England did country proud - Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the England football team had made "the country proud" following their exit from Uefa Euro 2012™ after a quarterfinal defeat by Italy in a penalty shoot-out.
Cameron, speaking on Monday, said he had watched Sunday's match in Kiev on television and joked that as the game, which ended goalless after extra-time, wore on he felt it would end in a shoot-out.
After giving a speech on welfare reform at a shopping centre in Greenhithe, Kent, south-east of London, Cameron said England, managed by Roy Hodgson, had put on a "great display" to get to the knockout stages.
"I watched the match and I thought England showed a lot of heart, and a lot of spirit and a lot of dogged determination, as you'd expect," said Cameron.
"There were some brilliant individual performances and a real team effort but sadly, as has happened before, you sort of felt as you were watching that it will probably end on penalties and you knew how penalties may probably end," he added in a reference to England's record of now losing six out of seven shoot-outs since 1990.
Cameron said he was not convinced by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon's tongue-in cheek comment that he intended to prepare for the match by watching 'blue' movies instead of looking at tapes of England's penalty-takers.
"I think he was concentrating a bit harder than that," he said.
"But I would like to congratulate the (England) team and the manager and all who worked so hard with them and for them to put on a great display.
"They made the country proud to go through the group stage in the way that they did."
No British ministers attended matches in Ukraine, which is co-hosting the tournament with Poland, in protest at the country's human rights record.
But they had been under pressure to say whether that stance would change if England had remained involved in Euro 2012, with opposition foreign policy spokesman Douglas Alexander submitting a written question asking if ministers planned to cheer on England in the latter stages.
However, Foreign Secretary William Hague replied Monday: "The Government regrets that this question is no longer relevant."