The Kingdom is not so much United, which will watch the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy on Sunday evening. Old injuries, political disagreements or the perceived arrogance of the English fans would ensure that many Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish fans would give their enthusiasm to Azzurri.
England rejoiced on Wednesday after the National Three Lions reached the final of a major tournament for the first time since 1966, but fans in neighboring countries were less enthusiastic. Often, he says, “unless it’s England, everybody’s here to cheer”.
“Asking Wales fans to support England is like asking Everton fans to support Liverpool,” sports journalist Tom Williams said on Twitter. He said that England represents «Wales’ great opponent in terms of the game. Yes, they are a good team, with a good manager, but you cannot actively support your rivals,” he said.
According to an online survey conducted by Good Morning Britain, 63% of fans in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would support Italy. The reasons for this opposition are the same from one nation to another. “Wales has suffered centuries of persecution from England, and Boris Johnson’s government thinks only of us,” said journalist Laura Kemp in the regional newspaper Wales Online. Not to mention those “Neanderthals” who destroy bars, squares and gardens wherever they go, “he said, speaking of English fans, their” arrogance “and” guesses “.
The English reaction rests on the belief that fans are judged solely on the basis of what the hooligans do, while what is perceived as arrogance is actually a way of supporting their team. Critics’ hearts are represented by “Footballs Coming Home”, the Euro 1996 anthem, often sung by English fans. As to the point, it’s an arrogant phrase given England’s repeated failures since winning the 1966 World Cup, critics say.
«Is football coming home? So England will own the game? I don’t think so,” former Scottish international and Liverpool legend Graeme Souness wrote in the Times. « When has football ever been at home? When have you ever won anything? Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel teased ahead of the semi-final between England and Denmark on Wednesday.
But The Lightning Seeds group’s song is actually the opposite of normal football songs, so much so that it mocks the blind optimism of English fans. The song is “about a dream that never comes true, about past glory and missed opportunities,” BBC host Dan Walker said on Twitter: it is “a hope that, despite the pain, never goes away.” There’s a song about
While the four nations are happy to support their common team when competing under the Union Jack in the Olympics, their individual participation in football tournaments highlights the political and identity divide heightened by Brexit.
For the youngest three, England, with its 56 million inhabitants and the seat of central power, is a symbol of conservatism, colonial rule and centuries of oppression. Scottish TV presenter Stuart Cosgrove shudders at the sight of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Interior Minister Priti Patel wearing England’s T-shirts “when they claim to represent the British government”, assuring that “they did so”. Would not have done if Scotland had gone so far » in the tournament.
Despite this, some fans say they are impressed by the team, which has taken a stand against racial or gender discrimination by kneeling before the start of the game. And most of all from striker Marcus Rashford, who forced the British government to provide free school meals for students in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The English “imperialism” that “people love to hate has nothing to do with the English team,” admits Laura Kemp, hailing players who “challenge the establishment just like Wales who are aristocrats”. Tired of class privileges.” .