(July 11, revised July 19) – The world has been saved from an England-France Brexit final at the 2018 World Cup, renditions of “Three Lions” and “Rule Britannia” in the stadiums, and the tsunami of British chauvinism unashamedly embraced by the Canadian media.
What goes around, comes around. The dodgy English threw their final match in the opening round with Belgium back on June 28 with the pretext of resting players and avoiding injuries for the Round of 16. “Sometimes, you have to make decisions with the bigger picture, and that’s what I did tonight,” rationalized head coach Gareth Southgate at the time – as if the decision was his and his alone. That “bigger picture” seems to have included getting a better draw in the knockout stage, that is, to avoid Brazil and therein build the size of the betting pool, the TV market, the revenues of the English Football Association, and a “hearts and minds” diversion from the Brexit crisis at home – giving a new definition to match fixing and a level playing field. Such are the elastic ethics of England. Continue reading