The lighter side of life with Kate Mason: Football making headlines for the wrong reasons

Euro 2016
Euro 2016

We’re only one week in to Euro 2016 and already the international football tournament is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

What should have been one of the most exciting sporting events in recent years has been marred by reports of fan violence, terror threats and the prospect of team disqualification.

What is it about football that seems to come hand in hand with violence?

I know the saying goes something like “it’s not a matter of life or death, it’s more important” - but some fans are taking this far too literally.

I understand it may be the minority responsible for this behaviour but it’s ruining the whole tournament for everyone.

We want to see news headlines about outstanding performances on the pitch not harrowing images of blood soaked fans.

You don’t see this kind of carry on at international rugby tournaments or the Olympic games.

But it seems football violence is nothing new. Its roots can be traced back to 1314 when Edward II of England banned the game, fearing it would lead to unrest and treason.

Historically the hundreds of people who played in matches often used them to settle blood feuds or disputes over land.

And today we’re still seeing fans and players scrapping over the outcome of a game.

Something strange does seem to happen to supporters, particularly when England play in a major tournament.

Grown burly men brought to tears, mild mannered women standing on chairs shouting at the TV - it’s like invasion of the body snatchers.

I witnessed some of this bizarre behaviour for myself while watching England’s first match against Russia in the pub.

Cushions being thrown at the screen, foul- mouthed chants and the arrival of the preened WAG looking ladies who have shown no interest in football all season but act like they’re die hard fans now there’s an international tournament on.

It’s been 50 years since we won a major tournament but every time we get behind our boys under the misguided notion that we could be crowned champions once again.

There’s a lot to be said for the passion of England supporters but let’s hope we start seeing more news about the team performance than the fan violence.