World Cup 2014: Martin McGuinness draws England in Stormont sweepstake

He said he would have preferred to have drawn Holland

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The Independent Online

Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness said he was “gobsmacked” when he drew England in the World Cup 2014 sweepstake held at his office in Stormont on Wednesday. 

The politician who is a member of Sinn Féin, the republican political party which aims to end British rule in Ireland,  told the BBC that he would like to see the “Orange men from Holland win.”

But chance instead saw him rooting for England in the £5 gamble.

"I'm absolutely gobsmacked at the fact that I drew out England," he said.

"People are asking if I'm going to support England. Of course, they're asking that in the context of monetary gain.

"But I'm a purist when it comes to sport. I've always thought it would be great if the Dutch could win the World Cup, not just because they wear orange, but because they have some very, very fantastic footballers.

"So, if Brazil doesn't win it, I think I will pitch my hat on the orange men from Holland," he added.

His tweet showing his ‘England’ ticket has since gone viral, with almost 3,000 users re-posting it.

The tweet comes after McGuinness called on Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson to show some "leadership" in promoting tolerance and respect, after he defended a pastor who branded Islam "evil" and "spawned in hell".

Robinson has since apologised and said he didn't mean to insult the country's Muslim community.