THE EU delivered a stunning jibe earlier England's decision successful the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, gloating that shot was staying successful "home the European Union", a notation to the well-loved 'Three Lions' track.
Euro 2020: Expert discusses media’s absorption successful Italy
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England's bid to extremity their 55-year hold for silverware was enactment to an extremity yesterday evening. The squad were defeated by a robust Italian side who, successful a punishment shootout, edged the effect with a 3-2 win. Italy were unbeaten successful 33 matches earlier the last and crept their mode backmost into the crippled aft Luke Shaw's second-minute opener.
While galore successful England proceed to mourn the loss, inactive much successful Europe observe the triumph that appears to person extended beyond sport.
Ahead of the final, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged her enactment for Italy contempt being a self-confessed 'Anglophile' who lived successful London arsenic a student.
Her location team, Germany, were knocked retired by England successful a 2-0 decision successful the circular of 16.
While the European Commission tries to enactment neutral during sporting competitions betwixt subordinate states, Brexit has influenced galore of the bloc's apical brass into affectional outbursts.
EU news: Margaritis Schinas issued the provocative connection up of the 2018 World Cup semi-finals (Image: GETTY)
Bukayo Saka: The 19-year-old missed the punishment that would person kept England successful the sprout retired (Image: GETTY)
In 2018, England, Belgium, Croatia and France reached the semi-finals of the World Cup.
At the time, the UK was successful the process of departing the EU, and successful a provocative statement, Jean-Claude Juncker's erstwhile spokesperson Margaritis Schinas quipped: "Football is staying location successful the European Union."
After England's semi-final against Croatia, Mr Juncker’s astir trusted adjutant Martin Selmayr issued a gloating solemnisation arsenic the Three Lions crashed out, posting a drawstring of shot emojis and EU flags conscionable aft the other clip defeat.
Italy: Crowds stitchery successful Rome arsenic the Italian shot squad get location (Image: GETTY)
During this year's European Championship campaign, EU figureheads repeatedly attempted to dissuade UEFA and FIFA from allowing the finals to beryllium held successful the UK for concerns implicit rising coronavirus cases.
Italian PM Mario Draghi went arsenic acold arsenic to telephone connected European football's governing assemblage to determination the lucifer elsewhere aft Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced 60,000 fans would beryllium successful attendance.
Mr Schinas, who is present a European commissioner, told the European Parliament that helium could not "personally" spot the consciousness of the semi-finals and last being hosted successful London.
He said: "I privation to stock my doubts astir the anticipation of organising the last and semi-finals astatine Wembley, successful a packed stadium, astatine a clip that the United Kingdom itself is limiting its citizens’ question to the European Union.
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Margaritis Schinas: The EU authoritative issued the provocative connection successful 2018 (Image: GETTY)
Ursula von der Leyen: The EU Commission President pledged her enactment for Italy up of the last (Image: GETTY)
"I deliberation UEFA needs to cautiously analyse this decision… a determination that needs to beryllium taken with afloat cognition of the facts."
Angela Merkel, the outgoing German Chancellor, besides appeared to marque efforts to thwart the UK's chances.
She rolled retired strict quarantine rules for travellers entering Germany, stirring fearfulness that those who played astatine Wembley successful the circular of 16 would not beryllium capable to play successful Germany successful the quarter-finals.
As DW.com noted astatine the time: "Unless UEFA negotiates an exception, this crippled would seemingly not beryllium capable to instrumentality spot arsenic planned. London's Wembley Stadium is hosting the semifinals and finals of the Euros.
Euro 2020: Italy person present won the tourney doubly (Image: Express Newspapers)
"Additionally, it would look that Germany players would person to quarantine for 2 weeks connected their instrumentality to Germany should they play successful the second stages successful London.
"There whitethorn beryllium different large knock-on effects for teams playing successful London and Glasgow who whitethorn extremity up playing successful Munich.
Angela Merkel: The German Chancellor attempted to thwart the finals being held successful the UK (Image: GETTY)
"Non-German residents are presently not allowed successful astatine each if coming from Britain."
However, Mr Draghi, Mr Schinas and Mr Mrs Merkel's efforts did not interaction the tournament.