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Maracana or Narendra Modi? Angela Merkel puts FIFA World Cup above the Prime Minister

Tuesday, 8 July 2014 - 9:10am IST | Agency: Zee News Bureau

How Philip Lahm and his boys play against Brazil on Tuesday evening could influence Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel. If Germany goes into the World Cup final, Merkel may pick Maracana over Modi. For now, the two are supposed to meet over dinner on Sunday, the 13th, on the very day of the final.

The German chancellor invited Modi for a dinner during his stopover in Germany, on his way to Brazil for the BRICS summit scheduled for July 15th. While Modi was unwilling to add an extra day to his trip, he accepted the invitation despite having promised Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he would make Tokyo the venue of his first bilateral summit.

Indian prime ministers have traditionally broken journey at Frankfurt when traveling to the US or South America. It's as much to refuel the aircraft as to give everybody a night's rest. This time the stopover could turn out to be a mini summit with chancellor Merkel. It would entail a shared meal between Modi and Merkel and some quiet conversation. 

If the Modi-Merkel meeting happens, the PM might land in Berlin instead of Frankfurt. However, if Germany makes it to the Cup final, Modi's aircraft may just land in Frankfurt. Germany has an excellent chance of making it to the final against Brazil as without Neymar or Thiago Silva, Germany's chances never looked better.

If Merkel reneges on her invitation to Modi, to cheer on her team at the World Cup finals, it may be a bit awkward for Modi. But top government sources said, they would "understand" her compulsion.




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