A match about politics as much as football
28 March ~ England will walk out in Turin tonight wanting to continue their recent good form but knowing that ultimately the game is a small stepping-stone in their recovery from a poor 2014 World Cup. That hasn’t always been the case for “friendlies” between England and Italy. Italy were newly crowned world champions – “a triumph for fascism” according to Benito Mussolini – in a tournament to which England had declined to send a team. What followed was a brutal match played in front of a packed Highbury that was as much about the politics of the time as it was about football superiority, as Jon Spurling examined in WSC 334.
There is also some badly damaged British Pathé footage of the match below, which includes the teams being presented to the Duke of Connaught and a man waving an Italian flag on the pitch.