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Is Football a Religion?


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It has:

  • a place of worship - stadium
  • Rules - football rules
  • History
  • Ledgends
  • Teachings - coaches
  • Visual and emotional experiecnes

Surely this makes football a religion

btw a religion doesn't need a god to exists (Buddhism)


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Football itself isn't a religion but tribal football is.

The definition of a supporter according to the english dictionary is someone who is actively interested and wishes success for a particular sports team. Ask a football forum what a supporter is and you'll get an expanded answer to include a requirement to stick with the team through thick and thin, attend a certain amount of matches and also hate the rivals with a passion.

Religion itself is based on the collective worship of a higher power. Your belief in a higher power is a spiritual thing personal to yourself but when you collaborate with like minded believers then religion is born. All religion is man made. All religious texts were written by mankind and have been translated and interpreted into different environments. When a religious extremist says God hates homosexuals, what are they basing this on?

Tribal football is very similar in that the club becomes the higher power and the fans create a religion around supporting the club. Like with real religion, none of the rules are actually handed down by the higher power (club) itself.

For example; where does it say on your season ticket terms and conditions, or ground regulations that you MUST hate Nottingham Forest? Where does it say you MUST attend all matches?

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well it differs in perspectives, people who would take a functionalist definition of religion would certainly argue it is one. The elements of the stadium being a place of worship, the songs being hyms, the belief a team will do well and beating better opposition can be a miracle, however alas football in all reality isn't a religion. It has taken on some traits of what a religion is and what a religion does but that doesn't make it a religion. There is no belief of a higher power or the questions of life which are often involved within religion. But there is plenty of irrational bigotry which is also complimentary of religion.

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In genuine religions you dont get away fans

I nearly typed "what about Muslims?" but I think that may have been misconstrued and deemed offensive. Surely "Away Fans" would be followers of different religions? Or maybe different factions, such as methodists, baptists or even catholics?

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