Staying In: Wired Up - Net Gains - The Beautiful Game

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The Independent Culture
With the big holiday season matches over and football clubs preparing hopefully for the long journey to Wembley, there's no better time to look at what the Internet has to offer the discerning football fan. Interviews, statistics, opinions, facts, figures and analysis - they're all out there.

ACTION REPLAY

www.sportsweb.com

The Independent's sports desk has long rated this as the top web page for international football news, analysis and statistics. This is hardly surprising because the site is owned and run by Reuters, one of the world's biggest news agencies. Because they have a global view of sport, coverage of the domestic game understandably isn't as comprehensive as some other sites but it makes up for that with superb coverage of European and world football. It also has an email news service and full, constantly updated league tables for the major footballing nations. In the end, however, any sports site lives or dies on speed and accuracy. And on that criterion, this is certainly the one to watch.

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EXTRA TIME

news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sport/ football

The BBC's on-line sports coverage really came into it's own during the World Cup. Given the organisation's unsurpassed experience with public service broadcasting and coverage of major sporting events around the world, the site's presentation and content is second to none for the domestic game. As well as the usual fixture lists, match summaries and statistics, it has news analysis and profiles of the big names of the day. The site always manages to keep the level of debate above what you find elsewhere; recently it has featured some excellent analysis on the implications of David Platt's recent appointment to Sampdoria, and the future of the Football Association in the wake of Graham Kelly's resignation.

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THE BEST OF THE REST www.sporting-life.com/ HHH

Despite the problems that have affected print incarnation in recent times, this website is regarded by many afficianados as the best for speed and accuracy of results.

www.football365.co.uk HH One of the best known football websites; excellent for analysis although the feature turnaround often isn't quite as fast as Sporting Life. Excellent for celebrity interviews.

www.fifa.com HHH

There's more than a whiff of this being the Pravda for the footballing community but anybody who wants to keep up with the international game should visit here regularly.

worldsoccer.miningco.com/msub12.htm HH

A very irreverent site with plenty of jokes and anecdotes about the game, including the - surely apocryphal - tale when the crowd at a football match managed to over- rule the referee.

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