Fri, September 20, 2013

Prime Minister Stephen Harper weighs in on Olympic soccer brouhaha

By QMI Agency


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, seen here in Gimli, Manitoba, last week, offered words of encouragement Tuesday to the women's soccer team going for bronze at the 2012 Olympics. (REUTERS)

The roar of Canadians outraged over the women’s soccer team’s controversial Olympic loss to the U.S. is echoing through the corridors of power — all the way to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Harper acknowledged the anger of the players and fans Tuesday, some 24 hours after a much-debated penalty call led to a tying goal for the Americans, who then beat Canada 4-3 to end a thrilling soccer semifinal at the London Games.

But the prime minister, a noted sports fan, also encouraged the team to block out the loss and focus entirely on Thursday’s bronze-medal showdown with France.

“I understand the extreme disappointment of the Canadian women’s soccer team. They’ve had a great run, they’re a great team,” Harper said.

“I would just encourage them to do the only thing you can do at this point in time, which is to put that behind you and focus on the next game.”

The Americans will play Japan for women’s soccer gold on Thursday. The loser of that match gets the silver medal.