I’m going to say this right at the start, just to stake out my position on this one as clearly as possible: I’m Scottish, but I want England to do well in the world cup and maybe, just maybe, bring home a win. I know that this position probably puts me at odds with about 99% of my fellow Scots but to be honest, I think that’s something I can come to live with. Why do I feel this way? Well…
– I think that hoping a team loses just because of their nationality shows a degree of pettiness and simpleminded nastiness that I’d hope the Scottish people to be incapable of. Okay so I agree that the sports media are still harping on about England’s 1966 world cup win and it’s probably about time to let it go, but the current team are just out there to play football, do their best and try to bring home a trophy. Nothing wrong with that, it’s what footballers are meant to do.
– They’re English. We’re Scottish. Newsflash: we’re all British. We’re connected geographically, historically, economically, culturally, just about every -ally you can think of. We’re neighbours. The least we can do is try to be good ones and try to be decent sports about the whole thing. Can you imagine the cries of outrage that would be heard around the world if Scotland were in the world cup and the response of the average English fan was “So what, in fact I hope you lose?”
– Jack McConnell, our illustrious first minister, should at least have the good graces to wish the English team well. You’re supposed to be head of a devolved government Jack old son, let’s see a little more of that statesmanlike quality and a little less of the attention-seeking mean spirited offers to support any team that isn’t England.
The worst of it is I’m not even a football fan. Seriously, I think I might be the one man living in the west of Scotland who has watched about eight minutes of football his entire life. I’m just tired of hearing from people that their only wish for the tournament is to see England get hammered and crash out of the tournament – for no other reason than it’s the England team. It’s petty, vindictive and should be beneath us. If you don’t want to support them then that’s fine, don’t support them. Just don’t cross that line and start actively wishing that they lose. Let’s try to show the world that we’re willing to wish a neighbouring country all the best, support a local team and act like mature adults watching a sports tournament and not angry babies throwing their rattles out the pram. Please.
Update: Now people who wear England shirts are being attacked and beaten? Bloody hell, this is shameful. It might not have been a Scottish fan who attacked the man but if it was, and if he was attacked just because he was wearing an England shirt, then this is a new low. We’re supposed to be better than this.