Not qualifying for Euro2008 - as it happened in Greece

 by Martin Belam, 23 November 2007

I already had one Euro2008 slap in the face when UEFA didn't grant me any tickets to return to Salzburg to watch a couple of games staged in a place where, this time last year, I was living.

And then there was the Croatia game.

Scott Carson

The comedy of errors here in Crete was nowhere near as bad as Scott Carson's competitive debut, but I thought I should share. According to the Athens News, Greek channel ΝΕΤ were showing the game at 23:00 our time - a one hour delay after kick-off in London. This was confirmed by sporting TV bible Liveonsat.

I decided not to go out, but instead see if I could con the BBC's Geo-IP system that I was in the UK and listen to online commentary. Failing that, I would, Terry & Bob style, turn off the internet, switch off my phone, and watch the game not knowing the score.

Plan A failed, so I patiently waited for the game to come on TV. The previous programme, Εχαντας over-ran by 35 minutes, and then, instead of the football, the movie "King Arthur" appeared. Perhaps ΝΕΤ knew I was going to be having a bad night and tried to show me something patriotic instead. All of which meant that by the time I'd got my computer and dial-up connection fired up, England were already out of Euro2008. I suppose it at least saved me some nail-biting.

I spotted a couple of things in the UK's online press today about England's exit that amused and horrified me to various degrees.

In The Sun, Steve Howard called it English football's darkest night.

English football's darkest hour in The Sun

Call me old-fashioned, but what with people actually dying, I suspect that Heysel probably claims that title.

The BBC has frequently been criticised for allowing user-generated comments to stay published because the moderators don't understand the historical context of particular postings. I saw today that The Telegraph has the same issue, as they have inexplicably left up a comment saying that Croatia's victory was payback for atrocities committed following British military actions at the end of the Second World War. Most un-Telegraph, I would have thought.

Difficult comment on The Telegraph site

And surely I could be forgiven for being disappointed that it wasn't about the F.A. and the England team when I clicked on the promo for the Alice Miles article in The Times titled "Idiots. Utter, unbelievable, jaw-dropping, unpardonable idiots".

Promo for Alice Miles article in The Times

At least Greece have qualified...

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