June 25, 2006


McLeish attacks McConnell 'English posturing' (MURDO MACLEOD, 6/25/06, Scotland on Sunday)

JACK McConnell's continuing refusal to support England at the World Cup could lead to more violence on the streets of Scotland, former First Minister Henry McLeish has warned.

A war of words has been ignited after ex-footballer, McLeish - who won a Scotland cap as a youth player - said that his successor's failure to support England was damaging Scots' image abroad.

But cementing its place in the Anglosphere, where one can't help but notice that America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, & India are uninterested in soccer altogether.

England fans held by riot police (BBC, 6/25/06)

Riot police have been removing England supporters from Stuttgart's main square after chairs and bottles were thrown by small groups of rival fans.

Police have so far arrested 150 England fans who were being held together in a corner of the city's main square. That figure is expected to rise to 250. [...]

A further 122 England supporters arrested in Stuttgart on Friday night are also expected to be held until after Sunday's game against Ecuador.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 25, 2006 9:25 AM

Well soccer certainly runs behind other sports like cricket in Australia, but there seems to be quite a bit of support for their team's run in the WC. And Australia has some very very good players. There's a good chance they could upset Italy this week and make the semifinals.

As for Ireland . . . dude, you don't know what you're talking about. The place is football mad. You can't walk down a street in any Irish village w/o seeing a ManU or a Liverpool or Celtic shirt. (Oops more acecdotal evidence by someone not afraid to leave there own timezone, who might actually have spent a good deal of time in the country.)

The sports pages are filled with the latest English Prem news.

And the country famously went mad over the national team's making the WC finals in 1990.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 25, 2006 10:18 AM

Yes, the Catholic nation of the Anglosphere is more tolerant of soccer--good point.

Posted by: oj at June 25, 2006 10:24 AM

Don't underestimate the support may be due to the fact that the Austrialian team actually won something. If Canada had a team competing, it might actually have pushed the start of the CFL season off the CBC this weekend, too.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 25, 2006 12:29 PM

It ain't curling or hockey.

Posted by: oj at June 25, 2006 12:40 PM

Catholic? Careful oj, your inner NC is coming out. The US, and the rest of the Anglosphere, could well do with becoming more Catholic, rather than less.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 25, 2006 4:08 PM

No, it's the Catholicism that makes them able to stand a fixed game:


Posted by: oj at June 25, 2006 4:27 PM

"America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, & India are uninterested in soccer altogether."

Apparently you have never visited Australia, Ireland or India. And you haven't followed the news coverage.

Even in the USsoccer is becoming increasingly popular.

Besidestons of Americans travelled to Germany and have a great time partying.

Posted by: Atlanticist at June 26, 2006 2:25 AM