All of Europe will be celebrating Italy’s victory in the European Nations championship last night not just because Italy won and by far played the best soccer, but because England lost. In that loss will be distilled civilised Europe’s distaste for the ugly racism which fueled the Brexit campaign, propelled the nastiest Tory government and most unworthy prime minister in English history into office and now mars the national game, features of modern English society which were on view and audible to the whole world during this tournament.
The shocking racism which was exhibited in the boohing of the Danish national anthem, the chorale of one of Europe’s smallest and most inoffensive countries, was disgraceful but it was typical of the xenophobic nastiness which was released from the poisonous Brexit bottle and which now has a prominent, even defining place in the moral core of English society.
So deep and rancid is the racism in English society today that it even found its ugly expression in bigotry against the non-White members of the English team in the aftermath of Italy’s deserved victory, as the FA itself was obliged to admit, as The Guardian reported last night:
‘In more deeply depressing news, several England players including Bukayo Saka have been subjected to racial abuse on social media after the match. The FA has released a statement condemning the abuse and calling for “accountability and action”.
The English Football Association was forced to issue this statement:
“The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media. We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.
“We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences. Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.”
Fine words butter no parsnips, as we say Ireland. The time for talk has ended. England should be banned from European competitions until it confronts the racism that now courses through the national veins and which blights the national game.