It was intended as a “bittersweet love song” but led to suggestions England were arrogant and entitled.
Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) has been a go-to chant for England fans since it was released before Euro ’96.
But reports on Thursday suggested the anthem – written by musician Ian Broudie, and comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner – might be ditched.
Responding to those stories, Euro ’96 hero Paul Gascoigne said it was a “nonsense” and that the Football Association had “totally lost the plot”.
The FA’s response was swift and unequivocal.
“Contrary to reports this morning, the FA still plays Three Lions at major Wembley matches and has never had any intention of doing otherwise,” it said.
“The song belongs to the fans and is about the hope of following the England team.
“It was requested by the FA to be played as one of our team songs at the 2018 World Cup and at the Euros last summer, and this is our plan going forwards.”
So the familiar refrain of “football’s coming home” will continue, as – no doubt – will talk of perceived English arrogance.
But Baddiel once said: “I think the song is the opposite of arrogant. It’s a vulnerable song about magical thinking.
“What does happen is that when England are doing well, Football’s Coming Home itself becomes a kind of mantra pushing us towards victory.”
Germany fans have adopted the song too, and opponents love to use it against England when they can – Three Lions fans have painful memories of Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci screaming “It’s coming Rome!” into a camera after Italy won the Euro 2020 final at Wembley last summer.
But whatever your views, it looks as though the song is here to say.