French President Emmanuel Macron says it’s “nothing personal” but he is siding with Australia over England when they meet Wednesday in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals.
Macron made his bold diplomatic move after Australia knocked out France in a thrilling 7-6 penalty shoot-out in Brisbane on Saturday to reach the last four for the first time in their history.
Ahead of the match, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had challenged Macron on social media platform X: whichever side lost would barrack for the other team in the semi-finals.
“Nothing personal against our English friends, but a bet is a bet … Good luck Australia for the semi-finals!”, Macron replied after his team’s agonising loss.
“Happy to have you cheering on @TheMatildas in the semis,” Albanese replied, praising both sides in the France-Australia clash for an “incredible game”.
The friendly banter marks a big change from 2021, when the previous Australian government blindsided Macron by tearing up a multi-billion dollar French submarine deal, opting instead for US and British nuclear-powered technology.