PM Abbott in Socceroos mix-up

 

Extended coverage: Abbott on four-nation tour

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been having a touch of trouble with his pronunciation abroad.

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First, there was his courageous, mangled French in an attempted chat with locals on the French battlefields of World War I.

Then, in Ottawa, he stumbled over the name of the host country and called it “Canadia”.

He quickly corrected himself but not quickly enough for the unforgiving, lightning-fast social media users.

And now, he’s done it again.

In a good luck video message to the Socceroos, recorded exclusively for SBS and screened before the Australian team’s first World Cup match against Chile, he has wrongly called captain Mile Jedinak. “Mike”.

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“Ange, Mike and the Socceroos, in this World Cup you have the opportunity to make the world game our national game,” Mr Abbott said.

“Throughout this cup we’ll burn the midnight oil as you take the field in our name. We stand with you as you wear our colours into the world’s greatest team sporting event,” says Mr Abbott.

“We’re behind you, we’re willing you on to victory and we know you’ll seize the moment.”

Mr Abbott has previously confessed he is not much of a soccer fan.

While chatting with a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week, he was asked about the upcoming contest in Brazil and revealed he wasn’t a big World Cup follower.

Mr Abbott has now arrived in Houston, Texas, where he will address an energy conference before flying home via Hawaii.

He’ll be hoping he doesn’t strike any more difficult words before then.