Opposite ends of sofa for English and Croatian couple during semi-final

Opposite ends of sofa for English and Croatian couple during semi-final

Vow to celebrate no matter which side wins

An England football fan and his Croatian wife will be "sitting at opposite ends of the sofa" as their home nations clash in the World Cup semi-final.

Chris and Ana-Maria Stewart plan to sit either side of their six-year-old daughter Isabel and friends in a bid to cool the tension on Wednesday.

The couple, who married 10 years ago after meeting in a bar, said they would watch the match on "mutual ground" at their home in north London but would celebrate no matter what the outcome as it is a "great result" for both teams.

For the occasion they have decorated their shop, the Taste Croatia deli in Borough Market, with both England and Croatian flags.

Believed to be the only Croatian deli in the UK since it opened eight years ago, customers have been coming in to buy produce to eat and drink while watching the game, Mr Stewart said.

The 50-year-old added: "We will be sitting at different ends of the sofa on Wednesday and we are thinking it's best to watch it at home on mutual ground.

"Ana-Maria has lived here for 25 years but is still fiercely Croatian.

"I'm a football fan and a Spurs supporter. I'm obviously rooting for England, it was 1990 last time they were in the semi-final. It is a great success story for Gareth Southgate and the team, and for Croatia as well.

"We're really pleased both England and Croatia are in the semi-final, they both deserve it. And I think we will be celebrating whatever the outcome, no-one expected either team to get this far.

"I, of course, believe England will win, and hopefully won't have to go through to penalties as Croatia have been quite good on that.

"I just hope it won't be too damaging for our marriage.

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