With England on a high after reaching a first World Cup semi-final in 28 years, politicians have wasted little time in attempting to get on the ‘footy’ bandwagon.
Unfortunately, it’s not gone particularly well for the Conservative Party, who have seemed eager to get in on the act despite appearing to know bugger all about the beautiful game.
This was most evident on BBC Question Time, where Tory MP Claire Perry made the mother of all blunders while attempting to draw a comparison between Theresa May and the England manager Gareth Southgate.
Forget the price of milk … Tory minister @claireperrymp thinks that Gareth Southgate managed the “British Lions” at the World Cup. Simultaneously very rude to our Scottish and Welsh brothers & sisters while laying bare her bandwagon jumping opportunism on #bbcqt pic.twitter.com/oIGKXsc7Go
— John Spiers (@squeezyjohn) July 12, 2018
Not only was it a terrible, cringeworthy comparison of the highest order but Perry also managed to pull off the cardinal sin of referring to the England team as the “British Lions”.
Though she evidently got the “British Lions” mixed up with the “Three Lions” it was a blunder made all the more painful for the fact that:
- The British Lions are a rugby team e.g. posh sports.
- Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football fans might not be too happy about being banded together with the English.
It’s only the latest in a string of football-related blunders involving major politicians.
There was the moment serial sh*thouse and Brexit blunderer extraordinaire Boris Johnson decided to rain on everyone’s parade by tweeting after the win over Sweden:
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 7, 2018
It didn’t go down well, as the replies suggest.
Boris wasn’t done there though, returning to social media to offer a hearty well done to the team after they lost to Croatia.
So proud of the team – they’ve done our country proud. Will come home to a much deserved heroes’ welcome. 🦁🦁🦁 🏴
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 11, 2018
He was keen to stress how “proud” he was of the team. The feeling is definitely not mutual.
Gary Lineker summed it up best:
Here they come: politicians jumping on the football bandwagon when it suits them. We all know you don’t give a monkey’s about the sport until you want to bask in any reflective glory. Bore off Boris. https://t.co/p96vcq6Etn
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 12, 2018
Still, there was one tweet far worse than anything Boris or any of the other Tory blunderers managed – step forward David Cameron.
Not only did Cameron put the wheels in motion for Brexit, but he also managed to confuse Aston Villa and West Ham, having previously claimed to have supported the former and then the latter.
This was worse though, with DC telling the players “It wasn’t to be this time, but you played like lions and made us all so proud.”
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) July 11, 2018
Coming from someone who was never much of a lion himself and never made us proud, that’s faint praise indeed.
To be clear: there’s no issue with politicians liking football, just politicians pretending to like football.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.