Euro 2020: Ministers warned not to use phrase ‘it’s coming home’ as it does not ‘go down well overseas’

‘I know we’re swimming against the tide, but we know this does not go down well overseas’

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Saturday 10 July 2021 09:51
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Today's daily politics briefing

Ministers are being encouraged not to use the phrase ‘It’s Coming Home’ when supporting the England football team, with officials warning it does not “go down well overseas”.

In a briefing note — leaked ahead of the England versus Italy final of the Euro 2020 championship — the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), however, conceded it was “swimming against the tide”.

It also highlighted the government’s bid to jointly host the 2030 World Cup with Ireland, adding that “strategically we need to do all we can to make ourselves welcoming to football authorities”.

The warning not to use the phrase ‘It’s Coming Home’ — taken from the Lightning Seeds’ Euro 96 anthem ‘Three Lions’ — appeared in an email circulated by DCMS and leaked to Politics Home.

“As stressed before, please do encourage your ministers not to use ‘It’s Coming Home’ with the news media and social media,” it states.

“I know we’re swimming against the tide, but we know this does not go down well overseas — and strategically we need to do all we can to make ourselves welcoming to football authorities when the UK and Ireland is scoping out a bid for the 2030 World Cup.”

However, the contents of the email do not appear to have reached Boris Johnson and other senior ministers’ inboxes, who have liberally used a version of the phrase in recent weeks to celebrate England’s progress through to the Euro 2020 final.

After England defeated Denmark in the semi-final at Wembley stadium on Wednesday evening, the prime minister posted on social media: “Now to the final. Let’s bring it home”.

Tweeting her congratulations at Gareth Southgate’s England squad, the home secretary, Priti Patel, posted “#it’scominghome” ahead of the semi-final, quickly followed by: “Football’s coming home”.

It comes as calls grow for the public to be given one-off bank holiday if England emerges victorious in the final on Sunday evening, with over 300,000 people signing a petition.

No 10 have not ruled out an extra bank holiday, but earlier this week Downing Street said it will set out any celebrations, such as a victory parade for the England team “in due course”.

“I don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of Sunday’s match,” the prime minister’s spokesman said. “Clearly we want England to go all the way and win the final, and then we will set out our plans in due course.”

The Independent has contacted DCMS for comment.

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