Those Islamic perverts don’t know what they are playing with. They think they can ban the sale of beer at or near World Cup stadiums and get away with it.
We’ll see about that, say England’s fans. Not letting an Englishman drink his regulation ten pints during a football match is like not letting a Muslim face Mecca at prayer. A sacrilegious slap in the face.
But not to worry. England fans, such as those in the photograph, are too smart to be thwarted by a bunch of goatherds. They may have to modify their sacred football ritual, but that only means taking a different route to the same destination. They’ll get there one way or another.
The match day ritual, as practised in the absence of Third World constraints, is as rigid as the Order of the Mass, except the spirits involved aren’t exactly holy. This is how it goes.
Get up early in the morning, say around noon, have a restorative half and a bacon sarnie. Ring all your mates, those you think may be already awake. Agree on the choice of pub for the pre-match warm-up session.
Go to the chosen location some two hours before kick-off. Have four or five pints and perhaps a shot or two. Spill out onto the pavement, one hand on the half-empty glass, the other assisting public urination.
Cast a quick glance around, zip up, wave at the cops looking on with an expression of avuncular indulgence. Scan the area for any stray fans of the other team, in the knowledge that their self-preservation instinct will probably keep them away from your usual haunts.
Walk to the stadium, your arms around your mates, your mouth belting out the team song and some stock chants, such as “We win home and away, we win every fucking way” or any other, provided they each contain at least one F-word.
Don’t be a stickler for tune and key – they don’t matter. What does matter is that you and your mates walk in quadruple file, pushing non-football pedestrians out of the way. As you do, say things like “Oi”, “You what, mate?”, “Watcha lookin’ at?” or “Watch where you goin’, you [install your favourite obscenity]”.
Once in the stadium, start on the sacramental ten pints, spacing them evenly through the 90 minutes of regulation time, plus a 15-minute interval at halftime, plus however many minutes the ref (whom you loudly identify as a wanker throughout) adds for the players rolling on the grass in faked agony to get an opponent sent off.
Some five minutes before the final whistle join your mates in pointing at the opposition fans with your arm outstretched in the manner of the Nazi salute, but with the index finger stuck out. Start edging towards the exit to make sure you have the choice of the best battlefield for the subsequent hostilities.
Once you and your mates have closed ranks and vomited excess weight on the ground to make yourselves more mobile, you are ready to engage the opposition fans as they come out.
However, the clash may be delayed by mutual consent, as you agree to proceed to another location where there’s less danger of the ‘filth’ breaking up the fisticuffs. One way or the other, have a nice punch up, leaving blood, teeth and residual vomit on the ground.
Retreat to a pub or, better still, an Indian restaurant. Have another couple of pints and a vindaloo, call the waiter a ‘Paki’, break a plate or two, pay your bill and try to get out before the ‘filth’ arrive. If you are still mobile, that is.
Admittedly, your Qatari hosts (remember to refer to them as either ‘Muzzies’ or ‘towelheads’) have maliciously disrupted your standard routine with their Sharia extremism. But they don’t know what they are in for.
Yes, you’ll have to introduce some changes. Specifically, you’ll now have to tank up fully before the match and top up after it, while staying dry (except inside your trousers) in between.
However, that means you’ll have a score to settle with the locals before the match, and, after a dozen pints or so, you’ll be in the right condition to do so. If the locals hide in coffee houses along your route to the stadium, you can draw them out by tossing outside chairs through the windows.
This knowing that you may be outnumbered in the subsequent mêlée. But the English were also outnumbered in the battles of Crécy and Agincourt, which didn’t prevent their victory. You may not have heard of those clashes, but the same indomitable spirit lives on in your breast.
There the English relied on the longbow, a weapon that caught the French unawares. In your turn, you’ll be able to flummox those coffee drinkers by throwing punches with a clenched fist, a technique rare in the Arab world.
Win, lose or draw, you can wipe your bloodied nose and proceed to the stadium. Once there, start chanting “If it wasn’t for England, you’d all be Krauts”, and – since England’s first opponent is Muslim Iran – “Get your face out for the lads” or “You’re Shiite and you know it”. Don’t forget “Ref’s a wanker”, treat it as a refrain after each new verse.
Then walk back beyond the red line separating the dry area from the boozy one. You may be shedding bodies along the way, lost to drink or scuffles with the locals and the towelheaded filth. But nothing will diminish your pride, patriotism and capacity for beer, even at a tenner a pint.