Euro Cup 2020 revealed those with “a touch of class”
The list of those who distinguished themselves in the four-week soccer tournament did not include England and its English fans. Yes, it is important to win in a sport that demands great technical skill, stamina, ability to follow a strategic plan, to move forward or retreat and be poised to seize opportunities all while being the ultimate team player. Such is life; such is soccer.
The Italians say play/live with gusto and always to “fa(re) bella figura” – manifest dignity, win or lose. Be respectful “sii educato” – demonstrate a refined upbringing and bring credit to your parents and your culture. “Non fare una figuraccia” – do not bring shame upon yourself with your laughingstock conduct.
Alas, the England side served up what Basketballers call an “air ball”. They were way off the mark. English self-promotion – propaganda for the uninitiated – glories in the appropriation of a much-vaunted “fair play” culture that would seem to reward achievement through merit and proven on a level playing field where true talent has no need to resort to devious methods to gain the upper hand. Evidently, not all residents of the Isles attended school when that lesson was offered.
Consider the loutish behaviour of the England drunken fans’ disrespectful conduct during the singing of the anthems and their rush to exit the moment post-game ceremonies in the final began.
The exodus began the instant the English side missed the penalty kick that might have kept them in the game. The mad rush resembled a panicked desire to escape the Delta variant that hovers over England.
Imagine the “talent” that the English had to demonstrate to convince UEFA that anti-Europe country should host the semis and the final game. “Pip Pip and Tally Ho” to the English Football Association for somehow securing tickets for 65,000 England fans in Wembley stadium while limiting the Italian squad to 1,000 followers. The latter were treated to the familiar baboon hospitality for which English soccer hooligans have been known to display, until a veritable army of police arrived at Wembley to quell the one-sided violence.
The players were not much better. One understands the dejection that accompanies coming in second place in an intensely competitive tournament but removing the silver medal from one’s neck almost the instant the master of ceremonies places it there must classify as the ultimate disdainful display of “biting the hand that feeds you”.
UEFA is now investigating into whether the English should be permitted to host games in the immediate future before home crowds… or indeed to participate in international tournaments. England fans beamed lasers at the Denmark goaltender in that crucial penalty kick, following VAR verification of the now infamous “dive” by the England forward in the box. Devious, stupid and dangerous.
“Che figuraccia!” They deserve sympathy. Ha Ha Ha.
(Pic from YouTube)