With Euro 2012 about to kick off, the UK Government has had stern words. Back of the Net's John Foster suggests an ulterior motive...
The British government will not be sending representatives to EnglandÃ¢ÂÂs European Championships matches in Ukraine in protest at the ongoing human rights abuses in that country, a beaming David Cameron told reporters today.
With the eyes of Europe on Ukraine, there had been speculation that President Viktor Yanukovych would ease restrictions on the media, cease his attacks on anti-government protestors, or even free his incarcerated rival Yulia Tymoshenko.
However, the continued detention and torture of political opponents has led Britain to cancel plans to have the Prime Minister attend Euro 2012, leaving the Conservative leader Ã¢ÂÂoverjoyedÃ¢ÂÂ that he will not have to spend the summer pretending to like football.
Ã¢ÂÂFor a while it looked like the threat of international isolation might persuade Yanukovych to suspend his crackdown on dissidents, and then of course we would have been on a plane to Donetsk,Ã¢ÂÂ a Downing Street spokesman told FourFourTwo.
Ã¢ÂÂBut, happily, conditions for opposition activists are worse than at any time since 1991, so instead the Prime Minister will be concentrating on his duties at home, such as securing agreement on the budget, devising a new rescue plan for European banks, and ostentatiously chillaxing in front of sympathetic journalists.Ã¢ÂÂ
"I'm sorry, and you areÃ¢ÂÂ¦?"
CameronÃ¢ÂÂs pretence of liking football has caused controversy in the past. In 2008, reports suggested that he was a supporter of Aston Villa, but the then-leader of the opposition had merely declared that he was a big fan of claret.
Then, in 2010, Cameron was overheard telling an advisor that he had no desire to watch any of the World Cup, admitting that heÃ¢ÂÂd Ã¢ÂÂrather bob for apples with Eric Pickles.Ã¢ÂÂ
In the event that England surpass expectations at Euro 2012, however, and reach the quarter-finals or beyond, the Prime Minister is said to be prepared to set aside his objections to the humanitarian abuses of the Yanukovych regime, pretend to like football again, and to fly out to Ukraine to have his photo taken with the squad.
Ã¢ÂÂThe PM has proved himself more than capable of jumping on any bandwagon going,Ã¢ÂÂ a friend of Cameron told FourFourTwo.
Ã¢ÂÂAnd if England are doing well, you can bet heÃ¢ÂÂll be pretending to like football right up to the point when theyÃ¢ÂÂre knocked out, when heÃ¢ÂÂll start pretending to like the Olympics instead.Ã¢ÂÂ
Editor's note: this isn't a serious accusation and all quotes are fictionalised. But you knew that, because you're not stupid.
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