BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Middle East
South Asia
N Ireland
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Friday, 21 June, 2002, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
A nation apart
David Seaman after the game
If stereotypes are to be believed, Scots are revelling in England's despair at going out of the World Cup.

But is this accurate? Do ALL Scottish people really dislike the English? Yes, some do, but many others did actually want England to do well. And let's not forget that many English people don't really like their Caledonian neighbours.

What do you think? Do we define ourselves by our feelings for and about England?.

This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of comments

Great article, as another Englishman working in Glasgow, I have to agree with every word. Numb, that's how I feel, and not a single sympathetic word from my colleagues who arrived wearing yellow and cheering Brazil, just as they'd cheered Argentina and Denmark before.
Graham, Scotland

I don't support England for one reason only - I'm not English. I don't see why, as a Scot, I am expected to cheer on a team I feel no emotional bind to. I don't support France, I don't support Wales, I don't support Ireland - I support Scotland.
Keith Legg, UK

It' truly pathetic the way that we Scots cling to beating England in 1967 at Wembley - a victory that meant very little. We idolise the player who show-boated and this nicely encapsulates our debillitating obsessions with alcohol and football. We have a media and a level of interest that is vastly out of proportion to our ability. It's time to grow up Scots!
Graeme Nixon, Scotland

All they have to do is look at the way they act and surely that will give them their answer.

Harry Kerr
I believe that England were a good team. I think it is the media that get up everyone's nose. I was sick when I turned on the TV watching people go on and on about England and how great they are. And they ask themselves why Scotland don't support them? All they have to do is look at the way they act and surely that will give them their answer.
Harry Kerr, Scotland

I enjoyed reading Steve Brocklehurst's article re the apparent hatred employed towards the English football team by Scotland fans. He is correct when he states that, for the majority, it is not the team we dislike but the media bandwagon. However we do need to look at ourselves and ask why we take great pleasure in watching a team fail at the quarter-final hurdle when we can't even qualify for the tournament.
Chris Hynd, Scotland

For heavens sake, no true football fan ever supports their nearest rival. Add to the equation the rival of a small country with larger neighbour and you get Scotland and England. Have you ever seen a Manchester City supporter follow Man United? A Celtic fan follow Rangers? Come off it. Show me that and I'll show you this wonderful investment opportunity I have in multi-level marketing.
Graham, Edinburgh

When it becomes serious when people take things too far, but there are always idiots out there!

Stuart Mackinnon
Most Scots do not hate the English - but do support the opposing team. You don't hear a Man Utd fan shouting for Liverpool either. Same scenario - football rivalry. Just happens to cross sporting boundaries into rugby and other sports where we have individual teams. We still support the British Lions (despite being English dominated). It is mostly all for good fun and a laugh. When it becomes serious when people take things too far, but there are always idiots out there!
Stuart Mackinnon, Scotland

I was in a bar in London in 1990 when Costa Rica beat us and the place was full of gloating Englishmen - so what's the big deal here? Also how many Liverpool supporters were shouting for Man United in the European Cup Final? Come on there's bigger World issues to worry about. Don't blame Scottish delight for the inadequacies of the English football team.
Stuart MacMillan, England

It's sad to think that the Scots define themselves not as who they are, but who they're not.
SB, England

If English supporters support whoever is playing Scotland and Scotland supporters support whoever is playing England, I know who'll have more frequent cause to celebrate. Come on Scotland - lose the chip, it makes you look small.
Phil, UK

As a Scot living in England,I am frequently subjected to the "friendly jibes" from my English colleagues, following another Scottish football fiasco. There is no real hatred on the part of Scots, merely the patient sigh of a nation who have been made only too aware of their status in the world game. Perhaps when England fans revel in participating as opposed to expecting to win, they will gain more support from their Scottish neighbours. There are very few "Mickey Mouse" teams left (Scotland, Hong Kong XI excepted). Do England need beating by S.Korea, USA, Costa Rica or Iran before they realise this?
Bernie C,

As an Scot watching the game at a very reasonable hour (4pm) it gives me enormous pleasure to say that the better team one. In football it's goals that count and Brazil scored two. Shouldn't the foul resulting in Ronaldhino's goal have been an in-direct free kick ? If it was then so much the better !
David Taylor, Australia

As a Scot I actually feel embarrassed by some of my fellow countryman's "victim syndrome" attitudes to England. Hopefully one day they will have the maturity to realize this.
Iain, Scotland

Never realised the English were such sensitive we souls

Mark, Holland
I'd like to point out that the banter does go both ways, I remember vividly the amusement shown by the English when Scotland failed to qualify for the tournament last September, but I don't recall any articles by the English media condemning that reaction. As a Scotsman living in Holland, I don't see the Dutch falling over themselves to support their nearest neighbours Germany and Belgium, quite the reverse in fact. They were delighted to see the demise of Belgium and are dreading the possibility of Germany winning the tournament. But I don't see this reaction being analyzed here, the way the Scots reaction is being analyzed in the UK. Never realised the English were such sensitive wee souls...
Mark, Holland

