Most of England’s British neighbors face Italy in the final

English fans in the European Cup semi-final against Denmark. / yes

European Championship 2020/2021

“Asking Wales or Scotland fans to support England is like asking Everton fans to support Liverpool or Tottenham fans to support Arsenal,” writes Tom Williams.

Old injuries, new political divisions and the arrogance of their supporters will see England’s British neighbors heavily behind Italy in Sunday’s European Championship final, although many admit they love the Gareth Southgate team.

While towns across England erupted in joy as the national team qualified for their first Grand Final since 1966 on Wednesday, football fans in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were less enthusiastic. They tend to declare themselves supporters of “anyone but England”, reflecting deep animosity.

“Asking Welsh fans to support England is like asking Everton fans to support Liverpool or Spurs fans to support Arsenal,” football writer Tom Williams tweeted. “Sportingly, England are the great rivals of Wales. Yes, they are a team that they like, with a nice coach. But you cannot actively ‘support’ your rivals.”

An internet poll by TV show Good Morning Britain found that 63% of fans in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will support Italy. The reasons for this anti-English sentiment tend to be similar across the other three nations that make up the UK.

“Wales has endured centuries of oppression at the hands of England and Boris Johnson’s government treats the nation as secondary,” columnist Laura Kemp wrote in Wales Online. “And we must not forget the Neanderthals who destroy bars and squares everywhere they go,” he added, referring to England fans.

They maintain that they are judged for their worst behavior and labeled as arrogant for trying to boost their team’s self-esteem. For example, England fans sing the song “Football’s Coming Home” recorded for the 1996 European Championship at every tournament.

But after going 55 years without winning a major tournament, it is drawing criticism. Does England own the sport? I don’t think so,” former Scotland international and Liverpool legend Graeme Souness wrote in The Times. However, England fans insist the song is nothing more than a self-deprecating and humorous acknowledgment of his blind optimism in the face of overwhelming reality.

While the four British nations are happy to support the United Kingdom when it competes under one flag in the Olympics, their separate participation in football tournaments highlights identity clashes and political divisions.

Recently, Brexit tensions have fueled the independence campaign in Scotland, which voted to remain in the European Union in 2016. For smaller nations in the UK, England – home to 56 of the country’s 66.5 million people of the country and is the seat of political power – epitomizes conservatism, colonial rule and centuries of historical oppression.

Stuart Cosgrove, a Scottish broadcaster, attributed a skewed outlook to media concentration in London. “All the news is about England. I feel like there’s a version of England history on TV every night, and it’s very, very frustrating,” he said. -he declares.

It’s also irritating ‘to see Prime Minister Boris Johnson there, or Home Secretary Priti Patel pictured, both wearing English T-shirts, while claiming to be a British government’, it adds. he. “I guess they wouldn’t mind so much if it was Scotland that had qualified” for the final, he said.

Still, some critics were impressed with Gareth Southgate’s team, which openly supported progressive causes such as racial equality – kneeling before games – and gender equality. Forward Marcus Rashford even forced the Conservative government to make a 180 degree turn by offering free school meals to the poorest students.

“This rowdy version of imperialism that people love to hate has absolutely nothing to do with this England team,” Kemp wrote. “They are challenging the ‘establishment’ just like those in Wales who are fed up with elite privileges,” he said.

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