Veteran war correspondent, Kate Adie, may need to book a plane ticket to France as Russian, English and French fans continue to insult and assault each other.
Now before I go on, I have no doubt that the majority of trouble has been instigated by the well organised hooligan element from Russia. I’m sure the majority of fans attending the games don’t feel the need to pack mouth-guards and batons!
The English fans – guilty and innocent – are merely paying for decades of reckless behaviour throughout Europe. The sad thing is, that while the English authorities have always condemned such behaviour, their counterparts in Moscow seem to get off on it. Chest beating and praise could be seen on the social media accounts of prominent Russian politicians earlier this week.
Which brings me to the main point of this article; the World Cup should be stripped from Russia to ensure the safety of genuine football fans at the tournament. I did, however, find it quite humorous to read England fans clambering for this punishment during the week. 20 years ago England hosted Euro 1996, months after the Lansdowne Road riots during a friendly match against the Republic of Ireland.
Russia need to be put in their place and part of me hopes that the hooligans act up again and that the football governing bodies have no choice but to act.
On a more positive note, the Irish fans – so far – have behaved impeccably. I’m delighted to see so many from Roscommon and surrounding areas have enjoyed themselves in France. I hope that continues and that alcohol is consumed responsibly.
Bórd Fáilte may want to consider using their marketing budget to pay off fans’ Credit Union loans. They’ve been a terrific advertisement for this island – north and south.