Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

May: I couldn’t watch ‘nerve-wracking’ penalty shootout

The Prime Minister congratulated England on the victory over Colombia but did not see the crucial spot kicks.

Theresa May has said she could not bear to watch the penalty shootout that saw England progress to the World Cup quarter-finals.

The Prime Minister found the tension too much as Gareth Southgate’s team’s tie with Colombia came down to the spot-kick finale.

A Downing Street source said Mrs May watched some of the match but added: “She actually said earlier she struggles to watch penalties because it’s a nerve-wracking time.”

bpanews_29e8aec1-9005-4dda-b686-efcd5c988981_embedded237360888
England players celebrate in Moscow (Tim Goode/PA)

At Prime Minister’s Questions Mrs May praised the Three Lions for their “very rare and welcome” penalty shootout victory in Moscow.

The team triumphed 4-3 from the spot, after the tie finished 1-1 following extra time, to secure their first World Cup win on penalties.

England now face Sweden in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn wants the whole UK to get a day off if England win the World Cup in Russia.

bpanews_29e8aec1-9005-4dda-b686-efcd5c988981_embedded224686383
Football fan Jeremy Corbyn (Nigel French/PA)

The Labour leader, who did watch the dramatic penalty shootout, thinks there should be a bank holiday if Southgate’s team emulates the heroes of 1966.

A senior Labour spokesman said: “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but I think it is the case that Jeremy believes that if England were to win the World Cup there should be a public bank holiday in celebration.”

The spokesman said any bank holiday would have to come soon after the match and would cover the whole of the UK, and not just England.

“The World Cup is a very special international competition,” he said. “It’s something that brings people together on a very large scale and we need recognition of that and recognition of the importance of football in the country.”

Research undertaken by Labour when it proposed the establishment of four new bank holidays in its 2017 manifesto showed that some claims about the negative economic impact of an additional day off were “entirely invented”, he said.

The spokesman said Mr Corbyn has not imposed a ban on shadow ministers attending games at Russia 2018 to match the official boycott by ministers and members of the royal family announced following the Salisbury poisonings.

However, he declined to say how the Labour leader would respond if invited to see England play in the final.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph