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25 March 2017, 20:56
England football supporters chanted offensive songs and made offensive gestures at the inoffensive German fans and footballers before a "friendly" match this week.
They did that as the German national anthem was being played, which in England is also known as: an incitement to violence.
Football supporters are rude. This is news, just as it gets light when the sun comes up is news.
Football fans make troglodytes look sophisticated. As individuals they may be an unalloyed delight, but as a group it is expected that they will revert to the mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers that we were when we emerged from the swamp.
And now the Football Association is going to do something about it. They have decided to leap into action after only 200 years of this sort of thing since the invention of the beautiful game.
The FA has moved to ban those who bring shame on our nation, and the best of luck with that.
There was a campaign to get racism out of football and there is now another to rid the game of homophobia. How are they going by the way? You might as well try to ban stupidity from the terraces.
If everyone who is rude or loudly threatening and insensitive is going to get banned from the stands at football matches then games will be pretty quiet affairs.
If your team is doing badly, you won't have to leave early to get a head start on the crowds because there won't be any.
You will be able to stroll out unimpeded, at your leisure. You will also be able to sit where you want. You'll be able to lie down and take a nap if you like. It will so quiet you'll be able to hear the grass grow.
The FA must be the most patient organisation in sport. Either that, or they are chronically inept and ineffective in the face of fans' manufactured, effortful boiling rage at anyone and anything that is not wearing the colours of their own team.
This includes referees who are subject to so much spittle-flecked rage at top flight games that they must have to hose themselves down afterwards.
If players are that aggressive and intemperate when millions of people are watching in high definition close-up on television, just imagine what they have to put up with in the lower divisions.
Their work car should be a tank.
The top players' constant barracking of officials and persistent cheating communicates to the fans that this is how football is.
I can't recall cricket umpires getting screamed at by some hulking fielders after giving a decision they didn't like. Rugby players do not regularly get so close they are touching noses to yell at an official when a call goes the other way.
This only seems to happen in football, and the players, the coaches and the FA are all responsible.
Nine months after England were almost thrown out of the European Championship for rioting in Marseilles, supporters ignored repeated warnings not to perform the song ‘10 German bombers’ in front of what was a television audience of millions.
It is a song that children used to sing in the Second World War about the RAF shooting down enemy planes in the manner of '10 green bottles sitting on the wall'.
It is still being sung by the childish seventy years later.
FA chairman Greg Clarke said: “The behaviour of a section of the England support in Dortmund was inappropriate, disrespectful and disappointing.
What he did not say was that it was also entirely predictable and is the sort of thing you are likely to hear at every football match in the land.
You don't even have to go to the match. They bring their stupidity to you.
For instance - try travelling on the District Line when Chelsea have just finished playing, as I frequently used to do and you will hear moronic, drunken swamp dwellers trying to outdo their mates in offensiveness, at the tops of their voices, regardless of whether the train is full of families, old ladies or children.
The train winds peacefully from Putney until the mood turns ugly the moment the doors open at Fulham Broadway and the Chelsea contingent lurch on yelling every kind of obscenity that you can think of, and some they have invented especially for the occasion.
What the hell is the matter with these people?
The Football Association said “The FA has consistently urged supporters to show respect and not to chant songs that could be regarded as insulting to others.
They will probably go so far as to ask managers to wear a special respect badge when being interviewed on the telly.
That's bound to work.