Nationalism and Hooliganism: A Critical Analysis of International and Domestic Regulations with reference to Indian Football

Document Type : Original Article


1 Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

2 Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.


Hooliganism or spectator violence has become an unfortunate sight in stadiums. Racial slurs, fist fights and damaging stadiums have become common means to express support for one’s team. Sociologist and political thinkers have connected the phenomenon to human passion and nationalism. While sports evolved as an instrument for promoting peace and cooperation, sports have manifested political dimensions, as a tool for diplomacy but also brought nationalist force reflecting national conflicts. These incidents have pushed the international football regulators like FIFA and UEFA and domestic football administrator, AIFF, to formulate rules and regulations to monitor fans’ behaviours. Stringent sanctions like heavy fines and match suspension have been added to the disciplinary codes and the duty to take care has been shifted to the hosting team. This paper is an attempt to examine the relationship between sports, nationalism and regulations with reference to international football.