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G20? Time out for World Cup

[ 2010-06-29 13:36]     字号 [] [] []  
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British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel apparently had bigger concerns than just the world economy at the G20 summit of world leaders on Sunday.

The pair ducked out of formal economic talks to watch the second half of the World Cup knockout game between their countries. Aides said they were glued to the TV screen during the match.

"I am still very moved," Merkel said. "I can only say congratulations to the team. Keep on going."

Her analysis of the game: "I think today legs and heads were working very well."

Merkel said Cameron congratulated her after Germany's 4-1 victory over England in South Africa.

"There was a very nice sportive atmosphere among the Germans and the British G20 participants who watched the game," she said.

England's loss, however, was a severe blow for Cameron who earlier had told journalists he was "desperate for us to win." England has not beaten Germany since it won the 1966 final.

England and Germany have long been bitter rivals on the football field, with past games colored by the pair's shared political history and the tendency of England's tabloid press to inflame tensions by referencing World War II.

But a major diplomatic spat appears to have been averted this time round. Merkel apologized for what has been called "the phantom goal" that officials ruled England did not score, telling Cameron she was "sorry about that," his aides said.

The British leader also alluded to his team's lack of form - with or without the goal controversy. "The country will wonder 'What if?' after Frank Lampard's disallowed goal, but it was a disappointing result," Cameron said.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

G20? Time out for World Cup

About the broadcaster:

G20? Time out for World Cup

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.