Jersey was not immune from the grief, as many ardent supporters realised that there would be no one to cheer on as the tournament unfolded.
The pain might by now have been mitigated by the realisation that, for now at least, the disappointment is over and that we shall be spared the agony of witnessing an educated left foot allegedly worth £100,000 a week fluffing a penalty in the inevitable shoot-out. The blow might also have been softened by the understanding that we in Jersey can legitimately lend our support to teams other than England.
Given our ancient ethnic and cultural links with France, Les Bleus could be the obvious choice for a temporary switch of allegiance. However, in spite of the Entente Cordiale, it is hard to forget that the French were the enemy for much of recorded history and as recently as 1781 they tried, by force of arms, to make us play in their league.
Any native Jersey person or English immigrant who decides to throw in his or her lot with Portugal will be in good company here. Besides being England’s oldest ally politically, Portugal seems to have exported a surprisingly large proportion of its football fanatics to our shores.
Poland, too, is a possible as an alternative to Fabio’s men. At the very least it would be an act of courtesy to wave the flag for a nation whose expats currently play such an important role in the Island’s economy.
Meanwhile, Italy and Spain will have their share of supporters in Jersey when the wide-screen TVs begin their blanket coverage, so any England fan who can’t quite make up his or her mind who should receive their transferred cheers and shouts is going to be spoiled for choice.
And then there is this too – if, in the absence of England, you have to favour another national team, that team’s early exit from the competition will be no great tragedy and the pain will, by contrast with so many grim England knock-outs in the past, be entirely bearable.