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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Chick Young's view

By Chick Young
BBC Scotland football correspondent

Frankly, I don't know how to break this news to you. But it would appear that Fifa plan to carry on with the World Cup this summer despite Scotland's decision to snub the tournament on the basis of non-qualification.

Scandalous, but there you are.

This, of course, has not stopped supermarket giants like Asda cashing in by the flogging of fashion items which would have you boast temporary allegiance to Italy or Brazil. Or indeed England.

The World Cup is up for grabs in Germany this summer

But they overstepped the mark when they tried to market a t-shirt which claimed that England invented football, about as ridiculous a claim as the Dutch copyrighting mountaineering.

It was the kind of notion which had my Caledonian blood frothing with indignation.

I was as open-jawed with shock as I was when my tickets to see Neil Sedaka arrived to my house, addressed to Glasgow, England. Raging, I was and I told the girl in the booking agency that Neil Sedaka or not, this could be our last song together.

But I digress. There is no proof at all that the English invented soccer.

Nor is there concrete evidence that the beautiful game is the fruit of Scottish loins... although I would point out that the first international football match was played in Glasgow in 1868.

And of course Scots took the game to the world.

The English though have hi-jacked the sport. Or tried to, with songs like "It's coming home" the 1996 European Championships anthem by Baddiel and Skinner - a jaunty wee tune, I admit, but scandalously historically inaccurate. Three lies on the shirt.

Still, it would be juvenile to rant on about it in a column such as this.

Of much more interest is to whom the unemployed Tartan Army - demobbed until the launching of the 2008 European Championships qualifying campaign - will lend their support this summer. And who they think will win the tournament.

England striker Wayne Rooney
England's hopes of success lie with the talented Rooney

Several branches of the Scotland Travel Club are decanting to various points to enjoy a holiday on which they will view the tournament.

Some are going to Aviemore and preparing in classic Scottish fashion for the tournament. They're buying new television sets and filling the fridge with beer.

Others are attending Germany and backing, just for fun, other nations. Trinidad and Tobago, Paraguay and Sweden - for no apparent reasons - seem to be among the favourites.

Me? I'm a Francophile and have always bathed in the warmth of the Auld Alliance, the centuries long relationship between Scotland and France.

Zidane's retiring... it will be sad moment for all of us who enjoy a croissant of a morning.

And what of England? I think they will do well actually because in Wayne Rooney they have a player who is the genuine article when the bar-room talk turns to World class players.

I actually intend to bet them for a semi-final place and will cheer them robustly until the first over the top comment by one of their media. That should take me five minutes into the opening fixture.

Furthermore, it is an old tactic to back those you fear might win something... because then if they do then at least you have the consolation of a financial windfall.

Anyway here's to a great World Cup. We Scots are just jealous and that's a fact.

I'll put my t-shirt on it - but not that one from Asda.

Home nations fans 'back England'
30 Mar 06 |  Sport Homepage


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