‘Violence-by-proxy': A recent trend of soccer violence in South Africa

  • Cora Burnett
Keywords: Soccer violence, soccer hooliganism, South Africa


The most recent trend of soccer violence in the South African context is explored though a synthesis of theoretical perspectives and the ‘sociogenesis' of soccer hooliganism. Against the background of profiling South African soccer spectators and an analysis of soccer violence since 1977, three trends were identified. The latest trend presents a shift from predominantly spectator violence to violent acts committed by officials and leaders, reflecting a ‘violence-by-proxy' phenomenon. The traditional fault lines are evident between supporters and officials or leaders representing them, on behalf of whom they are expected to ‘retaliate' against their source of frustration embodied mainly by referees, coaches and linesmen. Such incidences escalated from November 2002 to May 2004, of which 13 are discussed. These incidents occurred among different professional teams of which the culprits have mainly been identified as coaches, players, fans and referees. Various role players should address soccer violence as a complex social phenomenon and not merely implement superficial control mechanisms.
Key words: Soccer violence, soccer hooliganism, South Africa
AJPHERD Vol.11(2) 2005: 104-111

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939