It is about time the English maybe took a long hard look at themselves

Gordon Paterson
Why are the English media so obsessed with who Scotland support? We are not English so it should not matter to you who we support. Most of the Dutch people in my office today supported the USA, even although most of the office is German and also their border neighbours. The Germans were not bothered about this, so why should the English be about the Scots? Maybe it is the English who are narrow minded. At least I will be able to go out tonight in Amsterdam without the fear of having an English person roar the word England in my face when he hears my Scottish accent as if I care what happens to them. It is about time the English maybe took a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and asked why Scottish people react the way they do towards them
Gordon Paterson, The Netherlands

Is this not, once again, the tired old debate about do Scots revel in England's exit? How much longer can this subject hold any true football supporters attention? Has anyone got anything NEW to say ? Who cares? Football supporters of ALL nationalities recognise that world football is now about entertainment,achievement and generally the better teams progressing to finals of major competitions. Is it not time that we forget this nonsense about Scots revelling in English defeat? We should concentrate on improving our football rather than the tribal rubbish which crops up every time England or Scotland gets beat. Come on lets "junk" this drivel
Mike Maskell, England

I watched the Denmark match in a pub in Glasgow where most people were supporting England. However, I think that it was mostly full of English people. My experience of living in Scotland during a World Cup is that it's the Scots who are obsessed with England's 1966 win. They just can't seem to stop talking about it.
Jo, UK

As a Scot living in London I have taken great pride in winding colleagues up by supporting whoever England were playing against. All I got back was jibes about how Scotland didn't qualify and 'I'd support Scotland if they were in it'. Scottish fans are renowned for their joviality, good humour and gracioussness in defeat. We're always there for a laugh but the English take it so serious and are perpetual bad losers. I also don't want to be associated with their yob mentality and arrogance so I'll never support them.
B MacNeil, London, England

I haved lived in Scotland and like the the Scots, but whilst most English supporters will cheer the achievements of the other home nations, and even the Republic of Ireland, it is quite obvious that a similar courtesy will not be reciprocated. I for one will no longer offer any support for any of the countries and, indeed, will be fervent in my support for anyone playing them.
Richard May, England

Costa Rica 1-0 Scotland, Morocco 3-0 Scotland... I always supported Scotland, but after hearing they were offering a free beer per Denmark goal it won't happen again. Good luck against the Germans in Euro04.
Paulie Fournel, England

It's not surprising why no one supports England from other countries if this is the childish offensive remarks they can expect in response

Andrew Shannon
Being a Scotsman living in southern England I have to admit that there is a certain bias from the BBC with regards to England's progress in any competition. I remember Trevor Brooking being a total pain during the 1990 World Cup. It does cause offence sometimes, certainly in the somewhat patronising approach to the other national teams, i.e. Scotland, Ireland and Wales. However, England qualified, beat some of the best teams in the world and their fans actually behaved so we can't complain. The press in England are woefully biased and are guilty of being virtually xenophobic towards the other teams in the competition, The Sun being of particular blame for this. The "Up yours senior" headline being a good example. I think it's shameful that such racist and offencive remarks, let alone headlines in "Britain's most popular paper" should be allowed to be printed. It's not surprising why no one supports England from other countries if this is the childish offensive remarks they c! an expect in response
Andrew Shannon, Scotland

Grow up as a country and then, just maybe you'll get the respect of others

Perhaps the question should not be why do the Scots hate the English, but why do the English hate everyone else? They despise the French for losing the war, the Germans for being as arrogant as themselves and the Irish, Welsh and Scots for being.. well not English. England does not have the best football team in the world and a God given right to win every World Cup - so get over it! Grow up as a country and then, just maybe you'll get the respect of others.
Frazer, Scotland

Every move the England team makes is national news, even in Scotland, Wales, and N. Ireland

Stuart Logan
With all due respect to the true England fans, their talented players and staff, I think the real line in the sand was drawn when England tried every method possible to ban the jubilant Scottish supporters from Wembley, (I believe this was racism), while England fans went on to wreck half the cities of Europe (I remember in Thatcher's pre-jingoistic days when Scots and English fans shared drinks at Wembley). Also the English media could improve relations as every move the England team makes is national news, even in Scotland, Wales, and N. Ireland, while everyone else gets a token mention.
Stuart Logan, UK

It's sad really that so many Scots take great delight in the mis-fortunes of the England team, whether it be rugby, football, cricket, etc. Defining our national pride by the hatred of another country is immature and in the shop-window of the world we don't look too good. Perhaps if we spent a bit more time considering what we really want to look like in the eyes of the world, and asking ourselves the question of whether the misfortunes of another country are all that we need to keep us "happy", we could then make a contribution to the world other than being regarded as a joke. In short, perhaps we should just grow up.
Paul Coffey, Scotland, UK

