It is hardly a “horror tackle”: the leg flicks out, the opponent goes down. Still, when the tackler is the Mayor of London, and the opposing player is a nine-year-old boy, the contest cannot help but seem a little one-sided.
Mind you, whenever politicians take to the football field – or even invoke it – the results rarely reflect well on them. The Mayor himself notoriously subjected an opponent, in a charity match between England and Germany, to a crunching rugby tackle. Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, is such a vigorous competitor that he recently elbowed a journalist in the face; Tony Blair could barely see a football without engaging in a game of keepy-uppy. The idea is doubtless to burnish their “common man” credentials – but they should remember that voters will judge them on their capacity to govern, not to execute a well-taken free kick.