Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Slovenia leader turns shoeshine boy after football win

Slovenian PM Borut Pahor (left) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin watch the first play-off match in Moscow. Photo: 14 November 2009
Mr Pahor and Russian PM Vladimir Putin watched the first match in Moscow

Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor has made good on his vow to clean the national football team's boots after a World Cup play-off victory over Russia.

"I just cleaned the players' shoes - but I admit I did not clean them thoroughly," Mr Pahor told TV Slovenia.

Last month, he promised to carry out the task if Slovenia managed to win the play-offs to secure a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"To Africa with clean shoes," said Slovenia's Dnevnik newspaper.

Mr Pahor said he cleaned the players' boots after Wednesday's match in Maribor, in which Slovenia beat much-fancied Russia 1-0.

The goal was enough for the Slovenians to progress to South Africa on the away goal rule, after a 2-1 defeat in Moscow last week.

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