England lost their World Cup semi-final to Croatia last night
English football fans have labelled a top Brussels official "graceless" and a "wazzock" after he appeared to claim Croatia's win over England as a victory for the EU.
Within two minutes of the final whistle in last night’s World Cup semi-final, European Commission secretary general Martin Selmayr posted a series of football emojis and EU flags on Twitter.
⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️— Martin Selmayr (@MartinSelmayr) July 11, 2018
The post infuriated crushed England fans, who had just seen their hopes of World Cup glory evaporate, with Mr Selmayr subject to a fierce backlash.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron responded: "Graceless. I'm pro EU, but sometimes you wazzocks make it hard to be so."
Graceless. I'm pro EU, but sometimes you wazzocks make it hard to be so. https://t.co/nOVxRztXPq— Tim Farron (@timfarron) July 11, 2018
Ex-UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe, who now sits in the European Parliament as an independent, wrote: "What a shame all that money, all that power and it still didn't buy you any class. #basseclasse"
What a shame all that money, all that power and it still didn't buy you any class. #basseclasse— Steven Woolfe MEP (@Steven_Woolfe) July 11, 2018
Other Twitter users told Mr Selmayr to contact Gareth Southgate, as they highlighted pictures of the England manager consoling Colombia players in the wake of his team's victory over the South American nation earlier in the tournament.
But some people leapt to the defence of Mr Selmayr, who is known as "the Monster" in Brussels.
The senior civil servant had posted a similar tweet on Saturday night, when Croatia's quarter-final win over hosts Russia meant the World Cup's final four were all EU nations.
🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺⚽️🇪🇺— Martin Selmayr (@MartinSelmayr) July 7, 2018
A former chief of staff to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Mr Selmayr is a key power broker who has been branded in Britain as the country’s "Brexit nemesis."
The German official's sudden promotion to the head of the EU's civil service earlier this year was subject to an investigation amid angry accusations of a "stitch-up" by Mr Juncker and his key ally.
The row became known in Brussels as "Selmayrgate."