The Three Lions are on to a major tournament championship game for the first time since 1966 after advancing past Denmark in the semifinals of Euro 2020 (2021? Whatever) — but it isn’t without controversy. As team captain Harry Kane stepped up for a penalty kick in extra time, a green laser pointer was pointed at Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Schmeichel did initially save the penalty try by Kane, but as it rebounded back out in front of the goal, Kane was able to put his own rebound in the back of the net. It would be the deciding score, sending England through 2-1.
Isn’t it great having fans back at sporting events? The energy, the excitement, the noise — personally, I’m a big fan of it. Now if people could stop trying to fuck it up for the rest of us, that’d be great.
According to ESPN, UEFA said in a statement: “Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA EURO 2020 semifinal match between England and Denmark (2-1), played on 7 July at Wembley Stadium, London.”
Likely, the English team will be facing a fine, as teams are held responsible for their fans’ behavior.
After a year and a half of a global pandemic that halted all sports, pushing the Euros 2020 back a full year, I understand that the passionate national fan bases have been waiting a long time to be able to share in the experience of watching their beloved teams in competition. I also know that the Euros are a very, very big deal in Europe. I also also know that the English fanbase, which has been tormented by 55 years of anguish and agony and missed opportunities on the global stage is tired of waiting, and is willing to lay waste to their demons in international play by damn near any means necessary — but don’t do it like this.
The Mexican National Team is a prime example of fans being idiots. Last month, the team was sanctioned by FIFA for a homophobic chant used by fans during Mexico’s national team games, which has gone on for years. Fans have taken up the horrible tradition of chanting a rough translation of “gay prostitute” when the opposing goalkeeper puts the ball into play. As part of repeated punishments and warnings from FIFA, Mexico now must play two of its 2022 home World Cup qualifier games without fans in attendance. Not only that, but they might make their women’s team serve part of the punishment for behavior they weren’t even involved in, because of course the women’s team gets the short end of the stick, as always.
No, the English team is not facing a situation as severe as that of Mexico, but fans need to be aware that their actions can have a negative impact on the team that they claim to be supporting. Fines, sanctions, loss of points, and exclusion from tournaments are all within the realm of possibilities if soccer’s governing bodies do not believe that fans can control themselves and abide by the rules that are put in front of them.
It is the selfishness of few that can ruin it for the many. For England, who has finally made it back to a major tournament championship game, their fans must keep it together and stop detracting from the wonderful run their team is making. Lock it up, England.