The popularity of football has grown tremendously over the last few decades, as it has gone global thanks to the Internet and media. Most of the top clubs these days have more fans and supporters outside their country rather than in their region.
Football supporters, in the olden days, used to be more about the following teams in their birthplace or the affinity may have been passed on through generations. Today, however, this is a completely different feeling with supporters who once knew little about the club ending up as hardcore fans, and who often use Betway to stay closer to their clubs. Many do end up questioning the legitimacy of their feelings towards a particular club.
Supporters who are from a different country may have been introduced to football at some point or the other. Since the supporters would have a variety of sports in their own locality, it is easy for them to grow up being exposed to a wide variety of scenarios. Yet, they would call themselves as ‘true fans’ but what does that exactly mean?
The old-school fan would invariably be aware about the background and history of the club. England alone has several hundred clubs dotted across the country. Each one happens to stand for a particular identity that has not changed for more than a century. In such an instance, it is easy to not be aware of the long history.
Even if a supporter is aware of the history and background, the information may have come about through different means. The local supporter would have grown up listening to all the stories of the club from their elders or friends. Meanwhile, the fan who is located in a different part of the world may have to rely solely on the Internet for the same information.
The local fan would often be a regular season ticket holder who would attend every match. They can even be spotted around the training ground trying to catch a glimpse of the players. Meanwhile, fans located abroad may often spend their entire life without attending any game in person. There are a few fortunate fans who get to attend a few games, but even these are quite rare.
A big criticism levied at supporters abroad is their ‘plastic’ nature, as they are perceived to lose interest when the team does not perform well. However, the dedication put in by the fans abroad to watch games in odd hours should not be forgotten. Even when these fans have the opportunity to support local clubs, they end up looking at a foreign club that may not offer much back.
These fans also quickly get a grasp of the various songs and chants that make for a great atmosphere inside stadiums. It should not be forgotten that most of these songs are in foreign languages that do take a lot of time to learn. Yet, these fans go to great lengths in order to understand the club and put themselves in such a way that they feel united with the club. Such true and loyal support is rare.