Tuesday 15 June 2010

Where's my vuvuzela

At last, the FIFA World Cup kicks off today, vuvuzelas and all and with Ireland having been robbed of iwhat had appeared to be its rightful place in South Africa, the quadrennial (biennial, if you include the European championships) question arises as to whether Irish soccer fans can countenance supporting  our English neighbours. Due to the post-colonial angst still pervading the Irish psyche due to the centuries of English subjugation, the question is raised time and time again. Certainly considering the high levels of support that English Premier League teams, particularly Manchester United and Liverpool, have in Ireland it is a legitimate question to ask. An outsider arriving could be forgiven for thinking that it should make no difference whether Wayne Rooney or Steven Gerrard are representing their country or their respective clubs. Of course, the football gods could be mischievous enough in this world cup and pit current enemy number one France against the ol' enemy England at some point in the tournament. Who to support then could be an interesting dilemma for those avid fans who feel compelled to choose sides. Actually, the question should be which of the two countries’ exit at the hands of the other will ensure record amounts of the black stuff are drowned in joyous merriment across the land. I ask this question, because several years ago, I was accosted by an irate and inebriated woman who took it upon her sorry self to express her displeasure at my ‘absolute cheek’ to wear the bright red ‘away’ England jersey. I was certainly taken aback to say the least and even though I was aware of the long arduous history between the Irish and the English I did not think this woman’s reaction was called for. Anyway, it should be interesting to see how both teams progress.

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