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If it’s tribalism brought about by football, then isn’t if fair to say that ‘football culture’ is essentially to blame?

Very interesting question. Not being a footie sort of person, I had no idea until I researched it just now that for years football hooliganism has been known as the “English Disease”. How mortifying.

But no, I’m not sure it’s either specifically English or related to football. In 12th-century France, for example, (as well as England), the tournaments held by the ruling aristocracy were organized riots involving thousands of men spread over many miles of countryside. Hundreds died or were injured and the surrounding area was trashed during the event by these state-sponsored hooligans. As well as being regarded as vital training for warfare it was considered a reasonable way of dealing with the rampant testosterone of angry young men with no cause to fight for. The Crusades were as much about channeling this kind of violence and weren’t anything to do with about religion, and I think the same is true of football hooliganism today.