Schadenfreude in Football Fans: A Thematic Analysis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Professor of Sport Management, Physical Education Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran.

2 M.A of Sport Management, University of Raparin, Rania, Iraq.


Schadenfreude has been defined as the enjoyment of others’ misery; a kind of happiness from malice, which one acquires when one learns that others are lucky or experiencing a setback. The purpose of this study was to analyze the experiences of Sulaymaniyah football team fans regarding the theory of happiness from the Erbil team's discomfort in Iraq. An interview was conducted with the fans who had lived experiences (N = 18) and the data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings showed that several factors affect schadenfreude, such as political and governmental problems, managerial weaknesses of responsible people, past problems, and discrimination between teams. The findings extend the theory of social identity theory. According to the results, the managers of the teams and the officials of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq can provide the ground for reducing the happiness of the opponent's team with proper management and non-partisanship of the teams. Research in the field of schadenfreude can reduce the problems of advocacy and the wrong decisions of managers and officials and contribute to equality in this field.


Main Subjects

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