Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Ice cream and football on the road to Damascus


    British Foreign Secretary David Miliband hopes his Middle East trip will help nudge Syria away from supporting the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, but on a visit to Damascus he let slip that other Syrian allegiances were troubling him.

    “People on the streets wanted to talk about politics but also about football,” he told reporters after a tour in which he sampled ice cream from century-old shop in the heart of the ancient capital.

    “There were not enough Arsenal supporters and too many Manchester United supporters,” he said.

    Miliband, a keen Arsenal fan, is not shy about expressing his views on football. When Arsenal unceremoniously exited the Champions League in April after a 4-2 defeat to Liverpool, he criticised the Swedish referee on his Foreign Office blog and accused a Dutch player of faking a fall.