Sports Letters: Nationalism of the Worst Kind
From Mrs S Steel, The Independent (London, England)
Sir: Football and nationalism - not exactly a novel topic. 'England', ie some officials from the English Football Association, cancel a match against 'Germany', ie 11 German football players; 'Germany', ie some officials from the German football association , cancel a match against 'Wales', ie 11 Welsh players, because these matches were stupidly arranged for the Fuhrer's birthday (a well- known date) and Rudolf Hess's birthday (it must have taken some digging to unearth this fact).
Of course, one could now go on digging. As the year has 365 days but there were/are many more than 365 old Nazis the neo-Nazis could turn into their heroes, there should never be a national or international football fixture.
But this is only the ridiculous aspect of the argument. The present outcry about nationalism - German nationalism, of course - and its relation to football is really a bit of a joke gone wrong.
The people who are now outraged - whether in Britain, Germany or any other country - are the very ones who have in the past done their utmost to equate football and nationalism. …