perpetrators. The hooligans are likely to be placed on a hooligan register by a special unit attached to the UK police force. And that is it.
What should happen to these idiots?
First, the names and photographs of offenders should be published in national British newspapers and in newspapers local to where they live. There should be a TV report naming and shaming them. Create some national and local stigma, just as there is for drink driving.
Second, their employers should sack them – no questions asked. Legislation should be put in place for employers to immediately dismiss employees caught up in hooligan violence, as they are disgracing their employers by their actions.
Third, local magistrates in the UK should be calling these perpetrators up before them to face hearings related to “shaming the nation” for which long spells of community service, which should be performed in the public glare of the citizens these fools have offended. If the perpetrators would prefer not to do community service they can join one of the armed services and repay the nation that way.
Finally, the hooligans’ passports should be seized and a ten-year travel ban placed on all guilty perpetrators.
I really do not believe so.
The British (it’s not just an English problem – ask Celtic) hooligan problem is one that has shamed our nation for thirty years and more. Numbskulls need to be taught. So far, they have failed to learn their lesson. Perhaps when Britain regains its sovereignty after Brexit and some of our fat human rights lawyers disappear off to Canada to find (albeit temporary) work, a decent anti-hooligan suite of legislation can be ushered in.
Leicester City Football Club won the hearts of a nation – and the support of an army of neutrals – by winning the Premier League last year. Amongst those cheering them on were loads of Spaniards. They, and the hooligan fans of other clubs and our nations, should now reflect long and hard on how their fans’ behaviour makes us all feel. As should our legislators.