What, no beef? FCC averts diplomatic food fight over World Cup menu with German slant
The Foreign Correspondents' Club (FCC) has averted a diplomatic food fight over the World Cup final, less than 24 hours before Germany and Argentina kick off in Brazil.
On Friday, the private members' club sent out a pre-match menu that had an overwhelmingly German flavour, offering cold cuts, steamed frankfurter and roasted Nuremberg sausage.
But the lack of Argentine dishes on the menu earned a red card from the city's Argentinian community.
Showing fancy footwork Lionel Messi would have been proud of, the FCC swiftly dropped the sausage from its starting line-up, and substituted Argentinian specials - sliced chorizo and a baked empanada puff.
Germany go into tomorrow morning's final as favourites after Tuesday's stunning 7-1 demolition of hosts Brazil. But Christer Leung Chun-sing, organiser of Hong Kong's Argentina soccer fan club, said supporters did not mind "being the underdogs".
On hearing of the all-German menu, Argentina's deputy consul Eduardo Leone suggested a line-up of wine from his nation would go down well with the sausage.
"It's a German menu, so we tried to convince them to put some Argentine wine on it, because it's a very good combination," he said with admirable diplomacy before the menu was altered.
When called for comment, FCC staff members denied there had been a change of menu.
German consul Nikolaus Graf Lambsdorff was bullish about his country's prospects, predicting a 2-0 victory over Argentina. Leone foresees a 1-0 win for his team over the Germans.
Lambsdorff said: "We expected a good performance, and there's a reason why … we started investing and building a new team 15 years ago.
"This has been a long-term endeavour with a lot of patience."
The game will be screened from 3am tomorrow.
From those watching at home to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and scientists at the icy ends of Antarctica, the final will have hundreds of millions of soccer fans tracking every pass, tackle and goal.
Bald German astronaut Alexander Gerst, one of six men orbiting in the ISS, has already shaved the heads of two US crew members - after they wrongly backed the US to beat Germany in the group stage.
US space agency Nasa can stream matches direct to the station in HDTV format through its data relay satellites, which spin 36,000 kilometres above earth in a geosynchronous orbit.
Antarctic scientists at the lowest place on earth, contending with 20 hours of darkness a day, will have to huddle around the radio. Glacial internet speeds at Antarctica's Rothera research station mean it would take days to download a single game.
Additional reporting by The Guardian