From internet swear words to stadium violence in football (soccer) games – An Israeli case study

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9 Scopus citations


This study explored the relevancy of internet discourse among football fans and real-life stadium violence. Our hypothesis implies that there are positive correlations between violent utterances in fans’ social networks prior to games and football stadium violence. The study sample included 6 football clubs who participated in the Israeli Premier League in the 2015–2016 season. The traffic in the social networks was automatically collected into the MySQL database. The content of the traffic includes various forms of discursive interactions within social networks susceptible of predicting, provoking or expressing social tension, aggression or violent behavior. We focused on three discursive functions which reflect a dynamic of discursive construction of tension: exclamation; incitement; and verbal aggression. The results indicate a build-up of tension 3 days before the game and such build-up is correlated with stadium violence of both fans and players. The correlation of content and timing of traffic was also found when controlling the level of violence of the football club. Violent traffic was also correlated with the results of the previous game. The theoretical and practical consequences of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-360
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


  • football
  • internet
  • social networks
  • verbal aggression
  • violence


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