When Theresa May’s director of communications woke up this morning, the first bullet point on his strategy guide for the day probably read “avoid showing your support for the Belgian national football team.” A simple enough task, no? It’s not as though Mrs May was going to stand, on television, grinning while holding up a Belgian shirt?
Today, May stood, on television, grinning while holding up a Belgian shirt. Whoops.
The Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, presented the offending piece of kit to her during a break from the latest round of Brexit talks.
May is for once quite on-trend: own goals are in vogue at the moment – a record-breaking seven have been scored in the world cup so far.
Michel and Emmanuel Macron cackled with glee throughout the whole episode, while May laughed along nervously. Maybe she’s a late addition to the Belgian squad – she could certainly expedite her seeming desire to alienate the British public by donning said shirt and putting four goals past the Three Lions tonight.
The incident also raises important questions regarding the logistics of a possible England World Cup win. If football is indeed coming home, what sort of checks will it face as it passes the border? What colour is its passport?
Perhaps Michel is simply a pawn of the Belgian FA, seeking new talent for his national team? The women’s World Cup is next year, after all.