Cheering for England?

Sir, – Finn McRedmond's lecture (Opinion & Analysis, July 14th) as to why we should support the England football team is unfortunately doomed by an almost complete lack of relevant insight.

The attempted analogy between wanting a team to lose a football match and an aggressive zero-sum nationalist project, that has split a nation, hounded many politicians from office, introduced an unprecedented level of bile into public discourse, attacked foreign governments and disregarded international law, is patently absurd.

That aside, there is no reason at all why neighbours should cheer for each other, or, if so, why England, as opposed to our fellow EU members Italy and Denmark, has the greater claim. Neighbours are often the last people you want to see win!

When Manchester United lost to the Villareal in the final of the Europa League, the Spanish club’s joy was shared by many fans in England, half of Manchester and, I suspect, pretty much all of Liverpool. That’s football.


When Dublin play Gaelic football they can do so safe in the knowledge that the rest of the country wants them to lose. That’s what makes sport so much fun. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 7.