Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

G20 is awaiting the England - Germany football game

Ralitsa Kovacheva, June 29, 2010

The G20 meeting in Toronto is starting with football passions - the epic game between England and Germany for the World Cup in South Africa. The leaders of the two countries - David Cameron and Angela Merkel even consider watching the game together. Cameron told journalists, that he “will try not to wrestle her to the ground during penalties, but we will have to see."

Both Mr Cameron and Ms Merkel are passionate football fans. At a club level David Cameron is a supporter of Aston Villa. The team is quite a favourite of many stars including Tom Hanks, Nigel Kennedy and Prince William. Angela Merkel is known for its football partialities - she is often caught by the cameras in the stands, supporting emotionally the national team. Otherwise, she is an honorary member of FC Energie Cottbus.

Some media reported that Cameron had already received support from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi after Italy left South Africa early and miserably. It is unclear which team will be supported by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose team became notorious of its poor performance and ongoing scandals in the French camp. When the French finally dropped out, the local press sighed in relief: "The nightmare is over!" Considering, however, the close relationship between Sarkozy and Merkel and his attempts to win her support for the French proposals on economic governance and financial regulation, it could be expected the French President to keep their fingers crossed for the Germans.

President Barack Obama, in turn, is likely to support the British team after the U.S. dropped out of the World Cup after losing to Ghana. The balance was restored by the Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who expressed hope Germany and Japan to meet in the final game.

We can only hope football passion to move the air in Toronto, where the disputes are well known for a long time, and the positions of various parties are not expected to soften. As the European Council President Herman van Rompuy commented, a major breakthrough regarding the reform of financial institutions could hardly be expected. But the match result may affect the balance of power, because in football as in politics, psychological advantage over opponents is crucial.