Violence is increasing in football and players are more vulnerable to threats

Just search on The Google with keywordsaggression“,”football‘ And ‘2022To find many cases of violence against playersAnd coaches And the reviewer In these early months of the year. They range from psychological and physical assaults and have occurred at a greater scale and speed than other seasons.

Tuesday morning episode in Sao Paulo near CT do Palm treesFootball Academy, when he was a left-back George His car was damaged by a stone and he was threatened with assault, this is the latest case. The result of aggressive behavior on the part of individuals who call themselves “fans”, but who resort to violence when they consider that their club’s defender – the player and coach as the main target – is not doing what is expected of him.

Two men approached Jorge near the CT entrance, as he was headed for training. Many professionals have gone through this in recent months. One of the recorded cases was a series of death threats to players in Corinthianslike a goalkeeper Casio (and his family) and the attacker WilliamWhich made everyone in the club worried. This happened at the beginning of last month, when Alfinegro was going through an erratic phase on the pitch.

On this occasion, Corinthians spoke out against violent action – all clubs almost immediately renounced aggression – and as a protest decided not to post any content on social networks for three days. During this period, its managers, players and coaches did not make public statements. Threats were made by a fan of the club.

The day before the work of Corinth, a group of Forsa Jovim supporters organized a… Vasco, pressured players and coach Ze Ricardo at Galeao Airport in Rio. The reason for the saboteurs: dissatisfaction with the team’s results.

Intimidation earned the net and opened up the vulnerability of footballers in the face of such anger – there was no club security to protect the team at the airport.

Alarm numbers

In these just over five months of 2022, Brazilian football has recorded many instances of aggression, some of them very violent. In February, two episodes had serious consequences. The bus that transported the players from Associationbefore the classic version with international, in Gauchau, was the target of an attack with wounded athletes. bus from Bahia He suffered a similar ambush before a match in the Copa de Nordest.

As a result of these attacks on the goalkeeper Danilo Fernandez, from Bahia, needed rescue and surgery because he was hit by shards of glass. It took a while to get back into play, that is, to work. Villasanteof Grêmio, was hit in the head.

Perhaps the most absurd case so far happened last month and came from a coach, Rafael Soriano, at that time in Desportiva Ferrovaria. His target was a woman. hit the head of the flag Marcelle Netto, in a game starring Capixaba. The coach was fired and suspended for 200 days by the Espiritu Santo Sports Court.

society reflection

But what explains so much violence, threats and impatience in the world’s most popular sport, which should make people rejoice and have fun? For Zica Marquez, professor at Unesp and former football referee, these issues open the moment Brazilian society is going through, with high levels of violence.

“Football is actually a reflection of our society. People are getting impatient with everything because this pandemic has left everyone with a shorter fuse. Violence has always been part of this football environment, with symbolic cases annually, but it manifests itself in a different way”, says Zica Marquez. “It’s unusual for a mob to bomb their team,” he notes.

The issue the professor is referring to is the attack on Bahiya’s followers. According to him, “It is unacceptable for this to happen and not to punish anyone.” The attack on the bus occurred on February 24. On April 25, the police extended the investigation by another 30 days.

Marquez adds that the punitive nature in Brazil is low and sometimes it benefits the perpetrators. “There is a complex relationship between clubs and their fans. I realize that in every defeat of the team, the fans are ready to receive the players at the airport. The clubs themselves open the doors for the fans to cover their players. This is the role of the leaders, not the role of the fans. Small penalties do not stop aggression nor hidden threats. In some Sometimes, even perpetuate it,” he highlights.

Professor Unesp cites the case of aggression in Espírito Santo as an example of how lenient punishments are. “The coach’s aggression against the referee should have an exemplary punishment. There is a sexual component to the aggression. Brazil is a country that attacks women and minorities and this has reached football.”

Initially, the coach was suspended for 30 days. After that, the sentence period was extended to 200 days. In addition, he received a 12-game hook and a fine of R$1,212.00 for entering the field and insulting the game referee.


According to psychologist Barbara Abreu, aggression is a fundamental emotion in the human condition, as is fear. The problem arises when there is an inability to deal with these feelings in a more assertive manner, ie knowing when to use them. In the football environment, “there is a perversion of human behavior in the physical space where feelings emerge more than in everyday life.”

“Since Freud (Sigmund), the performance of individuals when they are grouped into groups or groups has been a topic of discussion for psychologists. The change in behavior that is observed when an individual acts alone or in a group is usually explained by the strength of belonging. Alone, I can feel vulnerable In exercising my will or desires or imposing myself. In a group already, I feel strong, supported and encouraged to act, and I imagine the group will give me the necessary support,” explains Barbara.

The high performance and sporting environment generates many pressures, especially with the increased demands on performance and results, in addition to external and internal pressures. “We cannot yet say a single origin for the increase in aggression in football,” says the psychologist. “But it is up to the professionals in this field to be more attentive to work on managing emotions in stressful situations to try to balance the picture and bring us closer to a more ideal situation in the world of sport, where respect for competitors prevails. And to show the penalties for the perpetrators of these acts.”

However, penalties are the most dangerous thing in Brazilian football, according to Professor Marquez. He says measures such as individual support show the “bankruptcy of public security”. The lack of Internet censorship is another important element, because the “haters” believe that they are protected by being behind a computer screen.

“Haters” are people who spread hate on the Internet. Corinthians player Cassio, for example, was threatened from the net, with a picture of the team’s shirt and a pistol.

“Losing a field order is not enough. At the end of Editors between two River Plate And Boca Juniors, in 2018, the match was sent to another continent (it was played in Madrid, Spain), but until today there has been no penalty. Imagine how different it would be if one of these teams were disqualified from the Libertadores the following year? And we have this idea of ​​anonymizing networks, which motivates psychological violence. And this is not only for the player, but for their families as well,” Marquez warns.

in this book Among the vandals: the crowd and the temptation of violenceby Bill Buford, the author talks about his experiences as a temporary hooligan, for four years, recounting ritual violence before matches and how they could end up in hospitals or even die.

About the confrontation with the police, he wrote: “This crowd stage – this very happy stage – lasted about four minutes. During those minutes, everyone, including myself, felt the pleasure of belonging, something like the pleasure of pride or love. There was also another sense of pleasure , the pleasure derived from power, even if that power is not exercised, even if it is merely a potential power: the power of a mob that has taken over a city.”


Increasing threats to key footballers have put the authorities on high alert. In São Paulo, for example, those responsible for the threat to goalkeeper Cassio were identified, had to testify, and they are under investigation.

The Radio EldoradoThe state’s public security minister, General Joao Camilo Perez de Campos, said on Tuesday that attacks on soccer players are a concern for police in Sao Paulo and that only intelligence work can prevent new cases. “We are concerned and aware of that,” Campos stated.

Leave a Comment