Football: Gascoigne's Norwegian blue note

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The Independent Online
PAUL GASCOIGNE has done nothing for Anglo-Norwegian relations in the run-up to Wednesday's World Cup tie with abusive comments to a Scandinavian television crew which were broadcast at 9.15 last night, and were reported in one Oslo newspaper yesterday, writes Joe Lovejoy.

Gascoigne was approached by the Norwegian NRK network at Bisham Abbey on Saturday, and asked if he would care to send a message to Norway. 'Yes,' he replied. 'Fuck off, Norway'.

Lawrie McMenemy, England's assistant manager, witnessed the exchange, and stepped in immediately. Clipping Gascoigne around the ear, as if he were a naughty child, he said: 'That's a silly remark. He didn't mean it.'

The Norwegian interviewer, Thor Eggen, was placated by the offer of a proper interview with Gascoigne, but the insult was broadcast by NRK last night, and was the headline in the Norwegian Sunday newspaper, Dagsbladet.

McMenemy said: 'Paul did say those words, but there was no malice.' Disciplinary action by the Football Association is possible, but deemed unlikely.

(Photograph omitted)