The first World Cup match between England and the USA has been put in jeopardy by Barrack Obama declaring the game should not go ahead due to the oil spillage by BP in the Gulf off the American coast. He wants a 0-0 draw to be declared a result without a game being played.
David Beckham, with the England team in South Africa made a personal appeal to the American President: 'I have played soccer in your fine country and know of the great friendship between our two nations. Please do not pour oil on troubled waters.'
The British Foreign Office have issued a clarification with respect to Beckham's appeal: 'Mr Beckham has referred to 'our two nations' but we must point out that only England is playing in the World Cup. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland failed to qualify and should not be seen as being a party to the World Cup.'
Reaction to the dispute among football followers has been mixed. One former England player, who did not want to be named due to the possible bias this might have towards a candidate in the Labour Party Leadership election, who has a similar name, told our reporter: 'I think we should welcome the offer of a 0-0 draw. It is more than we could hope for and we will get no injuries.'
Howere Trevor Brooking, another former England player, now in South Africa told famous African Drum radio : 'This match must go ahead so that we can show the Yanks that this will be no tea party.'
Fans in Britain (including Scotland) are dismayed at having no reason to consume the vast amounts of alcohol stored ready for the match.