As an Englishman living in Scotland for the last two years it too have experienced all of the above comments. But what really annoys me is the overt anti-English racism and hatred that has raised its head. My teenage daughter has been shocked and upset by the anti English hatred coming from her so called school "friends". Whatever happened to political correctness - hasn't it reached Scotland? If ever the English media and population expressed the kind of hatred and racism towards Scotland or any other country there would be a national outcry. Why is acceptable for Scotland to do it?
Philip Hogg, Scotland

With regards to Philip Hogg, Scotland, he talks about racism rearing its ugly head. As an Irish guy who has worked and lived in England before, the veiled racism also exists there. How many other Irish (and I am sure Scottish) have had to listen to jokes denigrating Irish people, quickly followed by the usual "but you know it is just an joke and we like you" type thing. That kind of racism doesn't endear me to "The English" in general. That doesn't mean in the slightest that I can't find English people nice and have great English friends, but in the abstract it makes me anti-English. I think that it is a similar sentiment that effects Scots. They will slag off English, but if they meet an English person in a bar will be perfectly friendly to them. To accuse them (or the Irish) of being racist towards English is a little bit unfair unless first admitting that English people are extremely racist.
Dave, Germany

Lived in Scotland for five years and I think anti-Englishness is on the rise.
Ian, Scotland

I'm an Italian living in Scotland. Even if I think England play attractive football and I rationally wanted them to do well, I couldn't help rooting for Brazil. What irritates me most is how England performances are hyped and the opponent's quickly dismissed. Look no further than the BBC website for that: Owen's goal was a "brilliant finish" not an amazing gift by the Brazil defence and Ronaldinho's free kick was "Seaman's blunder" rather than one of the few bits of magic that sparked an otherwise dull game. What would have been the reaction of the press had it been Beckham scoring that goal? In Scotland as well as abroad "the English" are branded arrogant. Nothing I've seen relating to England's World Cup TV and press coverage has done much to dispel such stereotypes.
Carlo, Scotland

What a sad nation Scotland really is. I care little for their opinion for at the end of the day they're a small fry nation ranked lower than China.
Colin B, England

On the bright side, if Danny Mills gets a move on, he can still get to his best friends wedding tomorrow!
Richard Crawford, SCOTLAND

Hard lines for the 11 guys, but great news that we will not have to spend the next 36 years listening to the BBC telling us about their great English team.
Gerry Connolly, The Netherlands

I have friends in Scotland and think it's a great country but have never been able to get my head around this supposed hatred of England. The excuse of jingoistic media holds no water, the Scottish media is as patriotic as most of the English-based organisations and let's face facts - it's now getting boring. Have we even got to the point where an ex England player gets slated for supporting his team?
Paul Foster, UK

I'm appalled at the reaction of my fellow country men. I support the English every time they play agaist anyone apart from Scotland. The Brazilians certainly wouldn't be nearly as keen to shout for Scotland when we play England. I think that most Scots feel our nation is inferior to England and for that reason hate England. I dont think Scotland is inferior at all, just a lot smaller and a valuable part of the UK as a whole. I'm gutted about today's score and even more gutted about the reactions around me.
Gordon Mackay, Scotland

I now take pleasure in seeing them lose repeatedly and edge out giants of the game such as a Hong Kong XI

Dave, Scotland
Indeed, I too have had to endure being an Englishman in Scotland during this world cup. The Scots obviously have a lot of money to spend on replica kits as they now have five to their collection after the tournament. Living up here and enduring the unending hate spewed out by these people has now though put a cutting edge to my watching Scotland matches. Where in the past I would watch impassively I now take pleasure in seeing them lose repeatedly and edge out giants of the game such as a Hong Kong XI.
Dave, Scotland

Oh, English-hating Scottish fans, when will you grow up ? I realise that the term "quarter finals" probably sounds Japanese to you and that you get a nosebleed if you actually win a match, but just remember that many, many English fans took time off work for the first game of France '98 to support you. Please, grow up and lose your sad little inferiority complex.
Al , UK

Well done England - there is no shame in being beaten by one of the best teams in the world. Scotland should be so lucky to even qualify for the World Cup and should stop taking glory in another teams defeat. You have your own parliament now (and Gordon Brown in ours). Get over it.
Paul Halpin, England

Maybe we should have a sweep on how long it will be before commentators can talk about Scotland's World Cup victory? Maybe my great, great grandchildren can collect it for me? Scotland definately suffer from "wee man syndrome".
Kerry Jones, USA

Send us your comments:

Your E-mail Address:



Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.

Ronaldo won the World Cup and the Golden Boot

See also:

21 Jun 02 | Scotland
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |