Originally Posted by Ohayou
It's more than just sports. In many parts of the world, soccer is inherently political. Add to that the tension and unease which already exists in the country and you've got a pot that is just ready to boil over.
I think it's hard for many Americans to understand. Hell, we have enough trouble trying to summon up the energy to go to the concession stand for terrible beer. Storm the field? That's much too exhausting.
Few Americans realize just how politicized other countries can be. It bleeds into every aspect of life, and sports are no exception. During the breakup of Yugoslavia, many paramilitary units drew recruits from supporters of soccer teams favorable to their ideals. In Italy, Lazio in Rome is considered the fascist team whereas Roma belongs to the communists and socialists. In Spain, Barcelona is a symbol of Catalan national pride, so the rivalry with Real Madrid and Espanyol, both being teams cozy with the royal family and Generalissimo Franco before that has deeper cultural meaning than a simple sports rivalry.
The violence in Egypt is as much if not more about the current political strife in the country than it is about soccer.