Football: World Cup - Diary

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The Independent Online
UNLESS GLENN Hoddle's team improve, the best place for an Englishman to follow the World Cup might well be from the isolated British Antartic Survey stations on the remote ice-capped continent, where there is currently 24 hours of midwinter darkness each day. Unable to receive terrestrial or satellite television, the teams are dependent on the BBC World Service for developments in France, but the signal is often too weak. Staff at the survey's Cambridge headquarters are sending regular e-mails and pages of football news to the 37 engineers and scientists hungry for details on England and Scotland.

THE BBC'S coverage, or, to be precise, the way they don't dress it up, is the subject of a withering attack from the British Guild of Tie Makers, who have condemned the practice of Des and friends to sport open- necked leisure-wear throughout the tournament whereas their ITV counterparts are suited and booted. Now the Guild has sent the Corporation's Sports Department an "emergency" parcel of ties. Included was a terse letter claiming that "at a time when then world image of English and Scottish football is at an all-time low, it is disappointing to witness the BBC's team demonstrating a somewhat slovenly mode of dress. May we venture to suggest that such on-screen scruffiness sets a poor example to viewers." The BBC replied that it is "perfectly happy" with the way their presenters and analysts are dressed and pointed out that they have on occasion been wearing ties.

IRAN'S PLAYERS will receive around pounds 4,600 apiece from their government for their defeat of the United States in addition to the pounds 1,000 paid for the Yugoslavia game. It compares unfavourably with the pounds 66,000 plus Mercedes car that the Saudi Arabia players each received when qualifying for the 1994 World Cup yet in Iran, where a good monthly salary amounts to about pounds 130, it will do very nicely, thank you.

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