A spat has erupted between rivals David Cameron and Gordon Brown over their seats at England's football World Cup clash with Sweden.
Gordon Brown chats to another VIP during the game
The Tory leader's aides said Mr Cameron was in the stands with the fans while Mr Brown was in a box as a guest of the German government.
A source close to the chancellor angrily denied the claim.
They branded Mr Cameron a "Johnny Come Lately" football fan who got a ticket from his "corporate friends".
Earlier, Mr Cameron's spokesman confirmed that he would be at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne courtesy of a ticket from broadcasters ITV.
"He'll be in the stands but I think Gordon Brown is in a box," the spokesman said.
"I'm sure if it all goes well he'll be joining in the celebrations afterwards, though he does have to get on a flight soon after for prime minister's question time tomorrow.
A Treasury source denied Mr Brown was in a box.
"It's utterly sad and pathetic that, having got a ticket to this game from his corporate friends at the last minute and travelled by private jet to get there in time, David Cameron is now seeking to make political capital out of a football match which should be bringing the whole country together," said the Treasury source.
"England fans couldn't care less which politicians are going to this game or where they're sitting, but they do know the difference between a genuine football fan and a Johnny Come Lately".
The row comes between the two men who will compete for the keys to Number 10 at the next election if Mr Brown succeeds Tony Blair as Labour leader.
Downing Street said Mr Blair was watching the match at home.