BigSoccer cuts to the chase on hooliganism in Italy. Social woes and not football are the root cause of hooliganism, and on many levels they're correct. Not to get too liberal-PC-boorish, but when there's little to connect you in life to something outside of a dead-end job and worse, a going-nowhere life, you sometimes seek out others just like you and unite under a single cause. Unfortunately, hooligans do it under the banner of a football club or national side, and ravage what's in their way.
Here's an interesting passage from the BigSoccer post:
Specifically, what provoked the anger of ultras groups last Sunday was not only the killing of "one of them" (never mind that the kid was not an ultra nor by anyone's definition a violent or anti-social element of society), but the fact that authority figures from both the Italian federation and police determined that the "show must go on" and games would be played as if nothing happened. When a police officer died (in a friendly fire incident?) in February 2007, the league was stopped and a huge national period of mourning came about. Here was the case of a fan, one of "them" - again, as perceived by exremist groups - being killed and the league was to go on as scheduled. As if his death was insignificant. "Death is the same for all" a banner would go on to read in Parma, a more civilized expression of the frustration felt by many fans, and a pun on the Italian legal motto which states "the law is the same for all." But by allowing games to be played, the ultras saw this as a case of "the system" not giving a shit about "one of them," treating them rather as second class citizens, something which these extremist groups are used to feeling.
So much for today's lesson in Sociology 101.