A Scottish newspaper has ruffled feathers south of the border by declaring support for Italy in the Euro 2020 final over England.
The Saturday edition of The National, a Glasgow-based paper backed Roberto Mancini and his team in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, depicting the Italy manager as Scottish national hero William Wallace, who triumphed over the English in the late-13th century.
The headline pleaded with Mancini to lead his team to victory in order to avoid another 55 years of the English “banging on” about an international tournament victory.
Many online saw the funny side, but others accused the paper of being bitter, with some even outraged at the thought that the front page could whip up anti-English sentiment in Scotland.
“I understand Scotland not supporting England, you can’t really expect them to. But it’s ridiculous how far the Scottish Press will go to spread hate and division just to get scotland out the union. Literally exact same thing Nigel Farage did in Brexit,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another described the front page as “embarrassing” and “Anti-Englishness at its worst,” adding:. “The mask has well and truly slipped, I’m a proud Scot but I hope Southgate and the boys bring it home tomorrow and give our neighbours and friends south of the border a great thing to celebrate.”
But others saw it as “hilarious” and “harmless football rivalry”.
One comment on Twitter said: “Don't be thin skinned about it. Thinking you're entitled to the support of Scots / Welsh is perhaps why so many of them want you to get beaten!
“I for one welcome the return of the National‘s photoshopped banter front pages,” said another.
Another drew comparison with a video of Boris Johnson surrounded by England flags, waving an England flag, wishing the team good luck. “Aye, but that front page of The National was too much,” he wrote.
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