“Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!” is a chant often heard ringing out at sports venues across Australia, or across the globe when an Australian team is playing. It is a descendent of an older British sporting chant of “Oggy Oggy Oggy, Oi! Oi! Oi!” which was especially popular at Welsh Rugby Union matches, although it could also be heard at soccer games throughout Britain.
Quite how it made its way to Australia is unclear, although it seemed to surface in the 1960s at Australian rugby venues before spreading to other sports. Although generally seen as a supportive chant which expresses the enthusiasm of the crowd for the team in question, some commentators observe that it can have a rather more aggressive and even xenophobic air.
Nonetheless, most sports fans reject this notion and continue to use the chant as a boisterous way of signalling national pride and whipping up a competitive atmosphere at football, rugby, and other games.
Perhaps more keen on publicity than any spirit of reform, in 2012 Australian pay-tv company Foxtel offered a cash prize to anyone who came up with a more popular song with which to cheer on the country’s Olympic competitors in the London games – there was however little sign of the song being retired or replaced.
The chant’s widespread acceptance was confirmed during the 2000 Sydney Olympic games, when the then president of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, used the phrase during his official closing ceremony speech to sum up the good atmosphere in which the games were played.