Olympic uproar as Welsh and Scots refuse to sing 'God Save the Queen'
British Olympics chiefs are reported by the media to be “furious” after Welsh and Scottish players with the “Team Great Britain” soccer squads did not sing “God Save the Queen” in official ceremonies before kick-off.
Welsh players Craig Bellamy, Joe Allen, Neil Taylor and team captain Ryan Giggs all remained tight-lipped during the anthem ahead of the July 28 match with United Arab Emirates.
On July 25, it was noted that Scotland's Kim Little and Ifeoma Dieke also did not sing it at the women's soccer match with New Zealand. The family of Kim Little said she had made a personal decision not to sing the anthem because “she is Scottish”.
The fifth verse of “God Save the Queen”, though rarely sung in modern times, still includes the line “rebellious Scots to crush” despite objections by Scots.
The controversy comes just days after a London 2012 spokesperson was forced to apologise to Welsh-speaker Joe Allen after he had been incorrectly listed as English in an official match program.
Olympic silver medalist and former javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread (that's Fatima Whitbread MBE, Member of the British Empire) criticised Scottish and Welsh footballers who did not sing the anthem: “I think it’s a poor show if you are competing under a British flag and you don't feel proud to be British.
“It's fine for you to believe in Scottish independence and to have your own beliefs — there has always been a bit of a rivalry — but if you are competing under a British flag you need to feel British.”
Kim Little's grandfather, William Little, hit back: “It's the national anthem of England, and she is Scottish. It is her decision and I support it 100%. I would have done the same. In my personal view I would like to see a Scotland team at the Olympics.”
Scots and Welsh athletes have no choice but to compete under the “Team GB” flag if they want to achieve possibly the pinnacle of their career by performing in the Olympics.
Meanwhile, ex-Everton and former Wales international goalkeeper Neville Southall (named as one the “100 Greatest Players of the 20th Century” by World Soccer magazine) questioned the decision of Welsh players to compete on behalf of “Team GB” at all: “What flag are they going to put up if they win? The Union Jack? It's not my flag. My flag's the dragon.”
Conservative wannabe MP, publisher of Total Politics magazine and talk show host on London's LBC radio, Iain Dale, tweeted: “Getting sick and tired of these Welsh idiots who seem to think that the national anthem is only for the English. Small minded and petulant.”
Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire (who is English and an avowed republican) tweeted his support for the rebels: “Good for Ryan Giggs not singing that ridiculous imperial dirge to privilege aka 'God Save the Queen'. Seated silent solidarity from Wembley.”
[Reprinted from An Phoblacht, newspaper of Irish republican party Sinn Fein.]