Watching the England game in the pub on Saturday, we saw Wayne Rooney score that goal, and a predictable cheer went up. When the replays were going on I looked around me and was surprised at what I saw.
In response to one of the less explicable pieces of goalkeeping I can remember (it looked for all the world as though the Macedonian ‘keeper could have stretched out his arm and saved fairly easily, instead of which he seemed to shy away from the ball), people around me seemed to be making hand signals to each other and laughing. Some were doing the back half of the ‘walk like an Egyptian’ dance, which I believe is supposed to signify what’s known as a backhander. Others were theatrically and repeatedly putting their hands in their back pockets. Still more were rubbing their fingers together in a sort of ‘money’ sign. All seemed to be laughing.
I don’t think anyone really thought that the Macedonians had been bribed to lose (or if they did, they surely had no evidence) but the glee with which they seemed to suggest corruption seemed to indicate a rather different attitude to old-fashioned stout English fair play than some would have us believe.