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It’s called “rugby”

A Russian politician has proposed turning football hooliganism into a sport

Such a sport already exists. It’s called “rugby”.

He published the proposal on his party’s website, stating: “Russia would be a pioneer in a new sport. Fans arrive, for example, and start picking fights. And they get the answer – challenge accepted. A meeting in a stadium at a set time.

Still rugby.

Following clashes between his country’s fans and England supporters at Euro 2016, Lebedev said he “did not see anything terrible about fans fighting”.

And to be honest I don’t see anything terrible about rugby fans fighting either.

Igor Lebedev has drawn up rules…

Rules? Rules? Ok, that’s not rugby.

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16 comments to It’s called “rugby”

  • Schrodingers's Dog

    At last!

    A competition which England might actually win. 🙂

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Rules? Rules? Ok, that’s not rugby.

    Enough rules and it could be American football, though. Many, many rules. 😆

  • bobby b

    . . . and the Circle of Life brings us right back to gladiators!

  • Mr Ecks

    Russians already have regular organised inter-town mass fights and have done so going back centuries. As well as modern criminal gang/football yob type fights.

    There is some footage of one such traditional event on a Systema video/DVD but it doesn’t seem to have made it to You Tube.

  • Mr Ed

    An opportunity to share of my favourite YT clips, entitled ‘Russian police destroy hooligans‘, the action commences at around 56 seconds when the chaps in red berets appear. Whilst it is all a bit towards the upper end of ‘reasonable’ force imho, one should judge them by their customs and habits.

    Given the decades extreme State violence in Russia, it is remarkable that the hooligans still try it on.

  • Paul Marks

    Patrick do you mean Rugby Union or Rugby League?

    As for fighting.

    The sport to watch out for is armed medieval combat.

    Various people wear armour and use weapons.

    Accept when Russians do it they tend to do it for real.

    Give a Russian a sword (or whatever) and they will tend to sharpen it – and to slice or stab you with it.

    Which is logical enough I suppose – I admit that.

    But not what one normally does in re-enacting.

  • RAB

    “Rugby is a game for barbarians played by gentlemen. Football is a game for gentlemen played by barbarians… Oscar Wilde. (I doubt he played either).

    Well where I grew up, Wales, Rugby is not a sport but a religion. If you have ever been in the centre of Cardiff when Wales are playing England then you will know what I mean. The atmosphere is unlike anything you are ever likely to experience.

    And the thing is, unlike Football, if your team is beaten you do not bottle the opposing team’s supporters out of pure tribal belligerence, you applaud them and go down the pub with them after.

  • View from the Solent

    “Rules? Rules? Ok, that’s not rugby.”
    Correct. Rugby has laws.

  • Paul Marks

    RAB I have been in Cardiff when it was Wales versus Scotland.

    A wonderful sport rugby – played indeed by true gentleman warriors.

    And a wonderful place Cardiff – and many places near it.

    I would love to seem them again.

    Of course I never will with my physical eyes – but I still have a mind and can see the castle and so on in my mind.

  • James Higham

    As a former rugby player and ref, Rugby is one of the most hidebound, rule constricted piece of barbarism ever devised. But I luv it.

  • Robert

    Norman Spinrad discussed the organised-hooliganism idea in his 1973 short story The National Pastime.

  • RAB

    The American comedian, Murray Roman, had a skit back at the time of the Watts riots in the sixties, about turning the riots into sport and holding them in stadiums and making money from them… Hey we could get the Governor to throw the first fire-bomb…

  • Stonyground

    I had an intense loathing of almost* all team games instilled into me at school. It appears to be a lifelong thing, I hated playing them and have no interest whatsoever in watching other people play them.

    *For some unfathomable reason I like watching cricket.

  • Regional

    Rab,
    Then punch their lights out after closing.

  • Regional

    The Frogs, Argies and Eyeties all participate at the higher levels. Strayan players go to Europe in the off season. Apparently Italy has many friendly locals.

  • RAB

    No no Regional, the violence happens on the pitch not in the crowd, unlike Football. I was watching England v Italy last week and was screaming at my tv…. for fuck’s sake Ref, that’s got to be offside! But no whistle was blown.

    Seems some Eyetie had been scouring the rule book, and if they didn’t oppose a ruck they could position themselves where they liked to intercept the ball. It took England the whole first half to figure out what was going on and counter it, but won comfortably in the end.

    Wales are way too slow and ponderous this Six Nations, and I speak as an old Cathays High School team Centre. England are odds on for the Grand Slam. Now that is the way Rugby is played by the spectators. Magnanimous in defeat. Fire our coach and look to victory next year. 🙂