Wishaw pub says Anyone But England poster is ‘tongue in cheek’

England's Marcus Rashford (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal during a friendly against Costa Rica
England's Marcus Rashford (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal during a friendly against Costa Rica
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It’s a question Scottish football fans have asked themselves every four years since 2002. In the absence of our national team, who should we support at the World Cup?

Now one bar in North Lanarkshire has offered a definitive answer: Anyone But England.

The Commercial Hotel in Wishaw unveiled the light-hearted poster ahead of the tournament kicking off on June 14.

The phrase entered the sporting lexicon when a young Andy Murray offered it as an answer when asked who he would support at the 2006 World Cup. Facing a backlash from hurt England fans, Murray insisted his remarks had been taken out of context, and had only been part of friendly banter with fellow tennis pro Tim Henman.

A series of tshirts proclaiming ABE - Anyone But England - later went on sale in time for the 2010 World Cup.

Given Scotland’s persistent failure to qualify since 1998, the ABE slogan is unlikely to die anytime soon.

A spokeswoman for the hotel in Wishaw told The Scotsman that the poster was “tongue in cheek”.

“This isn’t meant to be taken seriously,” the said. “It’s purely just to get people talking and being interested in the World Cup. Even if the Scotland team isn’t there, it doesn’t mean people can’t come out and watch the matches and support any team they want to win. Many of our customers are England fans and they will receive a warm welcome when they come in to watch their team play”.