For many who will be cheering England on later today, that is very much before their time, and given he was only two years old when that tournament concluded, one of their number will be former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, who has not been backward in coming forward with his views on the England team of 2021.
And Nige made it crystal clear at the outset that he did not approve of England’s players taking the knee before each match. Nor did he approve of manager Gareth Southgate defending the action. So when Southgate reiterated that the team were going to carry on taking the knee, whatever the boo boys did, off went Mr Thirsty.
“Gareth Southgate doesn't seem to understand that the BLM movement is not only Marxist but divisive too. England fans will hate this, they just want to watch a game of football … Gareth Southgate is out of touch with England fans. They have a right to boo when players take the knee for Marxist BLM. Let's keep politics out of football this summer”.
Said he, having just inserted politics into a discussion about football. And, after Rio Ferdinand told him “If you listened to what Gareth and the players have said numerous times recently you would know taking the knee has nothing to do with politics. People like you are part of the problem Nige”, Farage responded “Rio, Southgate and the players are naive. They are being used as pawns in a game to divide us. Keep politics out of sport”.
Said a politician inserting himself into yet another conversation. And soon after, he was there sneering at Southgate once more: “Gareth Southgate says he ‘never believed that we should just stick to football’. Goodness knows what comes next. Booing players taking the knee is spreading, Gareth should think again”. Except it wasn’t spreading.
But that was on June 9, and by July 10, with England having advanced to the final, Nige had seen the bandwagon passing by, and had run out to leap aboard. “Gareth Southgate says ‘we have got so much to be proud of’. Patriotism is back, proper stuff”. Would Sir care to fuck right off, fuck off round the block for a few hours, and then fuck off some more?
Sadly not: by 0849 hours today, Farage had not only managed to locate Wembley Stadium, but had got himself a return ticket from somewhere in deepest Kent and dressed in his St George’s Cross waistcoat. “Oh, great day. Come on England!” he announced - not that he’s going to see the match, of course. It’s just another act of self-promotion.
Author Matt Haig reminded Mr Thirsty “You would have over half the team deported you prat”. But at least, unlike alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his Benidorm holiday rep Home Secretary Priti Patel, he won’t be at the game, dressed in an England shirt that only just got unwrapped, pretending to be a football fan.
Even so, Nigel Farage is the kind of fair weather fan - that England could well do without.
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