Having served two terms, Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner cannot run again in next year’s national election. So I guess she can get away with admitting that she didn’t watch the country’s soccer team almost win the World Cup.
And not just the final against Germany. Fernández didn’t watch one single match, “a blunder that some observers said exposed her as out of touch with the national mood” in Argentina, Reuters writes.
Not only did Fernández freely admit this in a public setting in a soccer-obsessed country, she said it while welcoming the country’s still-mourning national team back from Brazil after its 1-0 loss to Germany on Sunday.
Fernandez had earlier declined an invitation from Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff to attend the final, saying she was recovering form a sore throat. Her counterpart, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, attended the match, even leaping with joy at Germany’s winning goal.
In a televised speech, Fernandez, flanked by Lionel Messi and the rest of the team, said: “As you know I’m no soccer fan.”
“I didn’t see a single match, not even the one yesterday,” she said, adding that she rang Argentine Coach Alejandro Sabella after the match because it felt like the team had won.
“That’s how I felt and how 40 million Argentines felt too.”
Times are tough in Argentina, and the soccer team’s stirring run to the final gave Argentinians a chance to forget about the country’s debt crisis, inflation and political scandals. Fernández apparently wanted no part of it.
“It sort of underscores that she lives in a world of her own more and more,” Felipe Noguera, a political analyst, told Reuters.
“This has been a very positive month for the country and for the overall mood. And she’s just not part of it,” he added.