Friday, May 26, 2006


English prepare World Cup victory parade!

We've already won! Just read this in The Times. This is why I don't root for England and it's a classic example in my opinion of why the English do not deserve support for the 2006 World Cup:

"The Football Association may be tempting fate by planning an England World Cup victory parade that will culminate in tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. The Times has learnt that the Queen, after overtures from the FA, will make time in her diary for a reception should David Beckham return with an all-conquering team after the final on July 9.

"Ignoring superstition, the FA has for weeks had officials working full-time on the logistics of an open-top bus drive through Central London, using the same route as the victorious England rugby union team, whose World Cup heroics in Australia in 2003 brought one million people on to the streets of the capital.

"The FA, which has been liaising with the police and Westminster Council over road closures, estimates that that figure would be more than doubled if England’s footballers become champions of the world for the first time since 1966. July 11 has been pencilled in for the celebration.

"More than 75,000 turned up at Luton airport in 1990 to greet the England team managed by Sir Bobby Robson when they returned from Italy after losing on penalties in the semi-finals against West Germany. If England prevail in Berlin this summer, the sheer size of the victory operation is one of the reasons why some of Tony Blair’s advisers want him to make the day a public holiday, but not to announce it until after the trophy is held aloft by Beckham, the captain.

"“We would not want to risk our chances by doing anything which sounds too presumptuous beforehand," one source said.

The holiday would also apply to Scotland, even though some fans there may be tempted to support whoever England are playing against.

Because he wants to be the next Prime Minister and will need the support of millions in England to fulfil that ambition, Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, has declared that he wants England to win the World Cup.

“Gordon would insist the holiday applied in Scotland,” a source close to the Chancellor, who revealed at the weekend that one of his best football memories was the goal that Paul Gascoigne scored for England against Scotland in Euro 96, said.

The Queen would not be the only member of the Royal Family to give the team the seal of approval of the House of Windsor. Prince William, the president of the FA and an ardent Aston Villa fan, will attend a match early in the competition. If England reach the final, plans are being made — subject to his schedule at Sandhurst — for him to be in Germany for the match.

Blair and Brown — and a clutch of Ministers with an eye on their majorities — may be on the same flight as the Prince, whose brother, Harry, may also seek a pass-out from Army duties. Even the Prince of Wales, who is more at home on the polo pitch than the football field, would do his best to attend.

The parade, which would involve Marble Arch, Regent Street, Haymarket and Trafalgar Square, could not be in starker contrast to 1966. Then, a few thousand gathered for an impromptu parade as the coach carrying the team returned along Edgware Road. Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister at the time, popped over to their hotel to offer a few words of congratulation.

The FA has decided to be low-key in public about the detailed planning going on behind the scenes, mindful of what happened to Arsenal last week. Islington Council put up signs giving details of a victory parade before the Champions League final against Barcelona, only for Arsenal to lose 2-1.

Adrian Bevington, the director of communications at the FA, said:

"We have no comment to make on any such plans. Our priority is to achieve success on the pitch in Germany. We certainly would not want to start tempting fate discussing any plans we may or may not have."

"There is no such hesitation by Germany. The host nation is so confident of success that the German football federation has booked hotel rooms in Berlin for use after the final."

Ugh! Sickening arrogance!

I love the line about not wanting to be "too presumptuous" yet they are already planning victory parades, state visits and pencilling in public holidays!

I'm going to give my support this year to Ireland's good friends the Aussies and I hope they have a great tournament. I hope England, Germany and the rest of the cocky countries are shown the door early!


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