Obama, Canada's Harper bet beer on ice hockey

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By Julian Linden

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper unwittingly provided support for the popular belief that politicians cannot organize a booze-up in a brewery when they mixed up a simple wager on the outcome of Sunday's Olympic ice hockey final.

With their two countries playing each other in the gold medal match, the two leaders agreed to raise the stakes and wage a personal bet on the outcome.

The only problem was that they messed up the terms of the bet, with both offices issuing media statements that the winner had to buy the beer rather than the loser.

After being told about the error, both offices agreed that the loser would pay so if the Americans won, Harper had to buy Obama a case of Yuengling beer.

If the Canadians won, Obama owed Harper a carton of Molson Canadian.

The U.S. beat Canada in the preliminary rounds of the competition but the two rivals followed different routes to the final to set up a mouthwatering end to the Vancouver Winter Games.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)