Old injuries, political disagreements or perceived arrogance of English fans: Many Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish fans will support Italy instead of England in the Euro final on Sunday night.
As all of England exploded with joy on Wednesday after their team’s first qualifying to the final of a major tournament since 1966, football fans from neighboring countries have shown little enthusiasm. They often claim to be able to encourage “anyone except England”.
“Asking Wales fans to support England is like asking Everton fans to support Liverpool,” sports journalist Tom Williams said on Twitter. Because England is “the great rival of Wales in terms of the game”, he recalls. “Yes, it’s a good team, with a good manager, but you can’t actively support your rivals,” he says.
According to an online survey by Good Morning Britain, 63% of supporters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland support Italy. The root of this disillusionment lies in common reasons from one nation to another.
“Wales has suffered centuries of persecution from England, and Boris Johnson’s government only thinks of us,” journalist Laura Kemp told regional outlet Wales Online. “Without forgetting these Neanderthals, who vandalize bars and places wherever they go,” she adds, referring to English supporters, their “arrogance” and “allowing themselves to do anything”. She gets annoyed with his ways.
The British response is that he is unfortunately judged by his most extreme supporters and that what is considered arrogance is actually a way of encouraging his team. At the center of the condemnation is “Football’s Coming Home”, a song recorded for Euro 1996, which English fans often sing. A very arrogant formulation, given England’s repeated failures at home since the 1966 World Cup at home, raises critics.
“Is football coming home?” So England will own the game. I don’t think so,” former Scotland international Graeme Souness, the Liverpool legend, wrote in The Times. Has football “ever been home? Have you already won?”, also mocked Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel ahead of the semi-final between England and Denmark on Wednesday.
But the song by the band The Lightning Seeds actually contradicts the usual lyrics of staunch supporters, instead making fun of the blind optimism of English fans. It is a song “about a dream that never comes true, about past glory and missed opportunities,” BBC host Dan Walker explains on Twitter, adding that it is “a hope that, despite the pain, never goes away.” There is a song about
While the four nations are happy to support their common team when competing under one flag at the Olympics, their individual participation in football tournaments highlights the political and identity divide heightened by Brexit.
For the youngest of the three, England, with its 56 million inhabitants and the seat of central power, is a symbol of conservatism, colonial rule, and centuries of oppression. Seeing Prime Minister Boris Johnson or Home Secretary Priti Patel wearing the England jersey “as they claim to represent the British government” Scottish TV presenter Stuart Cosgrove gritted his teeth, reassuring that “if Scotland had gone So they don’t do much “away” in tournaments.
Despite everything, some supporters say they are impressed by a team that has taken a stand against racial or gender discrimination by taking a knee before their matches. And especially by attacker Marcus Rashford, who forced the British government to provide free school meals for poor students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The English “imperialism” that “people like to hate has nothing to do with the England team,” said Laura Kemp, praising these players who “challenge the establishment as well as those in Wales. is possessed. Enough for the privileges of the aristocracy”.
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