The UK press is today reporting plans for football matches to be played as part of the commemoration of the Centenary of World War I.
Andrew Murrison, minister in charge of overseeing the commemorations, told the Guardian: ‘I think football has a particular part to play because of the totemic significance of the Christmas truce in 1914.
‘We have been in touch with Football Association and the National Children’s Football [Alliance] to see how this can be done. I know they are enthused and have already clocked the fact that other countries are thinking along similar lines.’
‘Clocked the fact’ is interesting terminology to use and perhaps does not seem all that appropriate in the context of commemorating a war that cost millions of lives.
Continuing in the same laboured style the minister added that staging a football match in Belgium on the battlefields where soldiers had briefly put down their weapons was ‘a no-brainer in terms of an event that is going to reach part of the community that perhaps might not get terribly entrenched into this’.
‘Entrenched’ – again an interesting choice of word.
Murrison went on to tell the newspaper that the focus of public interest will ‘be personal and parochial’, adding: ‘Frankly, most people aren’t really interested in the grand strategy of this time. If you can engage them in things like the Christmas truce then I think that you do offer them something that is of relevance and use and of interest to them.’