Polish Fans’ Emotions during EURO 2012
Background: The study was conducted during the 2012 UEFA European Football Championships between 8 and 19 June. It aimed at longitudinal investigation into the dynamics of Polish fans’ emotions related to the performance of their national football team. Special focus was laid on investigating the evaluation of organizational preparedness to the tournament as a broader context for sport events, and relating it to fans’ emotions Material/Methods: Over 700 individuals took part in 3 waves of the study which corresponded to Polish team’s games in the group stage of the tournament. Participants were contacted immediately after the final whistles, receiving e-mails with links to on-line questionnaires. In the first wave, respondents filled in the scales of national pride and shame, interest in football, enthusiasm and skepticism after the opening match and anticipatory emotions before the second match. In the second wave, outcome-related emotions were measured as real (the draw score) and as counterfactual (victory and loss). In the third wave, scales concerning Poland’s final defeat were employed. Each wave included measures of fans’ behavior during the game. Results: The experience of a real (with the Czech Republic) or imaginary (with Russia) defeat was determined by pre-match anticipatory excitement and the intensity of expressive behavior during the match. Satisfaction with the tournament organization and general enthusiasm about the event affected the emotional reaction to the outcome draw (with Russia) as well as to constructive coping with the eventual defeat. Conclusions: Draw is experienced by football fans as qualitatively different from a loss or a victory. Defeat of a team or its victory are highly emotional results whereas a draw leads to more balanced reactions and derives its meaning from the context of the event.
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