WHAT A depressing insight into the so-called beautiful game. In any other walk of life, jeering at a colleague because of his supposed sexual orientation would be as unacceptable as attacking him for race or religion. The FA was quick enough to get rid of Hoddle for expressing a religious opinion. Perhaps now it will be equally robust in rooting out the real nastiness in football - if only for the sake of all the impressionable young fans who may grow up to emulate these "heroes" with feet of clay.
HERE IS a chance for the FA to demonstrate its disciplinary process - and its determination to root out bigotry if the allegations are proved true. Bigotry is best defeated by open confrontation. As the Football Task Force noted, bigotry is not produced by football but it all too readily feeds off it.
FOOTBALLERS HAVE given and taken insults from the time the game began. The grown-up ones dealt with it, the immature ones fell victim to it. Wind-ups have always been commonplace. Robbie Fowler has to be told to mind his tongue and Graeme Le Saux to control his temper. Somebody should tell them to grow up and get on with the game. (John Sadler)
IN A Britain where it's increasingly acceptable to be homosexual, football is one of the last bastions of macho heterosexuality. Experts say one in 10 British men are gay, which puts the figure in the league at around 300. Would a company really want to advertise its all-action aftershave or girl-pulling hair gel with a gay footballer? We're a long way from dyeing the England boys' white shirts pink. (Clare Grant)