Drinking cannot be said to be a 'deep' cause of football hooliganism, for the simple reason that not every fan who drinks. even heavily, takes part in hooligan acts. Nor does every hooligan drink. The leaders of present-day hooligan groups such as West Ham's 'Inter City Firm' (ICF) are a case in point. They claim they do not drink before matches because
The occurrence of violence on the field of play can act as a trigger for crowd disorderliness at a football match, in the sense of providing a stimulus, signal or pretext for hooligan behaviour. If, for example, one player badly fouls another or is perceived as having done so, missiles may be thrown at him by supporters of the injured player's team. Some of these supporters may even get on to the pitch in order to attack the offender more directly. However, not all fans respond in this way. Nor do violent incidents on the field of play invariably act as triggers of hooligan behaviour. They are not, moreover, the only triggers of disorder; hooligan incidents can also be 'sparked' by refereeing that is perceived to be biased and unfair. by police interventions that are perceived to be injudicious and unnecessarily harsh, or because fans wish to halt a match which their team is losing. More importantly, they can also be triggered by the dynamics of the interaction between the opposing fan-groups. As is shown by the frequency with which incidents occur outside grounds both
attention will now be turned. Again, both can be dealt with fairly briefly.