‘May the best man win’: British-Swedish family preparing for Euro semi-final

A family of British-Swedish football fans has split in half as they prepare for the Euro 2022 semi-final.

The Lionesses of England will take on Sweden at Bramall Lane in Sheffield on Tuesday evening.

Damion Potter, 47, said he would be ‘the only person in an England jersey’ as he prepares to watch the game while on holiday while visiting his wife Susanna’s extended family in Jönköping, Sweden.

The former diplomat told the PA news agency: “We still need to resolve the dispute between my wife and me, but for now we think someone should jump into the river, whichever team loses.

“I will root for England and hope the Lionesses make it to the end.

“Everyone else but me and maybe my kids, depending on the result, will be rooting for Sweden, so I will be the only person in the England jersey.

“May the best team win.”

Despite the couple’s rivalry, pressure comes from their three children Elliot, 18, Zachary, 17, and Maya, 14.

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Spain’s Atenea del Castillo and England’s Lea Williamson (right) battling for the ball during the quarter-finals of Women’s UEFA EURO 2022 (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Mr Potter said: “When England played Sweden at the 2016 Men’s World Cup, it was fun to watch our three kids root for Sweden at first and by the end all three of them root for England.

“The good news for my kids is that whoever wins the semi-final, they will have a team in the final.”

For the Potter family, football has always been an unforgettable event, despite the family rivalry.

Mr and Mrs Potter have been married for 21 years and on their wedding day in November 2001 England played Sweden.

The game ended in a draw, which Potter described as a “good diplomatic result”.

The good news for my kids is that whoever wins the semi-finals tomorrow night will have a team in the final.Damion Potter

Despite being a sports fan since the age of 10, it was after the birth of his first child that Mr. Potter saw his first Women’s World Cup.

He said: “My eldest son was born at the end of September 2003, two weeks before the World Cup, and did not sleep at night, so I worked the night shift and ended up watching almost every game.

“The player who won the Golden Boot that year was Viktoria Svensson of Sweden, who worked as a housekeeper at the British Embassy in Stockholm, where I also worked.

“After that, I got into women’s and men’s football, especially big tournaments.”

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Victoria Svensson of Sweden (foreground) during the 2009 European Women’s Championship (Nile Carson/PA)

Mr. Potter added that he hoped the “momentum and excitement” surrounding the women’s games would continue into the future.

“It’s not like when I was in school where there weren’t many women or girls who played football,” he said.

“For me, as a father of teenage boys and a 14-year-old daughter, it is important that she can play football at school.

“I mean, there is still a long way to go but I am very happy that in the UK we are seeing the Euro this year on prime time TV, the back pages show the Lionesses are doing well and stadiums across the UK are full. .

“I think it helps that we are the hosts, but I hope it continues the way it has with all this momentum and excitement.”