I’ve lived in England for eight years now, I’m 26 and thus I have spent more than a third of my life in England (more specifically, 4/13s). However, I’m not English, nor will I ever be. I grew up in Norway, I’m Norwegian, and proud to be. So why does it come as such a surprise to people when I explain to them that I don’t support England?
It’s fair to say that I know one or two English United fan, some of which support England, some of which do not. But when it comes to social networking sites it appears to me that so many of the people going gaga about England, like me, aren’t English. I understand why some English United fans don’t support England. I also understand those who do. What I don’t understand are those who support a country in a competition with the same passion that they would show their club team, especially when their own country is also in the competition.
Maybe I am missing something??
Maybe England as a team are just that ‘special’ that they rile up that kind of passion in people…except really they’re not are they? I’ll admit that there was a period when I was younger, ironically before I moved to England, when if England were in an international competition I would have a weak spot for them. Of course at the time half of the starting eleven were Reds, and henceforth my weakness developed. After years of those players being blamed for England’s failings as a team, my weakness has not just diminished but been turned to hatred. And it has gotten to the point where I wish for Germany to win it all, simply because the English seem to rather dislike them.
I struggle to support Norway in international competitions (admittedly, our presence has been rare), unlike in the nineties when most of our team were players that I loved and/or respected, they have since had a fair share of players I despise. And whilst I’m always happy to see the team do well (which is rare), I can’t passionately support them. England’s share of players I despise is a very long list…they are players that the team I support play against throughout the club season, they are players who play for teams that I hate, who conduct themselves in ways which I detest. So why, considering once again that I am not English, should I have any desire whatsoever to support them???
My hatred for the likes of Steven Gerrard and John Terry isn’t going to diminish if they take off one shirt and put on another. I’m not going to want to boo either player any less just because they mouth God Save the Queen before kick-off. In essence, I just couldn’t bring myself to support someone I despise in any way, shape or form…at any point in my life in regards to anything.
So why do people try to make me?
I have been told several times that as I am not English, I shouldn’t be entitled to an opinion on whether or not you can support United as well as England. Of course telling me that I cannot have an opinion in regards to anything simply makes me develop stronger opinions, even when there were no opinions there to start with! I have a brain and it’s a stubborn one, and thus I can have an opinion on pretty much anything I wish to. I know I couldn’t support England were I English, because I struggle to support my country whose players I despise far less…whose country I love far more. So you cannot tell me that I have no right to an opinion, just like you cannot tell me which team to support.
I don’t tell people to support United. You don’t choose a football club, it chooses you…be it by pure attraction, lust, falling in love, or being brought up in its loving arms. And you cannot choose the country you derive from. So rather than the English (and the wannabe English) continually telling me that I need to support England, consider the English support as a whole and ask yourself whether you would be happy being at an England game being surrounded by people that weren’t English, and didn’t reside in England.
England are not an extension of United.
They represent an FA that has done nothing but show unfair treatments towards our players. They represent fans who will turn on our players when England deservedly leave a competition as well as boo them during games. And managers who would rather have John Terry as captain ahead of Rio Ferdinand…or who would play Paul Scholes, arguably one of the best midfielders in English history, out of position to facilitate lesser players. So why would I support England? I’m not English by birth right or ancestry, and quite frankly I’m glad of it. There is no reason for me to support England, except that I am being told to…by English as well as foreign England fans.
Fortunately, I never was one to succumb to peer pressure. Instead I shall remain on the side-lines waiting for the despair…as England fans put another exit out of a competition down to Rooney doing something naughty, or Ashley Young not being naughty enough and procuring dodgy penalties.
Good luck England, I wish you all the best (I may just be saying that)…But PLEASE…by all means…don’t try to involve me anymore.