Altrought cricket is sometimes called the national game of England, for the great mass of British people association football is the most popular sport. Most British towns and cities have a football team.
The most famous English teams are Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Games are played on Saturday and holiday afternoons from August to May and are attended by thousands of enthusiastic supporters.
Apart from the league games, there is also a special competition each season for the football Association Cup. The Cup Final, one of the biggest sporting events of the year, is played at Wembley Stadium in London in May and is invariably attended by a member of the Royal Family.
Unfortuantely in the last few years hooliganism, that is violence associated with football matches, has been a subject of pubblic concern and the Government has worked closely with football authorities to combat the problem. This violence is usually centred around a small minority of football fans called “hooligans”. They are nearly always young people and most of them have previous criminal convictions. The most worrying thing lies in the fact that English hooligans often export violence when they go abroad.
The Public Order Act 1986 gives courts in England the power to prohibit convicted football hooligans from attending certain matches. They have to stay away from football stadiums and must see football on TV.