Rugby fans at a HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens game. Photo: Sport Singapore
Most sports fan may be familiar with the phrase - “football is a gentlemen's game played by hooligans while rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen”. Read on to find out how true this phrase is and also what is the difference between the fans of these two sports.
Rugby has always been, and still is, a sport played almost exclusively by the middle and upper class, as such, the rugby community tends to act more formally. Football on the other hand, is considered a “tribal” sport and thus the football community tends to act less formally during matches.
For rugby, it is all about respect and integration. Rugby fans supporting opposing teams or countries can be found seated next to one another, intermingling and getting along as the match goes on, resulting in almost zero antagonism between one another. Respect also goes a long way in rugby matches for you hardly see rugby players and fans alike, disagreeing with the referee’s decision.
Football fans. Photo: Sport Singapore
However, when it comes to football, if you noticed, the fans are usually divided; they sit on opposite sides of the stadium supporting their respective teams, and with segregation, comes mob mentality. This means that the fans will naturally have the feeling that they are going up against each other and thus will be more aggressive towards each other during the match. Fans and footballer alike can also often be seen arguing with the referee and contesting his decisions openly.
Rugby fans dressed up as power rangers. Photo: Sport Singapore
Another unique characteristic of rugby fans is the fact that they enjoy dressing up for games. From Spiderman to Superman, it's not unusual to spot fans in costumes at the stadium on match day. That's something you don't normally see at a football match!
All in all, even though both sports have inculcated different attitudes and behaviours amongst their fans; fans from both camps have every right to be enthusiastic and passionate about their favourite sport, for both rugby and football are great sports in their own rights.
So now that you know what are the differences between the two fans, why not go for the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens happening on 13 and 14 April at the National Stadium and experience the positivism and respect that comes along with the sport!
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