Euro 2016 not political football, says Boris Johnson ahead of EU poll


Defeats for UK nations at Euro 2016 will not have any impact on the morale of the Brexit campaign ahead of the EU referendum, Boris Johnson has suggested.

The football tournament is set to kick off on June 10 and will finish a month later with England and Wales due to face each other as well as Russia and Slovakia in the group stage.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland will play Germany, Poland and Ukraine.

All group games will have been contested by the time the UK goes to the polls on June 23.

And the former mayor of London does not believe that defeats for the UK's football teams would impact on campaign morale.

He said: "I've never known a campaign that's really fascinating so many people in so many different ways.

"I think? people are tuning into this.

"They all have an opinion. I used to get enough people shouting at me just when I was mayor, walking around at the moment people's interest in this campaign is phenomenal.

"I don't believe that there's any real threat.

"I think the British people have a robustness of spirit to be indifferent to any result, I am sure they will want to vote for freedom, democracy and taxpayer value."

Mr Johnson also joked that British viewers could skip the tournament, such is the excitement of the referendum campaign.

"If I was the organisers of the Euros I would be anxious that British audiences were going to be so obsessed with the EU referendum campaign that they're not going to be tuning in," he said.