Well Euro 2016 isn’t even a week old and its already been a rip roaring ride both on and off the pitch. While the standard of football hasn’t yet reached the stratospheric echelons of the world cup two years ago there haven’t been too many dull moments especially in Lille where the Russians have been busy trying to take the mantle of neanderthal thugs of the decade from the English. While it’s many years since the English football hooligans could be guaranteed to be the party poopers, they still seem to have a small element hell bent on expressing some innate colonial machismo and basically thrashing anything in sight. However perhaps even the English hooligans have mellowed in their old age as they’ve been out-thugged by the Russians who collectively seem to be a couple of cans short of a six pack, continually rioting and turning the streets of Lille into a war zone threatening their own extradition and their team’s expulsion from the competition.
Meanwhile, the Irish fans… are having the party of all parties and its a joy to behold. No other nation on the planet embraces an opportunity to celebrate than the Irish. What are we celebrating? Anything and everything it seems! While the English and Russians have been turning French streets red with their running battles, online and print media has been full of wonderful stories of just how much fun the Irish are having. The anecdotes and videos of their antics are plenty. There’s the one where a train full of Irish fans serenade a nun with a rendition of Our Father. There’s the one where Irish fans help change a motorists tyre, another where they sing to a group of English fans, asking them not to riot. The stories and photos are coming thick and fast thanks to social media and its a credit to this nations fans that they are getting so much positive attention while other football fans revert to meaningless violence.
With our next game coming against the Belgians on Saturday, you have to think our French hosts will be hoping for an Irish win so as to increase the chances of our participation in Euro 2016 for a little bit longer especially if its followed by a good result against the Italians. Whatever happens on the pitch for the boys in green, win lose or draw, its fairly obvious we’ve already won off it. Come on you Fans in green!!