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Russia Ties England: British Sportsmanship Just a Loser

Russia's Vasili Berezutski
Russia's Vasili Berezutski with a humble celebration of a miracle © Sputnik/ Виталий Белоусов

With Britain in control throughout last night's Euro 2016 Group B match, a miraculous goal by Russia's Vasili Berezutski goal shocked England. Eric Dier's free kick spike is negated, and Roy Hodgson's side was left staring into the stands in what had to be symbolic Karma. 

A lackluster performance by England, which was being broadcast by BBC as some kind of Wayne Rooney, ends up with a stunned crowd at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille. England was shattered when Russia’s captain, Vasili Berezutski, scored a late header to punish the highly touted Brits. As magnificent as the closing header into England's gate was, BBC's typical hype all throughout the match sickened even the German fans watching from our offices in Trier. "Rooney is dominating", was chanted over and over all during a 0-0 match where a strong Russia defense, somehow made up for no offense by the injury stricken team of coach Leonid Slutsky. 

Now that England has tied where a win was assured by Brit sportscasters, BBC and the rest harp on fan conflict, as if football were ever a fluffy sport. News of the England side fleeing in terror from alleged Russian football fanatics, only cements what has always been wrong with England football - excuses and poor sportsmanship nearly always end in defeat. 

Anybody who knows anything about football (soccer) knows hooliganism is just part of the game. Any reader can do a Google search, and find every nationality of fighting fans beating one another to a blood pulp over their favorite teams. So, some Russian enthusiasts in fisticuffs with their British counterparts, at a Europe championship? 


You get the point, I know. Football fights and hooliganism are essentially a British invention, in case you did not know. Often called the "English Disease", Brit hooliganism resulted in the so-called Heysel Stadium disaster at Brussels, Belgium, in 1985, where rioting led to the death of 39 Juventus fans. After that horrendous sports catastrophe, English clubs were banned from all European competitions until 1990. Russia's version, not unlike the Ukraine or other Eastern European variants, is no less unsportsmanlike, but just like the soccer match was a tie, so too the fannatical violence off the field should simply be written off as "normal abnormality", rather than some politcal football for west and east to vie over. 

Finally, the problem I have with UK sports is the mediocrity that is fostered by abnormally biased reporting. What BBC announcers whine and bitch about on TV, echoes into the lockerooms of the teams. The effect of constant excuse making is so apparent, for anybody who has ever donned athletic shoes. If England wins, might Zeus himself crowns each-and-every-player or water boy on the teams. If England loses, the sun was in the wrong position, the ball was deflated, or fear of Vladimir Putin marching onto the field caused unfair advantage. England is pitiful, this is what I am saying. 

In Latin America Torcidas Organizadas confrontations often turn brutal

Summing up, as we gathered here in Germany to watch this match, most believed Russia would fail to match up with England. Somehow though, something in the air smelled different this time. As the beer mugs clinked and the chatter turned to "oohs and ahhhs", a cool breeze of possibility crept in. As the announcers on England's biggest TV channel urged Rooney and company on, "domination" quickly became impotency. While sportscasters proclaim England's ball control as some kind of supremecy, the facts are altogether different. If the truth is told, Russia did not even have to defend against all that much. The Russian team, with Messe or Niemar for 120 seconds, would have massacred England 3-1. Last night was not a tie, it was a message of victory, on the field, and apparently in the streets too. God help England if Russia does invade, half the country will drown trying to swim away. 

Sorry, but I hate bad sports. BBC and the rest should forget about crazy football fanaticism England created in the first place, and focus on being good sports and better footballers. 

End of story.