I couldn't help it. In the end I bunked off work for the second half of the Wales Iran game. Let's take it on the chin, they deserved to beat us.
I even found myself warming to them when they hit either post and then had a shot saved within ten seconds. I admired the fortitude of the prone striker who was smiling ruefully to himself. They also endeared themselves to me by smiling whenever they were up to skulduggery that strictly should have had them up before the magistrate in the morning.
I also liked what I saw of their fans in the ground.
It does make me wonder about the effectiveness of sporting and cultural sanctions. Are they not perhaps worse than nothing, perpetuating the myth of the distant inscrutable Other?
Prodnose: The Other?
Myself: In phenomenology, the terms the Other and the Constitutive Other identify the other human being, in their differences from the Self, as being a cumulative, constituting factor in the self-image of a person; as acknowledgement of being real; hence, the Other is dissimilar to and the opposite of the Self, of Us, and of the Same.
Prodnose (looking like a fool): Oh yes. I see now.
It is just like Russia at the Euros in 2016 (passim). Why do we keep confusing the people with the regime? When Wales played them at the Euros (and won 3-0) in Toulouse there were no incidents at all between rival fans despite our tabloids droning on and on about the threat of the Kremlin's paramilitary Ultras.