With a wealth of sports speakers, The Speakers Agency followed Euro2020 closely, and the pandemic postponed tournament was an exciting competition with some magnificent football. And whether you were a fan or not it was, for many people, a real boost to know we were in the final.
Most people love a sport or two. I have always loved athletics. Heading to meets where you would stand by the track and literally hear the sound of their bodies swish as they whistled past you. There are naturally sports I am not keen on but I am still a fan when it comes to a sporting final be it football, rugby, cricket…. The list is endless and they all get my support.
For last night’s Euro2020 match, I cheered and ultimately commiserated because I am patriotic and wanted my country to win. Feeling sick when it went to penalties, I watched through a crack in the door. And I felt really sad when they lost on penalties.
Fans who spoiled the night
Unfortunately the event was marred by the totally unacceptable and utterly disgusting behaviour of some England Fans. Neanderthals who not only littered the streets of London as they yobbed their way to Wembley but who injured 19 police officers trying to break in to the stadium.
Furthermore, I’m outraged like so many other about the racist abuse hurled at our young lads. Appalling rhetoric. “Written in the heat of the moment”, they will claim,” I was only having a laugh mate,” they will cry. Prince William says he was sickened by it and I Imagine he speaks on behalf of most of the nation.
Calling the Euro2020 Racists Out
All I can say is thank goodness for the likes of @TVRav on twitter. He managed to track down one particularly nasty tweeter. Allegedly not the stereotypical thug it turns out. No, he is a commercial property manager for the most prestigious property sales company in the UK. Let’s hope he is sacked from his job for being a racist pig. It is high time these racists are named and shamed.
It also got me to thinking how many of the racist comments were flung at England’s young black players by parents of children whose children receive free school meals thanks to Marcus Rashford. His sterling efforts have ensured1.3 million free meals were given out. Yet less than an hour after the match ended a mural featuring this terrific young man was vandalised.
And of course, there is the big question of why football seems to attract such poorly behaved fans. Rugby, Cricket, Cycling, Tennis, Golf, Athletics, Swimming – where are the yobs when they are winning? Or losing? Do they fight, create havoc, boo national anthems, shine lasers at the opposition??? Highly unlikely. And yes, I know the occasional athlete has been caught out too but they are at least punished in some way for their actions or words.
Who has a mindset which rationalises that this type of behaviour is acceptable?
Yet I like football and most of us football fans are good people. My love of it comes from growing up with a dad who has supported Everton since he was a kid. In those days he would jump on the bus to go to the match and the players would be on the bus too, with their boots and laces hanging around their necks. We are so proud of Everton Goalie’s superb goalkeeping Jason Pickford.
Watching the rerun of the 1966 World Cup, the last match we won a cup at as an England team, most of the fans had suits on. And there certainly wasn’t a bare chest in sight.
I find it hard to understand why people who don’t like a particular sport, nation or team bang on about hating it so much. Why not stay stum and just support our lads and or lasses if they are representing our country. II would certainly support Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland if they were in a final and we weren’t. After all we are the United Kingdom, aren’t we??
One final thing I must share with you about Euro2020
I am half Italian and my mum came from just down the road from where the Italian goalie Gianluigi Donnarumma was brought. So along with my patriotism for my birth country there was some genuine guilt as I shouted at the TV urging England to win. And I was the first to congratulate my Italian family and friends when the final whilst was blown.
It goes without saying I am sad we lost. As a nation we had been through a terrible time of late and it would have been a huge boost to moral. Gareth Southgate has worked really hard to make the team strong and effective. He actually cares about his team. And he will continue doing a mighty fine job of training and supporting them.
It is just that on the night the better team won. Congratulations Italy you beat us fair and square in the final of Euro2020.
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Sylvia Tidy-Harris is the Founder and Managing Director of The Speakers Agency