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Why Euro 2016 Might Be The End Of The 'Craic' For A Generation

Why Euro 2016 Might Be The End Of The 'Craic' For A Generation
By Conor Neville
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Many Irish football fans are labouring under a curious affliction this weather. An unfamiliar emotion which psychoanalysts have dubbed 'optimism'.

Most supporters are acting gung-ho about the next set of World Cup qualifiers, in which the top seeds in our group are Wales.

As many a history-minded pundit has said before, 'they won't hold any fear for us'. The Austrians are a long-standing bogey team of ours but they were exposed as flops this summer. Meanwhile, the Serbians didn't even qualify.

Listen to the Euros Racket below: 

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Without wishing to sound over-confident, it's fair to say at this stage that our biggest concern is that Russia sounds like shite craic.

Yes, that is the big sadness to emerge from our Euros exit. France 2016 could well be the 'end of the craic' for at least eight years.

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If one ignores the cost element, these Euros were held in an ideal location, a romantic western European country with no timezone issues and which we all knew too well. A venue not unlike Italy, home to Ireland's all-time favourite competition.

The next three tournaments are in grim locations and no location. First there is Russia, a country where the government appear to be deliberately promoting thuggishness as a public good.

The next Euros have no fixed abode. There'll be no setting up camp in the same country for a solid fortnight and all the giddy excitement that entails.

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And there is Qatar, about which further comment feels unnecessary at this stage. Their stance around alcohol is naturally one of the least troubling aspects of their hosting but it's not insignificant either. The Qatari's have at least compromised by setting up designated zones where alcohol can be consumed. They have promised that foreign drunkards in town for the football will be treated 'very gently' by the courts, although we might be wary about their definition of 'very gently' where flogging is routinely deployed for alcohol consumption and illicit sexual affairs. We could witness some political displays of homo-eroticism though, with the eyes of the international community watching the hosts like a hawk.

As Ken Early wrote before the Euros, ' France is the last chance for this drinking generation to mass on a foreign field and write a new page of glory in the history of their nation.'

The Irish hardcore might find something to cheer in this. We're talking about the tenacious band of men and women who travelled to Tehran in 2001. Those strange beings who don't need the carrot of alcohol dangled in front of them to attend an Ireland away game. The more snooty among this constituency may hope that less glamorous locations will weed out the bandwagoners who are primarily interested in starring in a viral video.

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Ladbrokes Bet of the Day

On today's Racket, we offered a dual bet of the day, in the shape of grizzled Italian veteran Giorgio Chiellini winning player of the tournament (no odds yet offered) and we have backed the man who did for Ireland, Antoine Griezmann for top goalscorer at 11/4.

Read more: Ireland's World Cup Qualifying Draw Is Looking More Straightforward After The Euros

 

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