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Flares and football

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For many a year across Europe fans have taken great delight in illuminating the terraces and field of play with the use of flares.

The trend never really caught on over here, perhaps due to a lack of interest, perhaps due to more stringent security measures.

Last year, however, travelling Evertonians were among those who saw fit to smuggle them into grounds and cause a scene. I have my own opinions but, after a lengthy Twitter debate about the topic, I'll remain impartial for now and see what kind of support/opposition you folks have.

So, a visual aid for a passionate fan?

Or irresponsible idiocy?

Phil Sammon, Leeds     Posted 13/06/2013 at 19:38:20

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Ross Edwards
503 Posted 13/06/2013 at 21:45:34
Flares can create an intimidating atmosphere to the game, particularly in Turkey, especially by Galatasaray, but at times mindless morons can throw them or light them just for attention or to harm someone, remember when Dida was hit by a flare in 2005?

I believe that flares add something to the atmosphere but when they get into the wrong hands it just becomes moronic and above all dangerous.

No doubt when Monsiour Platini gets his job at FIFA he'll ban them, as well as changing most of English Football for the worse as he seems to hate anything to do with England.

I dread the day he becomes President. The suggestion of playing the 2022 World Cup in Winter was the most ludicrous and stupid I have ever heard in my life.

Sorry, off topic there lads but I just think he is useless in his job. Legend of European Football, but he is just useless in every respect.

Sorry Phil, back to flares...

Fran Mitchell
505 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:07:34
A Corinthians fan (Brazil) killed a Bolivian kid in the Libertadores this year.

Also (unrelated to footy) caused a fire in a Brazilian night club that killer 235 students.

They should be illegal.

Alan Humphreys
509 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:10:16
I get that they add to the spectacle, but then the smoke that inevitably follows obscures said spectacle. Not for me, flags on the hand look spectacular especially in the Bundesliga.
Kevin Tully
510 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:21:35
I thought this was ToffeeWeb's first article on whether 70's fashion was making a comeback on the terraces!
Ross Edwards
514 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:28:26
Especially at Dortmund and Bayern Alan.

We can learn a lot from German football on and off the field. The atmosphere at Dortmund and Bayern is something to behold. Tickets there are so cheap and the fans own the clubs. Dortmund's AVERAGE attendance this season was 79,000. AVERAGE. It is unbelievable.

Considering our under-21's dismal performances at the Euros, we are a million miles away from Germany, Spain, Holland, Argentina, I'd say even Belgium too.

At this rate, I don't think we will even make the World Cup, I just don't. It's embarrassing. Big changes have to be made if we are to compete at the highest level.

I think Roy Hodgson is not good enough, we need a high profile coach but due to our old fashioned, stuffy view of football, we just don't consider foreign coaches like Hiddink, Lippi, all with previous WC experience.

Our coaching, the way we play tactically is just so old fashioned and the Euro 21s failure has underlined that. To be BEATEN by Israel, BEATEN is just unforgivable. We need to look towards the German model for our structure in terms of grassroots and coaching, and the Spanish method of playing if we are to progress, because if we don't, I can see Belgium, France or Italy inning a major tournament before us.

Karl Masters
515 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:38:00
Favourite incendiary moment for me was back in 1984 when Everton fans launched a flare at Stamford Bridge. After looping up into the sky it came down almost in the tunnel!

Incidentally we won 1-0 and there was a night of reprisals for the infamous Kensington (West London) High St tube station attack in 1978 after Chelsea's 5-year absence from the top division. Hmmm... how times have changed!

Karl Masters
517 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:45:19
The Germans got knocked out of the under 21 tournament as well Ross!

I would agree we can learn a lot from their fan ownership of clubs though.

Tony Marsh
518 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:39:58
Birmingham Bags being set alight on the terraces is well out of order. What next? The Stackies, 3 star Jumpers and the Silkies?

Me to Kev: I thought it was a fashion post. Didn't they look twats back in them days, dressed like they were extras in a Northern Soul documentary.

Oh, the other Flares are dangerous by the way.

