Barkingside couple create unique solution to split World Cup loyalties

PUBLISHED: 14:06 12 June 2014

Tina with daughters Olivia, two, and Flavia Nita, nine

Tina with daughters Olivia, two, and Flavia Nita, nine


What do you do when there are split loyalties at home during the World Cup?

Lee Joseph at a Tottenham game in his shirtLee Joseph at a Tottenham game in his shirt

Some couples may nail their colours to the mast, not speak for days and watch the games in different rooms, but Lee and Tina Joseph came up with a different idea - a compromise.

Tina, 42, is from Sao Luis in north east Brazil, while husband Lee, 49, is a self-professed cockney, and avid Tottenham Hotspur fan.

They live in Longwood Drive, Barkingside with their two daughters, Flavia Nita, nine, and Olivia, two.

Ahead of the tournament in Tina’s home country, which starts today, the couple came up with a solution for the whole family - shirts representing both countries.

“Tina’s sister is a dress maker in Sweden,” explained Lee. “I bought both shirts and cut them in half, and sent them to her asking if she could make them.”

As diplomatic as the shirts may be, they don’t quite solve the problem should the two nations meet, with a quarter-final match-up a possibility.

“That would divide the house,” said Lee. “I’ll support England and Tina will support Brazil.

“If England get knocked out first I will support Brazil, as most people do anyway.”

Lee became a fan of Brazilian culture at the London School of Samba, through which he performed at the opening of the O2 Arena, then the Millenium Dome, and the Paralympics in 2012. Tina moved to England in 1999 and the couple married three years later.

Lee said: “I love Brazil, I went with a load of Brazilians to the France ‘98 World Cup final, and camped outside [France beat Brazil 3-0]. They were all crying.”

Tina, of course, believes Brazil will win the tournament. Lee is not so optimistic about England’s chances.

“The quarters would be good,” he said. “As long as Argentina don’t win.”

Read more:

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