Friday, January 12, 2007

Football crazy

March 2007 will be a month of carnivals, concerts and parties across much of Brussels . The EU hopes to win over the affection of its citizens by showing "it can dance" (Uh-oh: cue dad-on-the-dancefloor style embarrassment).

The celebrations are to mark the Union's 50th birthday and all EU countries are taking part. Italy is holding a youth summit, 27 clubs in Berlin are holding a mass all-night rave and the French and Belgians are hosting big concerts.

Until today we wondered how the occasion would be marked in the UK. Let's face it, it was always going to be unlikely that the EU would be able to attract hordes of "prommers" to wave starred flags and bounce around the Albert Hall to Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

Still, we were a bit surprised to find out that it plans to celebrate it with a football match - the EU vs Man United. After all - football is hardly famous for "uniting" Europeans - particularly in England. Jose Barroso tells us that:

"The best of European football will be on show at the “Theatre of Dreams” in Manchester next March, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the European Union. There is no better way to showcase the European Union at 50 than through Europe’s favourite sport that unites Europeans in a unique way, through a passion we all share and a language we all speak."

Perhaps they are hoping that by playing arguably the most hated team in Britain the EU will actually get some British support - even if it's only for an evening...

But this will not be the EU's last adventure into the world of football. As part of its ever expanding search to "re-connect" with its citizens by championing populist causes, the EU has identified football as an area for action. It wants to bring football under EU control - making national leagues report to UEFA - and will introduce wage and transfer caps. Watch this space...

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Come off it lads - Chelsea are obviously hated loads more than Man U - you lot are living in the late 1990s.