THERE are some news items which even hardened journalists wish were not true.
One such, surely, was yesterday's report that the English Football Association has decided it cannot risk commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster which decimated one of the greatest teams ever assembled by Manchester United. The FA had intended to call for observation of a one minute silence before England's game against Switzerland at Wembley on February 6 - the date on which a BEA Ambassador plane carrying the team of “Busby Babes” and many club officials crashed on take-off. Innocents among us may wonder what “risk” is involved. The answer is that the FA fear the silence would be broken by jeers or other abusive reactions from some elements in the Wembley crowd, including those who in the past have responded readily to calls to “stand up if you hate Man U”. Since Manchester United are arranging a number of commemorative events themselves it might be asked why the FA needed to become involved but, given that it had announced its intention to do so, its retreat in the face of crass ignorance and hooliganism makes one wonder what kind of people are England “supporters” these days. This game against Switzerland will be Fabio Capello's in charge of the English squad; he may also wonder what kind of country he has committed himself to that cannot honour a legendary football team of the past.


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