Alan Humphreys
519 Posted 13/06/2013 at 22:53:06
Was it the Bayern chairman who spoke on the cheap ticket prices and said along the lines of we could increase the prices by a £100 but that was a pittance to the club but a bigger deal for fan to find the extra money. Quite refreshing.

Lad I know is hooked on German football now after being a one time Everton and Tranmere season ticket holder and the reason is the support and exuberance of the fans - he's only a young lad but he saved up and has gone over to a few games in different divisions with his family.

Flares aren't necessarily needed to achieve this atmosphere and I agree on the safety aspect already mentioned. So back to the OP and its a no from me Phil.

Derek Thomas
521 Posted 13/06/2013 at 23:10:02
An oldie but a goody...It'll all be fun and games 'til some one loses an eye.
Patrick Murphy
522 Posted 13/06/2013 at 23:09:14
We'll have to be extra careful with the use of flares of Goodison due to the amount of wood in the stadium's construction, the only fireworks I want to see at the old lady is on the pitch from the players.
Andy Crooks
525 Posted 13/06/2013 at 23:10:32
Phil, like Kevin I thought you were writing about those seventies days of football hard men, terrace violence and dreadful music and fashion. Days I still have a strange longing for.

As to your real point, Phil... Well I have looked at these continental shenanigans and have always worried that someone will have their eye put out. It's an age thing, I suppose.

Jamie Crowley
541 Posted 14/06/2013 at 06:46:56
As an American I can not understand for the life of me how these things can be tolerated at all.

If someone lit a flare at a sporting event in the States, they'd be behind bars quickly.

No flares for me. Always thought "that's stupid" every time I've seen one on the TV.

Cultural thing? No. Just plain dumb.

Keith Edmunds
543 Posted 14/06/2013 at 07:10:16
Same here in Australia Jamie. Outrage whenever a flare is set off at a game. Only ever happens at football, none of the other codes. It's a Latin cultural thing.
Mike Rourke
544 Posted 14/06/2013 at 07:22:07
Flares? A bit red for my taste.

Blue smoke bombs on the other hand... nah, they're still shit.

I have never sat at the game thinking 'I wish someone would set off a pyrotechnic.' (Except that one time at Charlton 0-0 Everton when a stadium fire would have been blessed relief.)

Gavin Ramejkis
545 Posted 14/06/2013 at 07:32:30
There have been some pretty absurd things brought to games around Europe that make flares look tame. Inter Milan fans managed (Christ knows how) to get a Vespa into a game against AC Milan and threw it off a stand on fire. I also remember a whole pigs head thrown at Luis Figo at the Nou Camp (again how do you smuggle that in??)
Phil Sammon
547 Posted 14/06/2013 at 08:02:01
Gavin

Wayne Rooney smuggles one into Old Trafford every week!

Antony Matthews
561 Posted 14/06/2013 at 09:42:48
Beach balls are said to be easy to smuggle in :)
Nick Armitage
604 Posted 14/06/2013 at 13:44:57
Funniest moment of last season was watching a Leeds steward trying to pick a blue flare up that had been thrown at his mate. He burnt himself, so then picked it up and put it in a carrier bag, which it then melted through. Dozy bastard.
Andrew Ellams
606 Posted 14/06/2013 at 13:47:21
There is a distinct lack of dogs on the pitch in modern football.

Also, how ridiculous do 70s hooligans look today charging across the terraces in flares and scarf tied round the wrist.

Mark Knight
611 Posted 14/06/2013 at 14:06:20
I remember a Dutch copper handling a home made nail bomb at Feyenoord, they'd chucked it in the away end.
Eric Myles
612 Posted 14/06/2013 at 14:04:31
"we just don't consider foreign coaches"

Erikson and Capello weren't foreign enough for you Ross?

Richard Dodd
614 Posted 14/06/2013 at 14:20:24
Daftest post of the year so far?
Billy Bradshaw
675 Posted 14/06/2013 at 17:39:14
You're one to talk, Mr Dodd
Ross Edwards
696 Posted 14/06/2013 at 20:31:12
Well, you've had many contenders over the years Richard.
Dick Fearon
283 Posted 16/06/2013 at 22:59:39
I was more of a drain pipe man but looking back that was much worse than flares.

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