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

Just search on The Google with keywordsaggressionand football and2022To 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.

Yesterday morning’s episode in Sao Paulo near Palmeiras CT, the football academy, when the 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 heading for training. Many professionals have gone through this in recent months. One of the recorded cases was a series of death threats against Corinthians players, such as goalkeeper Cassio (and his family) and the striker. 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 Corinthians match, a group of fans from the “Força Jovem” team, organized by Vasco, pressured players and coach Ze Ricardo at Galeão 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 transporting Grêmio players, before the classic match with Internacional, in Gauchão, was attacked, with the athletes injured. A Bahia bus was similarly ambushed before a match in Copa do 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. Villasante, from Gremio, had a head trauma.

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. Marseille Neto’s head hit in a match in favor of Campeonato Capixaba. The coach was dismissed and suspended for 200 days by the Espiritu Santo Sports Tribunal.

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 Zeca Marques, professor at Unesp and former football referee, these issues open the moment Brazilian society is going through, with high levels of violence.

“Football is, in fact, a reflection of our society. People are impatient with everything, because this pandemic has left everyone a shorter fuse. Violence has always been part of this football environment, with symbolic instances every year, but it manifests itself in a different way”, As Zica Marquez says. “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. Know that in every defeat of a 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. Leaders, not the crowd.. Small penalties do not stop attacks or hidden threats, but sometimes perpetuate them” .

Professor Unesp cites the case of aggression in Espírito Santo as an example of how lenient punishments are. He pointed out that “the coach’s assault on the referee should have an exemplary punishment. There is a sexual element in 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 a bodily space in which emotions appear 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” I can feel weak in exercising my will or my desires or the imposition of myself. Already in a group I feel stronger, supported and encouraged to work, and I imagine that 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 the region to be more attentive to work on managing emotions in stressful situations to try to balance the situation and bring us closer to a more ideal situation in the world of sport, where there is respect for competitors. And penalties appear for those who commit these acts.”

However, penalties are the most dangerous thing in Brazilian football, according to Professor Marquez. He says measures such as individual support demonstrate the “bankruptcy of public security”. The lack of law enforcement on the Internet is another key element, because “haters” think 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 insufficient field leadership. In the Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors, in 2018, the match was sent to another continent (played in Madrid, Spain), but until today there was no penalty. Different if one of these teams was done. Excluded from Libertadores the following year, and we have this idea of ​​anonymity networks, which increases psychological violence.

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.

Of an encounter with the police, he wrote: “This stage of the crowd – this very happy stage – lasted about four minutes. During those minutes, everyone, including myself, felt the happiness of belonging, something like a pleasure to be loved or loved. There was also Another sense of pleasure, the pleasure derived from power, even if that power is not wielded, even if it is just a potential power: the power of the crowd that controlled 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 EldoradoYesterday, the state’s Minister of Public Security, General Joao Camilo Perez de Campos, said that attacks on football players are a concern of the police in Sao Paulo and that only intelligence work can prevent new cases. “We are concerned and concerned about this,” Campos stated.

Leave a Comment