Chancellor Gordon Brown has provoked a storm by appearing to back England to host and win the football World Cup in 2018 - and not his native Scotland.
Mr Brown said he would like "the host" to win such a competition, adding that "of course, Scotland will do well".
SNP leader Alex Salmond said the comments made Mr Brown look "ridiculous in Scotland and insincere in England".
Later Mr Brown said in a statement: "My ideal scenario is that Scotland play England in the final and Scotland win."
The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath added: "But if we don't qualify, or we go out in an earlier round, then I would transfer my allegiance to the other home nation, England."
Mr Salmond said: "Gordon Brown is fast becoming a figure of fun in these matters.