Lens is a little, exhausted town, roughly a hamlet. There is subsequent to nothing, though a bend of a Louvre, an outpost of imagination Parisian art. The houses are tiny and workman-like. The city is steeped in mining history, though currently Lens reflects a industry’s demise, tormented by a high stagnation rate.
The Stade Bollaert-Delelis, together with dual staggering slag heaps, towers above a skyline, same to a immeasurable space vessel stranded in a no-man’s-land. The track has 4 immeasurable stands with a high hillside and a white roof. Ahead of Euro 2016 a track was given a face-lift to heed with UEFA norms and acquire fans from opposite Europe, but, as is a box with all stadiums during a European Championship, it feels too ‘sanitised’. Sanitisation is a incomparable trend in a game, not usually in stadiums.
Of a 10 venues during Euro 2016, 4 have been newly built with usually Bollaert-Delelis, a Stade a Parc de Princes, a Stade Geoffrey-Guichard and a Stade Velodrome braggadocio a abounding footballing history. The venues are no longer aged grounds, with beer-sodden station terraces and expletives-laden chants, though rather good and neat corporate palaces, where tickets contingency be paid with a right credit label and drinks can usually purchased from a right tip tier sponsor. You can’t move a bottle of H2O into a stadium.
In a corporate mindset of UEFA, fans are mostly cattle, to be milked for profit. They toil their approach opposite France, a feeling too informed to media and officials reliant on open transport, mostly in a diminutive hours of a night, and stay during shabby, overpriced hotels. Fans happily flare out income to attend a European Championship. Today, UEFA considers supporters as ‘fan customers.’
That corporatism, a worldview of football in a neoliberal age, envisages a opposite fandom – a center category of lawyers, doctors and architects and their families, who go to a belligerent to suffer a day out, though who are, in general, not emotionally invested in a game. For them, football is not a critical life, though merely a diversion to be ‘consumed’ with crisps and a soda during a weekend, during best, an countenance of 90-minute nationalism to afterwards lapse to a grub of each day life, as records Alexander Shea in eminent football quarterly The Blizzard.
A loyal fan is different: football matters and triggers low emotions, asymmetrical to a daily slight of removing adult for work and switching on a TV after hours. He seeks a community, in a post-modern multitude a singular commodity, since when do French, Portuguese or Swedes have a village experience?
The domestic scientist Benedict Anderson argues that, in a immeasurable multitude one will never accommodate a immeasurable infancy of those who explain to have a same temperament as us – an Englishmen from Brighton can't accommodate all his associate Frenchmen – and so a clarity of village is constructed not by face-to-face interaction, though in a common imagination. Football is a ideal lubricant, on TV or in a stadium.
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Everyone has a plural temperament currently – I am an Arsenal supporter, a publisher and a middle-class child with a working-class upbringing – and football offers that one height of common emotions, at a same time, during a same place, all revolving around 22 grown organisation kicking a turn behind and forth. During a initial turn of Euro 2016, TV ratings have left by a roof again – 14.4 million French watched a opening diversion on TF1, 14 million Brits watched England’s final organisation diversion on ITV – and a assemblage rate in stadiums is about 95 percent.
Football is always, also politics – at Albania contra Switzerland diversion in Lens, a categorical articulate indicate was not a 90 minutes, though a Xhaka brothers personification for opposite sides, doubt a varying degrees of ‘Swissness’ in today’s different Switzerland. The Croatian fans, during slightest a radical hard-core unit, ran demonstration in Paris to criticism a wheelings and exchange of their hurtful FA, with a pithy aim of removing their nation diminished of a tournament. They didn’t repeat their actions opposite Portugal, presumably intoxicated after 117 mins of inhuman football.
UEFA, a European football ruling body, wants a contest to be de-politicised. Fans contingency come, though but a context. Global branding requires hollowness. Top clubs Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich surpass during commodifying their brands. They sanitize their temperament in a vulgar, compulsive office of profit, incompatible any probable account to a club. Stadiums turn soulless corporate cathedrals and fans conformism a norm. Apart from a noisy support of fans of smaller nations, Euro 2016 is another excellent box in point.