Losing is often difficult to swallow. When someone is not personally involved in the process, it’s difficult to accept that her/his team lost after putting so much hope on them. But it often happens that a city’s team plays for a championship and win or lose, even fans riot shortly after the final game ends. Throughout history, the world of sports has witnessed a number of shameful sports riots. Here we bring you 10 most insane sports riots in history.
- 10 Most Insane Sports Riots In History
- Port Said Stadium riot (2012)
- Vancouver Stanley Cup riot (2011)
- Montreal Stanley Cup riot (1993)
- 19 May incident (1985)
- Aggieville Riots (1984 and 1986)
- Disco Demolition Night (1979)
- South Africa rugby union tour of Australia (1971)
- Estadio Nacional disaster (1964)
- Richard Riot (1955)
- Nika Riots (532 AD)
10 Most Insane Sports Riots In History
Port Said Stadium riot (2012)
On 1st February 2012, there was an Egyptian Premier League football match between El Masry and El Ahly. The match concluded in El Masry becoming victorious. To celebrate, thousands of El Masry fans invaded the stadium stands and pitch and began attacking the El Ahly fans with weapons like swords, knives, stones, fireworks etc. Around 74 people died in the riots and more than 500 got injured. 73 people were charged for being responsible for the riots and 11 of them were sentenced to death. In the aftermath, the Egyptian government decided to shut down the domestic league for the next two years.
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Vancouver Stanley Cup riot (2011)
At number 2 of the 10 most insane sports riots in history is the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot. On June 15, 2011, at the Stanley Cup Finals between Boston Bruins’ and the Vancouver Canucks, the former won. The riot began to take shape as the game came to a close. They began throwing bottles at the viewing screen and turned cars upside down. According to some witnesses, a group of people was chanting “let’s go riot” before even the game ended. Things were broken, cars were set on fire, stores were looted and at least four people were stabbed. Around 140 people were injured and one of them was very critical. 101 people were arrested. In 2015, a total of 887 charges laid against 301 people.
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Montreal Stanley Cup riot (1993)
In 1993, in the Stanley Cup Finals between Los Angeles Kings and the Montreal Canadiens, the latter won. This triggered fury among the Kings’ fan who came down to the streets and began vandalism, destroying of properties while the Canadiens were celebrating inside the Montreal Forum. The rioters broke windows, looted stores and set fire to cars and buildings. To get things under control 980 officers were dispatched who made over a hundred arrests. 168 people were injured. Altogether around $2.5 million worth property was damaged including 47 police cars and 8 of which were completely destroyed.
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19 May incident (1985)
At number 4 of the 10 most insane sports riots in history is the 19 May Incident. On 19th May 1985, a FIFA World Cup qualification match was being played between China and Hong Kong in Workers Stadium. One of the most notable and controversial matches ever played, Hong Kong won the match by 2–1. It was an unusually intense match and after it ended dissatisfied Mainland Chinese football fans spilled into the streets and began hooliganism. Regarded as ‘the first football hooliganism ever in the People’s Republic of China’s history’, it was also China’s first chance at qualifying for their first FIFA World Cup. The People’s Armed Police had to be brought down to restore peace and 127 people were arrested.
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Aggieville Riots (1984 and 1986)
Regarded as one of the earliest collegiate sports-related riots in the US, Aggieville was the site of two riots. On October 13, 1984, the Kansas State defeated KU 24-7 in a football match. An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people gathered for celebrations of their victory. But as night fell, a riot broke out. At the end, 10 people were injured and 24 arrested. Two years later on October 18, 1986, Kansas State once again defeated KU 24-7 and once again it triggered mass celebration that was followed by violent riots. The riot resulted in great property damages and 8 arrests.
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Disco Demolition Night (1979)
At number 6 of the 10 most insane sports riots in history is the Disco Demolition Night. The riot took place during a baseball promotion event. After the hit film, Saturday Night Fever (1977) dance-oriented disco music was very popular in the US. It was planned that around the climax of the event, a crate filled with disco records will be blown up on the field. And 20,000 spectators were expected that night but instead around 50,000 people turned up. After the records were blown off, fans invaded the field and hooliganism followed. Police had to come in and disperse the rioters. Many believe that the Disco Demolition Night helped the decline of disco in the US in late 1979.
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South Africa rugby union tour of Australia (1971)
When the Springboks, South Africa national rugby union team, went to Australia on a six-week rugby union tour, it triggered a mass anti-apartheid protest throughout the country. The first games were disrupted by many young protesters and by the time the third match was set to take place, 5,000 protesters gathered in the streets of Melbourne. They were mostly university students. Before the match began rioters attempted to saw down the goal post. 650 policemen, some on horseback armed with batons arrived on the scene. Later a month-long state of emergency was declared in Queensland. Around 700 people were arrested.
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Estadio Nacional disaster (1964)
At number 8 of the 10 most insane sports riots in history is the Estadio Nacional disaster. Also known as the Lima football riot, it occurred during a game between Peru and Argentina. It was a very significant qualifying round for the Tokyo Olympics’ football tournament and it attracted around 53,000 people. Argentine was leading and six minutes before the whistle, Peru was denied an equalizing goal. This set off fans of Peru into committing a violent riot. Infuriated fans invaded the pitch and began vandalizing things. The police had to use tear gas and people began to panic. Everyone rushed towards the gate and a number of people got crushed in the stairwells down to the street level. Officially 328 people were killed in the riot.
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Richard Riot (1955)
At number 9 of the 10 most insane sports riots in history is the Richard riots. Maurice Richard was a star ice hockey player. He played for the Montreal Canadians of the National Hockey League. During the 1954–55 NHL season he hit a linesman and got suspended. This caused people to lose their mind who felt the punishment was too harsh and the duration was too long. On March 17, 1955, the Canadians’ first game after Richard’s suspension was set at the Montreal Forum. Richard’s presence at the game struck a raw nerve and riot broke out. Tension eased only after Richard pleaded and assured the rioters of his return. An estimated $100,000 of property damage was recorded.
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Nika Riots (532 AD)
At number 10 of the 10 most insane sports riot in history is the Nika riots. This is the oldest recoded sports riot. When Emperor Justinian I ruled over ancient Roman there lacked proper outlet of grievance of citizens. So during certain competitive sporting events, things often got very tense. The Nika riot started taking shape during a chariot racing in Constantinople when people began shouting political demands during the race. On January 13, 532, an angry mob came to the Hippodrome of Constantinople to attend another racing event. Things escalated fast. Initially, Justinian wanted to flee but soon he managed to get the mob under control. Altogether 30,000 people were killed, buildings were burned and destroyed and all of these happened over the course of a week.
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So these were the top 10 craziest sports riots in the history of sports. Keep visiting Sporteology.com and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments down below.