A significant new initiative is being launched to stop all future internationals involving France (or Equipe F as they would be called if they followed the British way of speaking adopted during the Olympics where the UK became Team GB).
The French President Président de la République française one Nicolas Sarkozy has stated both categorically and without fear of any contradiction that if anyone dares to booooo the French National Anthem La Marseillaise (dum de dum dum dum dum dum…. de dum, dum de dum dum, dum de dum) at an international football match then the match will at once be abandoned.
What will happen then is that FIFA will deem the action of the President as an intrusion into football by governmental forces, and so will throw France out of all competitions and so there would be no more injuries to our boys (nos garcons) and we could get on with the real stuff of playing. Holland and Denmark can be dealt with separately.
The only things that could go wrong with the plan are
a) although boooooing the national anthem is not a crime in France that would not stop the Sûreté Nationale from locking me up for a week. But this is a price I am willing to pay for such an important step forwards. I am under a little bit of a handicap in that although I speak French I actually learned it in Algeria, and so am liable to be seen as an even more undesirable being, but I am sure they will let me out after a few years.
b) Although it is hard to imagine, it is just possible that FIFA might not stick by its own rules and might actually lie, lie and lie again (as the American judge famously put it when FIFA’s perfidy in its commercial dealings were revealed in court in December 2006). But no, I am sure that awfully nice Mr Blatter will do the right thing.
(Just to make it clear, I don’t have anything against France, or National Anthems. I just don’t like international football. Or FIFA. Or UEFA. Or Mr Blatter. My idea is that we should either stop country against country football totally, or else even it up a bit. We could have 12 teams for example, and the players in each team are selected according to their star sign. So there would be Cancer vs Capricorn etc etc. It would still give us international games, but at least they might be a bit more balanced.)
There’s more where this came from in my astonishing article in the new edition of Highbury High which of course is out on Saturday for £2. It includes everything you wanted to know about rock n roll, and the development of the remarkable sound of the Dandy Warhols. No, sorry, that’s the other magazine I do bits for.
I won’t see it til I pick up my copy on saturday, but if you are not going you can order by post from Highbury High, 11 Tannington Terrace, London N5 1LE
“Oh my aching heart” (and if you know what song that line comes from – over and over and over again, you ought to get out more even though they are one of the most stunningly brilliant bands in the known universe).