PHP web page - plain HTML code block works, same block as inlclude is not clicable

this issue is really inexplicable to me, and it is really making me crazy.

I guess it will leave you flabbergasted

Thank you for any hint

Problem: I have two html/php files one is the exact copy of the other. In one file I can click the links in the footer in the copy the links are not clickable

SOLUTION FROM THE COMMENTS: thank to CBroe that suggested to view the files in a HEX editor. Three unknown bytes where present at the begin of the bad file and they were messing up the browsers behaviors. It was UTF-8 with BOM encoding, instead I turned to UTF-8 only

-- Original question text --

Preface: I have some html pages and to take advantage of the php inlcude function, I use them with .php extension instead than .html I have the navigation menu, some banners and the footer that are common to all of them, you know, and so it is better to have them as common piece of code and include them in every page. Just modify the include will modify all the pages.

While other blocks are working as expected, the unbelievable happen with the section


let's call it the footer block.

The footer have some links

Footer as plain html in the page called plain-html-footer.php is "normal" and the links in it are clickable

So I have made a copy of plain-html-footer.php and saved it as included-footer-html.php

That's fine

I have created a footer include file and I have filled it with a copy and paste of the whole block <footer>...</footer>

the include is named footer.php

In the included-footer-html.php I have replaced the <footer>...</footer> section with this include code

<?php include('includes/footer.php'); ?>

You can try it yourself

The footer of the original is clickable, while the footer in the copy it is NOT

a big NO SENSE since checking with Ctrl-U in the browser you can see, same IDENTICAL source except for the two comments

either the mouse pointer shows as arrow shape instead than hand shape

Thank you for testing and possibly hinting

(I have removed the links not necessary anymore)