Don’t know if Prime Minister Stephen Harper is backing anyone in the World Cup, but here’s a thought: Nigeria.
A strong showing by the Super Eagles, combined with Greece living up to its upset potential, would do the host of this month’s Group of 20 summit a huge favour. If those teams perform poorly, Mr. Harper will be facing a far heavier workload.
Mr. Harper’s G8 and G20 summits coincide with the opening matches of the Round of 16. The first two games of the second round of play are scheduled for June 26, when the G8 meeting is set to end in Huntsville, allowing the leaders of the older powers to make their way to Toronto for the start of the G20 meeting, which concludes the next day.
Nigeria and Greece are in Group B along with G20 nations Argentina and, more importantly for Mr. Harper, South Korea. The Asian country’s president, Lee Myung-bak, is the co-chairman of the G20 and will be hosting a summit in Seoul in November. But depending on how the football goes, Mr. Lee may find himself rather distracted as helps preside over the meetings.
The top two finishers in Group B face their counterparts from Group A in games scheduled to be played at the same time the world’s most influential leaders have pledged to bridge differences over issues such as leverage requirements and over the counter derivatives.