The English team will play in the final of the European Championships. HS correspondent Annamari Sipilä, as an incompletely integrated immigrant, only became a supporter of England after stubbornly supporting Finland.
Football is the most watched sport in the world, but I’ve always wondered how people have enough time for it. My personal favorite is athletics and the final of the hundred-meter run. After watching the women’s and men’s finals, life is only about twenty seconds away and one can focus again on arranging the linen closet.
On Sunday, the final of the European Football Championship will be played in my hometown of London. The England team is in the final, which is great. I just don’t understand why the crowd hinted that England’s success was now the best since the 1966 World Cup. After all, the English team played in the finals of the European Championships as recently as 2009. The Games were held in Finland. England won silver, and Germany won. Oh yeah, they were just women.
In England men’s football is a bit like men’s hockey in Finland: a mass sport. Finnish English football hi-fiers are again a bit like the English rugby audience: not the very first to rush a shirt to the market and fall into a fountain in their face. In England, class society is reflected in sport. Football is a traditional type of workforce, rugby more middle-class.
In the snobistic prototype, the top English footballer is an overpaid player with a furious long-haired wife and ten cars. In the footballer’s millionaire’s house, the Ceauşescu scale combines a Tudor-style exterior with a golden faucet. Of course, there are those who profile in a different way, feed poor children and set up charities.
Will Sunday’s game show up on the streets of London? Depends on where Metropolia lives. However, it is certain that this Sunday will be the only day of the year – and, according to statistics, half a century – when a red-and-white English flag can be waving in a middle-class suburb without English neighbors looking behind their curtains and not saying goodbye in the future. It is not appropriate to live in national spirit in public. It can lower the value of a property.
As a Finn of course I supported the Finnish team as long as the joy lasted. As an eternal and stubborn supporter of Finland, I would never pass the so-called Tebbit cricket test. The concept becomes a conservative politician Norman Tebbitin from the infamous utterance of 1990. According to Tebbit, those immigrants who moved to England and still support the cricket teams of their countries of origin have not integrated, i.e. adapted properly, to Britain.
I don’t think anyone who has moved to the country as an adult can ever be fully integrated. Finns are not required to do so in England. The reason, of course, is that when culture and way of life are already similar enough, small differences only become spicy. Many familiar Englishmen already had time to be proud that he also supports the Finnish team. I put some on the spike of the guest choir, some like to sit on the side of the underdog.
After Finland fell, I naturally started to support the English team. I even went to a local market to flaunt myself an English three-lion jersey. However, there was an unfortunate amount of polyamide on the shirt. In support of England, there is part visitor chorus, part settling on the side of the underdog. The main reason is this: if you live voluntarily in a foreign country, it is appropriate to be in solidarity on an important day. Beat on, English!