Thursday 15 May 2008

Rangers, England and the World Cup

The Prime Minister's take on last night's events is interesting:
A small minority of Rangers fans are a "disgrace" who could have jeopardised England's bid to host the 2018 football World Cup, Gordon Brown warned today.
First, I find it odd that our PM should immediately think of linking the trouble in Manchester with something ten years away. Why did he do that? Is it because his priority is to keep England "on side" (his side of course) rather than making suitable observations about the events themselves?

Second, I wonder how many English viewers were bemused to see so many Union Jacks being waved by Scottish fans in scenes reminiscent of Wembley in 1966. But I seem to recall reading somewhere that Glasgow was one of the top markets for sales of England football shirts. That's certain to confuse certain English bloggers for weeks...

Third, let's suppose that Brown's fears come to pass. Imagine England losing the right to host the World Cup because of the actions of Scottish fans who support the union with England albeit being even more passionate about the one with Northern Ireland. It's enough to confuse most people! But the quality of history teaching these days is such that plenty of English folk would blame Scotland as a whole despite the fact that the Scottish national team is usually supported by everyone except Rangers (and Celtic) fans whose predominant loyalties lie elsewhere.

Wouldn't it be bizarre were an England that had lost the right to host the World Cup respond by kicking Scotland out of the Union even though the Scots in Manchester were the most pro English ones that one could find? Stranger things have happened.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Neil Craig
When BBC Scotland interviewed the manager of the bar in the Picadilly centre. Though they didn't follow it up he said specificly that the giant TV screen had not broken down but been switched off just before the match. 
If I had been a Rangers fan who had come there to see the match & been promised by Manchester Council that, despite their original intention not to have screens, they would be provided I would have wished to break things too. I think that is a human reaction & let us hope we never get so domesticated as to always accept the petty bullying of petty officals.

20 May 2008, 18:40:48 GMT+01:00
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john b
What, they blame the EU for the behaviour of Rangers fans? I know the ultra-England lot are paranoid, but that seems a bit much even for them...

19 May 2008, 10:34:16 GMT+01:00
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No one blames "Scotland", i.e. the Scottish people, David. They do blame Brown/Blair and the EU.

16 May 2008, 05:15:08 GMT+01:00