Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: You really couldn’t shake and make it up

The economy on its posterior, a Royal Prince despatched to the Falklands, riots on the streets, the world in turmoil and racism rife in football — and they say history doesn’t repeat itself?

Relations between Argentina and Britain aren’t great at the minute but a drop in the ocean compared to those between the Republic of Mancunia and Uruguay.

It’s so bad in Argentina that they’re renaming their first division after the Belgrano but before you can say ‘flotilla’ I can reveal that next season players in England will be competing in the Barclays Jim Davidson League. War is hell.

But less serious it seems than not shaking hands or jumping up and down in a silly fashion. If only they’d thought of that at the Somme all those years ago, think of the bother it would have saved.

Good natured banter with Jamie Redknapp, who has spending about as much time in court as Andy Murray but with something to show for it, was quickly replaced by the ‘they started it twins’ Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson and as Jamie said ‘just get on with the game, it’s done now’. Or maybe not.

Referring to Luis Suarez he said “I just hope we’re not talking about him at the end of the game. The whole thing has been repugnant.” Clearly spending all that time with lawyers has brought his vocabulary along just lovely.

And presenter David Jones then stopped monkeying around and off we went to the handshake or lack of it. “Oh dear, so perhaps the talking will go on.” You’re not kidding.

The studio was becoming just as entrenched as the opposing teams, Gary Neville (pictured) loving the animosity but calling it as it was and Jamie insisting the real problem was there being a handshake in the first place.

News then of a scuffle in the tunnel, football broke out briefly, daft celebrations, more pushing and shoving and then Kenny and Alex at it again with Geoff Shreeves sent out like Kofi Annan with a pointy stick.

“I think you’re very severe and you’re bang out of order to blame Luis Suarez for anything that happened there today, right?”, said Dalglish while Sir Alex just about stopped short of calling for him to be deported.

It was a ‘bad day for football’ Alan Shearer told us on Match of the Day. There was a football match? I must have missed that.

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