All week I’ve been telling myself that it is a healthy thing that discriminatory chanting has come under the spotlight prior to Euro 2012. The world needs to focus on those who are unable to find an outlet for their testosterone without picking on the vulnerable.
We know all about discriminatory chanting in Scotland, you could say, we’re up to our knees in it, so I’ve been slightly uncomfortable at the tone to some of the reporting about Poland and Ukraine. It feels a bit like we’ve decided, ‘They have it too, let’s talk about them. Not us’. When I say “us”, I don’t mean you, of course.
Fair enough, I thought, let’s bring this issue out, but at the start of the second half between Netherlands and Denmark when BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce reported “We haven’t heard any racist comments here today. Not when the young, black, Dutch left back got the ball, or at any other time” I figured this is more about xenophobia than racism. Xenophobia about Eastern Europe.
We’re no wiser about how to deal with our testosterone-fuelled under-achievers with a purpose to find than anyone else. In fact, we’re worse for allowing our intellectuals to indulge in the last refuge of the scoundrel.
My money is on the Polish and Ukrainian fans emerging from this tournament with a better reputation than some of their Western European counterparts.