first_imgAbove all, keep it reasonable. Leave the fake blood to the rugby union guys.Alan WoodleyNorthampton• John Ashdown describes Portuguese footballer Pepe as “the Mozart of shithousery” (Report, 5 July). Does this make Mozart the Messi of music?John DohertyVienna, Austria• The World Cup is a lifeline for struggling UK retailers. It’s no secret that one-off events such as the World Cup, royal weddings or even a sunny bank holiday can have a huge effect on retail sales – with this May seeing the strongest growth in four years, and John Lewis reporting a 140% increase in TV sales on the day of the opening ceremony. What’s less obvious is that, the longer England stay in the competition, the better it is for the economy – with evidence stretching back to 1966 and even further. With the recession still biting, and the effects of Brexit yet to be truly felt, struggling retailers can’t rely on the traditional, outdated approach of using events such as the Christmas season to put them in the black. One-off events such as the World Cup – whether people are spending their money on replica kits, barbecue sets, food and drink or even a trip to Ikea in preparation for the match against Sweden – will be essential in helping businesses make it through a very challenging time.It might seem unfair to place even more pressure on the shoulders of Southgate, Kane, Pickford et al, but where the economy is concerned, they really are carrying the weight of a nation on their shoulders.Mark HindsCEO, Polymatica• You report on the upsurge in sales of beer etc as “a buoyant mood sweeps the UK” should read “as it sweeps England”, because this Scot doubts whether Scotland, or come to that Wales and Northern Ireland, will be rejoicing – unless England lose.Ian ArnottPeterborough• While it is heartening to read (Report, 3 July) that six of the World Cup squad are Yorkshire born, it has to be reluctantly admitted that, back home, the best football is played on the other side of the Pennines.Geoffrey RiderRipon, North Yorkshire• Time to boycott the World Cup (Couple may have been exposed to nerve agent, 5 July)?Toby WoodPeterborough• Saga Noren has finally done it. Now it is time for England to cross The Bridge.Jan WiczkowskiManchester • Join the debate – email [email protected]• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit Topics World Cup Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Sweden England Share on Twitter Retail industry Europe World Cup 2018center_img letters Share on Facebook Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger As a patriotic UK citizen, Labour supporter and resident of a north Midlands town hollowed out by deindustrialisation, I agree with much of what Larry Elliott observes (Labour: you need to win hearts and minds in our low-wage towns, 5 July). However, the reason I would find it difficult to drape an England flag from my bedroom window or fly one on my car is because of our confused national identity. It is not because I’m disturbed by displays of patriotism during World Cups. It wasn’t a problem for me in 1966. Then the schisms in and between our nations of the UK and their causes had not been exploited, inadequately addressed or ignored as they now have been by successive governments.Andrew MilroyChesterfield, Derbyshire• Well played England! But if we are to win the World Cup it is clear that we need to up our level of “shithousery” or “grassrolling”, as I believe the latest outburst of histrionic cheating has been dubbed (Play-acting is a stain on this brilliant World Cup, 5 July). Of course, with the omnipresent VAR cameras it is becoming increasingly difficult to get away with, so I would give our lads three tips: Always clutch that part of your body that would be painful if the hypothetical contact had indeed been made with it (that’s where Rivaldo famously went wrong); do not overdo the rolling in agony. Neymar has been timed as rolling for 14 minutes during this tournament and he has only played four matches; once the award has been made in your favour, continue to look in pain and limp on the correct leg. Read more World Cup 2018: complete guide to all 736 players Reuse this contentlast_img

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