Sunday, July 02, 2006


I am so, so glad I was in Belfast rather than London at the time of the England-Portugal match. I know there are many England fans out there who are genuinely decent people, but the vocal minority have ruined any hope of me ever wanting to support the home team. Even the most ardent fans had realised that the team wasn't playing as well as it could be over the past few weeks, but until now, the calibre of the opposing teams had been slack enough to allow for a few victories. But not on Saturday, not Portugal. Admittedly they hung on til the end, and going out on penalties has got to be the worst way to lose a match. I suppose my point is that it's not the team itself that I despise, it's the bigoted, pissed-up idiots that get dragged away by police singing "Ten German Bombers". The people who require the authorities at Stansted to offer stacks of guidebooks reminding you that Nazi salutes and goose-stepping are illegal in Germany and that there's only so much the British consulate can do for you if you make a prat out of yourself. And they're not just in Germany either. My flatmate was stuck in a tube carriage packed with the brutes a couple of hours after the match had ended, and though she's no shrinking violet, she was terrified.

So yes, I am very thankful that I was not around to be subjected to the same thing. As a foreigner it doesn't exactly make me feel welcome, and it's a shame that I have to stop supporting the team of my adopted country, but this group of "people" have made the whole experience of the World Cup so pointlessly embarrassing and violent (okay, less violent than previous years, but still) that this is exactly what's happened. And I tell you something, it ain't just me.


At July 03, 2006 5:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fairness, some of the Dutch/Poles/Germans were quick with their fists too. But it's hard to beat the Englanders for bloody-minded chauvanism.

At July 03, 2006 5:20 pm, Blogger Lady M said...

Good GOD. That pic of them all doing the salute is just depressing. To quote Chris Morris/Brasseye, "Would it really matter if one of these men died?"

You make a good point about it not just being the English fans who started the violence over there. But let's face it, this particular bunch do seem to be consistent in their idiocy from one big tournament to the next, and worst of all, they seem to have this air of natural entitlement to the World Cup, despite having only won it once, that just makes them into the most bitter and sore losers imaginable. It's a million miles away from sporting behaviour.


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