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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
England's coming home
Brazil fans at the game in Japan
The Brazilian branch of the Tartan Army?
Steve Brocklehurst

Click here to read your views.

Congratulations to Scotland on knocking England out of the World Cup.

They've had to spend a lot of money on the replica kits of England's opponents but for those who were sporting Brazil shirts as I drove into work after the game it must have all been worthwhile.

The first sight as I arrived at work was a well-known BBC Scotland travel reporter standing in reception proudly displaying his Brazil shirt.

A large smile played across his face as he spotted an Englishman (me) enter the building.

Ali Abassi
Ali Abassi doesn't seem to like England

As I showed my pass to security he held up a Brazilian flag and said: "This is the only pass you need today."

It was not an unexpected greeting.

Not all Scots hate England. Some have even claimed to be supporting the English team as it made its surprisingly solid progress through the World Cup.

But when the England team is finally brought down to earth with a crashing bump, there are few Scots who do not take some pleasure from the tumble.

Hurt 'soothed'

Skinner and Baddiel's Football's coming home was swiftly amended to "England's coming home" as Scots soothed their three weeks of hurt watching the Auld Enemy make progress.

Opening my e-mails I find that a picture of David Seaman watching Ronaldhino's free-kick float over his head has already found its way to my inbox.


It would be safe to say that this has not been the best place to be when England's challenge hit the rocks

It is joined by a rude joke involving a double meaning of the England keeper's name.

Despite claims that certain sections of Glasgow's more Unionist community had taken to wearing England shirts, I have yet to see one during the three weeks of the competition.

I watched the game at home.

As well as the early hour of the kick-off, the prospect of entering a pub in Glasgow to watch an England game is something that experience has taught me to avoid.

Unconditional support

A BBC camera crew were in Brazilian cafe, Brazilian Sensations, in Edinburgh to record the delirious celebrations as the South American team put England to the sword.

Finding a cafe or pub full of Scots giving such unconditional support to England would have been more difficult.

Scots fans in Brazil bar as Michael Owen scores
Scots cheer Michael Owen's goal

The Ireland team won overwhelming support during the tournament.

Every neutral seemed to take Mick McCarthy's men to their hearts, but England, despite Beckham's incontestable appeal among the female Scots, won few friends.

My more rational Scots friends claim not to hate England and I believe them.

However, there does seem to be profound irritation at the hyperbole in the English press which surrounds the team's performances.

1966 and all that

In previous games, Scottish colleagues have run a sweepstake on the number of minutes it will take the commentator to mention England's 1966 World Cup victory.

It never takes long.

I must admit I have cringed when I hear the jingoistic comments of the English pundits, most especially Ian Wright, having been conditioned over many years to Scots sensitivity on the subject.

Scots fans in Brazilian cafe
Scots fans cheer for close neighbours - Brazil

The Daily Record, a newspaper which sent a reporter all over the globe supporting England's opponents in their country of origin, ran a front page splash on the BBC's World Cup bias.

Its objections seemed to centre on the fact that former England captain jumped up and punched the air when England scored, and that he used the word "we" when describing England.

There are worse crimes surely.

I love Scotland and have lived here happily for eight years.

It would be safe to say that this has not been the best place to be when England's challenge hit the rocks.

But I can cope with the banter and jibes - I'm a Manchester City fan.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Scottish reaction to England's defeat
Some views from the streets of Glasgow
See also:

21 Jun 02 | Scotland
21 Jun 02 | England v Brazil
21 Jun 02 | Photo Galleries
21 Jun 02 | England v Brazil
Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


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Links to more Scotland stories

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