LONDON (AP) — By slowly running a finger across his throat in mock fear, the head of English football appeared to sum up his nation's gloomy view of England chances at next year's World Cup in Brazil.
England was thrown into one of the toughest of the eight pools in Friday's draw after being pitched with 2010 semifinalist Uruguay, four-time winner Italy and Costa Rica in Group D.
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke, who attended the draw and sat alongside England manager Roy Hodgson as the balls were pulled out of the pots, was caught on camera making a throat-slitting action. That reaction that was harshly criticized by the country's national media, although many newspapers seemed to share his sense of doom.
The Daily Mail lambasted Dyke as "The World Cup Chump" on its back page Saturday, while The Sun called the situation "Dykabolical."
The Sun, however, also had a picture of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue on its front page with the headline "Lord help us!"
The Daily Mirror also had Dyke on its front page with the headline "He thinks it's all over!"
The Daily Telegraph was among many newspapers who called it a "Group of Death," a phrase commonly used in major tournaments to signal the hardest group.