Tuesday 20 February 2018

COMMENT: 'No surrender to the IRA' chant highlights the stupidity of these clowns

French riot police move in to arrest Russian fans after violence broke out between supporters ahead of the England vs Russia France
French riot police move in to arrest Russian fans after violence broke out between supporters ahead of the England vs Russia France
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

There was a perception that English football hooliganism was a fading fad, yet the hard evidence on the ground has confirmed otherwise for some time.

Euro 2016 has provided a stage for England’s image to be trashed around the world once again, with the scenes showing their fans rioting in the streets of Marseille and Lille evidence that the madness these clowns seem to revel in is in full flow once again.

There was plenty of sensible evidence to suggest Russian thugs shoulders a sizeable share of the blame for the madness that also featured England fans in Marseille last week, yet there also appeared to be enough English supporters willing to fight them in the streets as their poured shame on their nation’s already solid reputation once more.

You get the impression that if these obese, bald, short men went to war, garden furniture would be their weapon of choice and that tends to be their chief line of attack historically and after their cease fire in recent major tournaments for a variety of reasons, the scenes that were so familiar in the 1980s and 90s and have filled our TV screens once again.

It is pathetic moronic behaviour from an underclass that cannot handle their beer and turn violent at the hint of provocation. And they do it all under the flag of St George, belting out their God Save the Queen rallying cry and at moments notice to confirm who they are representing. Then there there is the “no surrender to the IRA” song they do love to chant.....which merely serves to highlight their stupidity in an era when that threat has long since been diluted.

Taking all your clothes off, urinating in the high street, abusing passing women and taking over town squares like some kind of travelling army is viewed as reasonable behaviour by these clowns, but clearly they do not fit into the 21st century world.

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has condemned the violence at Euro 2016
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has condemned the violence at Euro 2016
Rival supporters clash at the old port of Marseille

As for playing the victim card, well we have seen that before from men who have a slightly different view of the world when they have sobered up and forgotten what they had been up to a few hours earlier.

I was in attendance as England fans infamously ‘succeeded’ in getting the Ireland v England international match at Lansdowne Road abandoned back in 1995 and the scenes witnessed on the plane back to the UK confirmed the joy their madness has inspired among a group of imbeciles trading under the name of ‘Combat 18’.

Passing around copies of UK newspapers and high fiving each other as they celebrated their great achievement in Dublin, I was a little bemused to see the same cowards appears on TV news reports later that evening claiming they were shocked by the violence that has witnessed.

It was a tune that we have seen repeated in recent days, with England fans playing the victims card and yet the outbreak of violence in Lille confirms that trouble is being transported with the English (and Russian) supporters around France in a sideshow that is casting a stain on an entertaining tournament.

As former England captain correctly observed, football violence has been in the DNA of his country for many decades and the events of recent days confirm it has never entirely gone away.

This is not a recently reborn phenomenon and the London police would confirm that ‘football violence’ outside of stadiums has been on the rise in alarming fashion in the last few years.

A new generation of social media savvy football fans have risen from the shadows in recent years, with many not even feeling the need to attend matches to enjoy what they consider to be a fun day of fighting, with football used as their reason to gather with their like-minded friends.

With ticket prices to watch Premier League matches taking many traditional fans out of the game, these guys gather in pubs on Saturday mornings and get tanked up before settling down for an afternoon of games that are streamed one after the next (often on illegal TV feeds) in pubs.

By the time they get to the early evening, they are ready to expand their entertainment and that generally involves fighting with fellow football fans who have gathered for a similar reason to watch their teams on TV.

Police patrol the streets of downtown Marseille
Police patrol the streets of downtown Marseille

Some of the scenes I have witnessed on London underground stations late on Saturday evenings confirms that football hooliganism is thriving once more in England, with violent, racists, sexists chanting complimented by their excitement at the news that it is ‘kicking off’ with their mates in another part of London.

These guys delight in ‘being hard’ and the tattoos they tend to be covered in promote their manliness. They don’t realise that they are being ridiculed by millions of onlookers around the world, who view them all as cretins planting a black stain on the beautiful game.

Images of Ireland fans jovially cleaning up their own rubbish in the street of Paris and chanting Westlife songs has offered a compelling alternative narrative to the vile scenes promoted by England’s travelling army and all this before a 2018 World Cup that will be staged in Russia, the new hotbed of international football hooliganism.

Paris, Nice, Lille and Lyon are all potential locations for England to play matches if they progress at Euro 2016 and you can bet that bar owners will be hoping they are not next on the hit list of for a set of fans who attract trouble wherever they go.

England’s early exit from this summer’s European Championship finals may be the best solution for all who want the game and not their unwanted hangers on to take centre stage for the next few weeks.

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