Psychology of supporting a team in sports with dimensions of fanaticism, violence and aggressiveness

Por: Arslan Cengiz e Fikret Ramazanoglu.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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In these days when everybody has sympathy for a team, spectators’ behaviours and their reactions which result in violence and aggressiveness are talked about all the time. In this study, psychology of supporting a team with dimensions of fanaticism, violence and aggressiveness which cause disturbance and make medium tense have been searched.


In this study, analytical method has been used. Knowledge obtained from the literature connected with the purpose of this study has been classified, commented on and evaluated.


As motivational sources of spectators’ behaviours, the following can be shown;
Individual differences in perceiving,
Effect of the group and crowd,
Kind of sport and its content,
Culture and
Final score of the game.
Being a supporter or fan can be based on environmental, religious, racial, ethnical and national factors. Individuals act in the same way as the other members of the team they support. They become happy when their team wins; they become furious when their team is defeated. Among spectators, there are various types who react differently and behave differently (types always watch the match same place, playing away types, types get enthusiastic when their team go into field, believed types to bring good luck, unsatisfaction types, impatient types, and fanatics). Each member of the same type reacts in the same way during the match. The term ‘fanatic’ has been in fashion as a result of the increase of the interest in sports, sports clubs and football in particular nowadays. Fanaticism has mixed the wish to win; hatred, grudge and wish to take revenge together and so come into existence with supporter identity. Fanaticism means showing excessive hatred, excessive love and unbalanced behaviours. Fanaticism has caused the idiom ‘killing while loving’ to come into literature. It is becoming a serious problem in sports, not only in one country but also over the world. Violence and aggressive behaviours contain motives such as; excessive enthusiasm, disappointed, being outlaws and trying to prove to be right. It is possible that fanaticism can prevent a person from hampering his aggressiveness when stimulated.

Discussion / Conclusion

It is apparent that, violence and aggressiveness among spectators especially in football is becoming uncontrollable, raving and brutish. In conclusion, it is impossible to cope with these kinds of problems which are against gentlemanliness in sports with a single power, a single country or a single association. All the countries must see /fanaticism’ as a shared problem, and they must try to solve it together by means of education.






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