Most of the current England team weren’t born the last time England reached the semifinals in Italia 90, 28 years ago.
All Brits, euphoric, sang, wrote and spoke to the lyrics of Three Lions, a 1996 song by the English band The Lightning Seeds, celebrating the English team in the European Championships that same year. Here’s what some British Muslims said:
“Please excuse me… I don’t mean to disturb you but I must remark that FOOTBALL IS COMING HOME. Thank you for your kind patience. #BritishPoliteness”
– Muhammad Negm
“Football is coming home tonight.”
“When I watch football I’m such a good luck charm, they win!!”
“It’s coming home, it’s coming home it’s coming, football’s coming home! #YeahISaidIt #ThreeLions”
– Oladotun Aminu
“Home. Coming. It’s. Football.”
– Mabrur Ahmed
“Football’s coming home … Football’s coming home … yessssssss !!!!!!”
– Afzal Akram
“Football’s coming home! Come on England.”
– Jamil Choudhury
“Yes England! First time in the Semis since Italia 90. It’s wonderful how a game of football can bring such joy! #SWEENG #ENGSWE”
– Sarah Joseph
There is of course another side to football, touched on by Michelle Ahmed who, while citing a report by the National Centre for Domestic Violence which points to an increase in violence towards women up by 26% when England play and, up by 38% when England lose a game, wrote,
“Intuitively I never gone for a guy thats football obsessed …..but on a serious note, can’t believe there’s a correlation between domestic violence & these games ….how frightening is that?!”
Meanwhile others such as Shama Rahman, commenting on the slow start wondered, “Is this football or wrestling?”
Of course not everyone is a fan of the spot. Sabia Kamali said, “Nowhere in this world to escape football,” and Dilruba Wadud went further adding, “Everyone seems to miraculously become experts in all things football when the World Cup is on…. Meanwhile I’m like…. This is me. Not Caring Who Wins Football Games.”
And in a casual political jab, Sahira Khan commented, “Finally an Islamic country won, Well done #England #Football” observing how so many view England to be a more ‘Islamic’ country than many other nations as Muslims have better access to (Islamic) rights and freedoms in the UK than in many other countries.
Whatever a person’s position with regards to football, the semi-finals take place on Wednesday between England and Croatia.
Should England make it through, we can see even greater excitement from British Muslims for whom the sport is a wonderful way of relaxing and being a part of our society.