Soccer hooligans have clearly abandoned their old lager-lout tactics and have evolved choosing more sophisticated methods of venting their rage at match officials.
It still remains unclear whether this shift is for better or worse?
On Saturday it emerged that the Wikipedia page of English Premier League referee Kevin Friend had been hacked by a group of disgruntled Liverpool fans enraged at his controversial red card to Philippe Coutinho, in the 52nd minute of their 3-0 shock defeat to West Ham on Saturday at Anfield.
It looked to many neutral observers that Coutinho deserved to go for his slide tackle from behind as he picked up a second yellow card. In contrast West Ham fans had a much bigger reason to gripe (despite the win) when defender Mark Noble was sent off with a straight red card for what looked to be a legal tackle on Liverpool’s Danny Ings.
The latest high-tech attack by Scousers fanatics is yet another sign that ‘the times they are a-changin’ and today’s football fans are looking for new avenues in new technology to get their messages across. As you can see by the evidence below courtesy of Metro News in England, these fans have an advanced skill set – even though it is being used for bad:
Saturday’s hacking comes in the wake of last spring’s European Cup qualifying ‘drone invasion’ in a match between Albania and Serbia. The match was abandoned after the drone carried a political message in the form of a map above the pitch and fighting eventually broke out between players.
There have also been many high-profile incidents of fans using lasers to blind goalkeepers and other players in an effort to impact the outcome of matches. This is something which fans of Russia’s World Cup squad are painfully aware of.
Clearly it seems football fans have moved past their neanderthal habits of bottle and stick throwing and taken a turn for the nerd.
It makes you wonder what the next means of expression will be. Vehicle manipulation? Pulsing sonar waves? Electromagnetic storms? Large Haldron colliders? Transporting? Time travel?
No doubt the lunatic fringe footie fans will come up with some even more innovative ways of getting their point across.
Like you, they could always vote in our worst referee poll but I am fairly certain that won’t be vengeance enough to completely sate the appetites of the truly enraged be they Nuevo Nerds or old-school hooligans.
Who is the worst referee in the English Premier League?
- Paul Tierney (1%, 10 Votes)
- Keith Stroud (1%, 11 Votes)
- Neil Swarbrick (2%, 14 Votes)
- Craig Pawson (2%, 17 Votes)
- Robert Madley (2%, 19 Votes)
- Roger East (3%, 20 Votes)
- Stuart Attwell (3%, 21 Votes)
- Mike Jones (3%, 22 Votes)
- Simon Hooper (3%, 25 Votes)
- Anthony Taylor (4%, 30 Votes)
- Andre Marriner (5%, 36 Votes)
- Lee Mason (5%, 36 Votes)
- Michael Oliver (5%, 37 Votes)
- Jonathan Moss (6%, 47 Votes)
- Mark Clattenburg (9%, 68 Votes)
- Martin Atkinson (9%, 71 Votes)
- Mike Dean (27%, 214 Votes)
- Kevin Friend (34%, 265 Votes)
Total Voters: 787