Football fans dressed as ‘Crusaders’ have been banned from England’s World Cup quarter-final showdown with France.
December 10th’s meeting of the two old enemies brought memories of the 1415 Battle of Agincourt flooding back. The battle, which brought victory to Henry V’s English Crusaders Army,.took place 607 years ago, around the same time England last won the world cup.
“Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’’ goes Henry V’s rallying cry in Shakespeare’s eponymous play of 1598. Which tells the story of the great victory over the French. After removing the reference to
Harry (Sorry Meghan), the rest of Henry’s roaring speech still holds true. Especially for fans going to all the time and expense of travelling to Qatar dressed as invading English soldiers.
It’s called fun
The English are, of course, known for causing offence to anyone and everyone,. usually without even knowing they are doing it. It is highly unlikely for example, that the handful of fat, English plumbers, posties,.and other assorted white van men, who have sat at home with their WAGS putting together their ‘fancy soldier’s dress’ out of old bedsheets, corrugated cardboard, and Bacofoil, have any enmity towards the French, the Qataris, or any other race of people. It’s just that supporting your national football team at the World Cup is supposed to be fun.
Take for example the Senagalese, whom England played in the last 16 of the tournament. Their fans impressively played an orchestra of warring Djembe drums from the first minute of the match to the last, led by one gentleman dressed as a tribal warrior who seemingly would be more than capable of tearing off the head of an Englishman before he could say “Come on old boy, this is all just a storm in a teacup!”
Surely, no offence should be taken where none is intended? The World Cup is a football festival of colour, noise and excitement – and fancy dress for all!