Latin America & Caribbean

England fans accept inevitable World Cup disappointment

A disappointed England fan leaves Arena de Sao Paulo stadium after the defeat against Uruguay (19 June 2014)
Many fans may well be wondering whether the journey to Brazil was worth it

England are not the first team to face imminent exit from the 2014 World Cup but unlike Spain, England's poor showing has been much less of a surprise.

I spoke to several England fans as they trudged out of Sao Paulo's brand-new stadium but rather than anger the overwhelming feeling was resignation at the inevitable disappointment.

Although England is mathematically still in the tournament, few fans thought their team deserved to stay in. And having spent several thousand pounds to get here, those same fans will soon be heading home wondering if it was all worth it.

England supporters made plenty of noise inside the Itaqerao Stadium but they were outshouted and outnumbered by the Sky Blue fans of Uruguay.

Nemesis

Uruguay is a country of only three million (compared to about 50 million in England) but the self-belief and confidence of their fans in Sao Paulo were infectious.

England supporters at the World Cup Group D match between Uruguay and England at Arena de Sao Paulo in Brazil (19 June 2014)
England fans seem to have enjoyed their World Cup experience - even if the chances are that it will soon come to a termination
A fan of the England football team lies on the platform of Pedro II Metro station after Uruguay"s 2-1 victory over England (19 June 2014)
It looks as if England are down and out of yet another World Cup tournament
An England flag is seen on the stands during the World Cup game against Uruguay at the Arena de Sao Paulo (19 June 2014)
Repeated disappointments are part of the package when it comes to being an England fan
Raheem Sterling (left) is substituted by Ross Barkley
England's young players such as Raheem Sterling (right) and Ross Barkley did not deliver the goods against Uruguay

Like their team on the pitch, England fans were almost resigned to their fate. Ironically, of course, it was a man who makes his living in England and plays alongside many of the England players who proved to be their nemesis here in Brazil.

The back and front pages of the visceral English press will make much of how Liverpool's Luis Suarez inevitably and almost poetically brought about England's downfall.

That is what being a football supporter is all about and when you are an England fan disappointment is very much part of the package.

These England players and supporters are unlikely to return to Brazil so (being on the verge of) going out after just a week of the World Cup must feel like very short change.

My team, Wales, has alas not qualified for a major football tournament for more than 50 years.

So while I am sorry that yet again another England World Cup campaign looks like ending prematurely, at least they were able to enjoy their Brazilian adventure while it lasted.

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