Great team, but old divisions run deep for English neighbors | Football news

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LONDON: Old injuries, modern political divisions and the perceived arrogance of its supporters will see England’s neighbors in the UK largely take root for Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final , although many recognize a friendly team.
As towns and villages across England erupted for joy after the men’s team qualified for their first major final since 1966 on Wednesday, football fans in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were less enthusiastic.
Their fans often speak of being supporters of “anyone but England”, reflecting the deep animosity often felt by local rivals of club teams.
“Asking Welsh fans to support England is like asking Everton fans to support Liverpool or Spurs fans to support Arsenal,” football writer Tom Williams, who worked for the football team, said on Twitter. ‘AFP.
“In sporting terms, England are Wales’ big rivals. Yes, they are a nice team, with a nice manager. But you can’t actively ‘support’ your rivals.
An online poll by the Good Morning Britain TV show found this to be true: 63% of fans in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will support Italy.
Fans of the UK’s smaller nations often identify similar reasons for their anti-England sentiment.
“Wales has suffered centuries of oppression at the hands of England, and (Prime Minister’s) Boris Johnson’s government is treating the nation as an afterthought,” Laura Kemp wrote in regional outlet Wales Online.
“And don’t forget the Neanderthals who tear up bars and squares everywhere they go.
“It is also the arrogance and the right of England.”
England supporters claim that other supporters judge them by their most rude supporters and the most chauvinist elements of the media, and that they are called arrogant for trying to encourage self-confidence in their team.
For example, English fans repeat the ritual mantra of “Football’s Coming Home”, a song recorded for Euro 1996, at every tournament.
After spending 55 years without a major tournament win, it’s a sign of authoritarian and unwarranted right to critics.
“Football is coming home, isn’t it? So England does own the sport. I don’t think so,” former Scotland international and Liverpool legend Graeme Souness wrote in The Times.
Ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final against England, Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel asked emphatically: “Has it ever happened at home? I don’t know, have you won it yet?”
But English fans insist the song is just a self-deprecating, humorous recognition of blind optimism in the face of overwhelming reality.
BBC football host Dan Walker explained on Twitter: “This is a dream that never comes true. It is about the past glory and the dangers of missed opportunities.
“Most importantly, it’s about hope … hoping that, despite the pain, never goes away.”
While the four nations are happy to support “Team GB” when they compete under one flag at the Olympic Games, their individual participation in football tournaments exposes identity conflicts and political divisions within the union. .
More recently, Brexit-related tensions have simmered beneath the surface that fueled a push for independence for Scotland, which voted to remain in the European Union in 2016.
For the other nations of the UK, England – home to some 56 million people and the seat of political power for the entire country – epitomizes conservatism, colonial rule and centuries of historic oppression.
Stuart Cosgrove, a Scottish broadcaster, blamed the media concentration in London for a biased perspective.
“All the news is about England … It’s like we get a version of England’s history every night on television and it’s deeply, deeply frustrating,” he said.
“It’s also condescending and it doesn’t move Scotland forward, because it’s good that our 0-0 draw with them (earlier in the Euro) is kind of a minor victory now, so that we had a bad tournament. ”
At the same time, “seeing Boris Johnson or (Home Secretary) Priti Patel pictured, both dressed in English top, as they claim to be a British government” is also irritating.
“I suspect it wouldn’t save them as much if Scotland had come this far,” he added.
Despite this, some critics have been impressed by Gareth Southgate’s England side, who have vocally supported causes such as racial equality – getting down on their knees before matches – and gender equality.
Through his social media campaign, striker Marcus Rashford even forced Johnson’s Tory government to turn around to provide free school meals to poorer students during coronavirus lockdowns.
“This version of overwhelming imperialism that people love to hate has absolutely nothing to do with this England team,” Kemp said.
“They challenge the establishment as well as those in Wales who are fed up with the privilege of the Atonian elite.”



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