England Fans' Chants Leave A Sour Taste...

There were plenty of positives in England's 3-2 victory against Sweden, but the supporters' dismissive attitude towards racism warnings is hugely disappointing...

Last Updated: 16/06/12 at 19:21 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Everton Rise To The Occasion Once Again

Post comment

After Spurs' dreadful 0-0 draw with Partizan Belgrade, Matt Stanger was grateful to see Everton mirror their manager's enthusiasm with a bold display against Wolfsburg...

Football Managers On TV: Roberto Martinez

Post comment

He's a "Bright Young Manager", which is meant as a huge compliment, and he's also affable and approachable. It's actually quite difficult to dislike Roberto Martinez...

All Articles

It would not be England, even in such a thrilling victory, if there were not some sour taste left behind, as usual by the supporters.

Andy Carroll, Theo Walcott, Steven Gerrard and Danny Welbeck were all acclaimed in song and "Roy Hodgson's Barmy Army" danced their way through the high points of the match. But the England figure whose name was most vociferously and frequently chanted was presumably not even there.

"F*** off Sol Campbell, we'll do what we want," they sang to the chorus of The Sloop John B.

The subject of Panorama has come up in conversations with Poles and Ukrainians but it was unexpected to hear this sort of brutal precis by my compatriots. One sentiment embodied in that chant - that we will travel regardless - is on the surface unimpeachable. But put yourself in the place of a non-white fan who has weighed up the risks and decided, aware of them but despite them, to travel.

Scour an England crowd and you do find non-white faces but as this chant rang round it was hard to find them and see whether they were joining in. I doubt that the overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon and Norse crowd put themselves in anyone else's position for a moment before opening their mouths.

You never know how much players hear of specific chants rather than just the noise. For two England players, at least, they would have sounded a bitter jarring note, for one of them on a night that otherwise will have been one of his most inspiring.

Theo Walcott came off the bench to equalise within three minutes and then his cross found Danny Welbeck for his winner. In added time Walcott again pulled the ball back, only for Steven Gerrard's shot to strike Andreas Isaksson in the chest. But the Arsenal man's family are not here, wary of the risks faced. So too the relatives of Walcott's clubmate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Both Gunners received warm receptions from England's supporters, even if "One Theo Walcott" proved easier to sing. But that is no excuse for the sort of tone-deaf chant that is not racist but dismisses legitimate fears of racism and race-motivated violence as someone else's problem.

Philip Cornwall

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Europa League: Everton boss Roberto Martinez delighted with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Roberto Martinez was delighted with Everton's display as they brushed aside Wolfsburg to win 4-1 in the Europa League.

Europa League: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino hits out at Partizan banner

Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino was angered by the "unacceptable" anti-Semitic banner displayed by Partizan fans.

Europa League: Everton open Group H campaign with 4-1 win over Wolfsburg

Everton opened their Europa League Group H campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Wolfsburg at Goodison Park.

Mail Box

Why Doesn't Rodgers Play Borini?

One Liverpool supporter thinks this could be Fabio Borini's year, whilst we also have thoughts on the Red Bulls, Welbeck vs Gervinho and Paul Lambert's new deal...

Could Arsenal Benefit From Top Four Exit?

That's one idea in the morning mailbox as the Arsene Wenger debate rumbles on. Plus, comparing Welbeck to Gervinho and some advice for Greg Dyke and the FA...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property