Team GB’s men’s football team made their debut last night and drew 1-1 with Senegal. The whole construction of the team was dogged by politics and disputes between the different football associations, mainly due to the fact the FAW (Wales) and the SFA (Scotland) were both a little concerned that FIFA might use this to try and get rid of them, or something.
But all seemed to have been sorted and a team was put forward, to be captained by Wales’ Ryan Giggs.
Now a fresh controversy has bubbled up because Giggs, along with fellow Welshman and goalscorer Craig Bellamy didn’t sing along to the anthem, “God Save The Queen”.
Similarly, two Scots who play for the women’s team, Ifeoma Diek and Kim Little, also didn’t join in with the sing along.
They’ve got slammed for it being branded “un-British” but the thing is, as a Welshman myself I totally understand where they’re coming from. I’d happily represent Britain in the unlikely event of being asked and am (generally) proud of being British, but if I was stood there and “God Save The Queen” started playing I probably wouldn’t join in.
The thing is, while its the British anthem its also the English anthem, which is something I think they need to sort out at some point. It just doesn’t seem fair for the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh players to have to sing the anthem of a country they have a pre-existing rivalry with. Ah, just discovered that NI actually use “God Save The Queen” anyway, which is just baffling.
Anyway, I’ve long held the belief that GB should get a separate anthem, maybe they could use “Land of Hope and Glory” or maybe a whole new composition, because “God Save The Queen”, as its used by England and NI separately, doesn’t seem to be an inclusive one for all the different parts of Britain. Its already linked and belonging to them and means that to athletes from Scotland or Wales its not “their” anthem at all, and rather the anthem of a different country.
I’d imagine much of the complaining came from English fans, and I think that’s because to them its not an issue. So to them I just have one question, would you join in singing along to “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” or “Flower of Scotland”?
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.