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Anorak | Reading The Roo-ns

Reading The Roo-ns

by | 22nd, June 2004

‘IS there any connection between Iran’s decision to seize three Royal Navy boats and detain their eight crew members yesterday and Wayne Rooney?

‘We want our Rooney back!’

Apart from splashing a picture of the latter across their front page and leading with the story of the former, the papers don’t draw any obvious parallels.

But doesn’t it seem too much of a coincidence?

The Times admits that Iran’s motives in seizing the boats, which had strayed into its territorial water along the Shatt al-Arab waterway, were unclear.

Foreign Office sources reckon that it is unlikely that the move was in retaliation for Britain’s support for a resolution criticising Tehran for failing to come clean about its suspected nuclear weapons programme.

‘They were hoping the incident – the first since the war in Iraq a year ago – was simply the work of an overzealous local commander,’ it says.

The normal diplomatic procedure in incidents like this is for us to pinch something of theirs, swap it with whatever they have and both sides come out of it with head held high.

But what will the British government do if the Iranians are playing for bigger stakes? What will happen, say, if they offer to release the eight men in exchange for…Wayne Rooney?

It is the nightmare scenario that none of the papers are yet prepared to face up to.

The Guardian says ‘the assumption in defence circles was that the incident was the result of a mistake’ – and it still may prove to be so.

But as Rooneymania sweeps the world – from Ullswater to Ulan Bator, from Teddington to Tehran – we need to prepare ourselves for the worst.

As England line up against Iran in the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa, parents point out the legendary Iranian No.9, Ebrahim Rahmati, to their kids.

‘He was ours once, son,’ they say. ‘He was Wayne Rooney…”



Posted: 22nd, June 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink