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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 May 2006, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
McConnell explains England stance
Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell says he will support the underdogs
Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell has said people should be "relaxed" about him not supporting England at the World Cup.

Mr McConnell said he would be rooting for the underdogs during the tournament in Germany, as well as the teams showing "a bit of flair".

He said he represented Scotland and did not link politics with football.

Chancellor Gordon Brown and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said they would support England.

The first minister told BBC Scotland said he was looking forward to smaller teams causing an upset or two in Germany.

"I think people who are working at the British level, who spend most of their time in London, will instinctively want to support the team that represents London in the World Cup," said Mr McConnell.

England fans
The first minister said football was not about politics

"But I represent Scotland and I don't link my football to my politics.

"Football is a sport, people should be relaxed about this. Some will back England, some will not.

"I'm in the second camp, I'm doing that because I'll enjoy the small teams giving the big teams a beating from time to time over the course of the next month."

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond has stated his backing for Trinidad and Tobago, who have six Scottish-based players in their squad.

Speaking on the BBC's Politics Show at the weekend, he said: "I don't support teams against England, but I think Trinidad and Tobago have some interesting Scottish players playing for them.

"That's the nearest we're getting to this year's World Cup."


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