Inside Lines: Euro exit a blow to 2018 World Cup bid

Brian Barwick and the FA buffers are burying their heads as deeply in the Wembley mire as were the feet of England's players on Wednesday if they believe the Euro exit will not harm prospects of hosting the 2018 World Cup. Leapfroggers Russia, gifted a passage to next year's finals, will seize the opportunity to use their presence at the finals in Austria and Switzerland to press their own claim. Indeed, our Russian spies tell us that President Putin was "delighted" to see England stumble and has personally instructed his sports minister Vyacheslava Fetisov to "pull out all the stops" to secure 2018 for Russia. Former ice hockey icon Fetisov has many friends in Fifa, not least Sepp Blatter, and will ensure that Russia's candidature, to be confirmed shortly, will be the most serious challenge to England. It could also be significant that England's demotion to a second-class football power has not evoked much sympathy among the nations gathered in Durban for the 2010 World Cup draw. That "arrogant" reputation, highlited last week by the Croatians, remains hard to erase.

English role in Northern Ireland's sweeter FA

One Englishman in South Africa hoping a rival nation gets a better World Cup draw than England is former Wycombe goalkeeper Howard Wells, now enjoying considerable success as chief executive of Northern Ireland's FA, which he has helped transform from financial freefall. The team, who came as close as England to qualifying for Euro 2008, haven't done badly, either. Wells a former head of UK Sport and the CCPR, was shortlisted for the FA job when Adam Crozier was appointed in 1999 and could be ready for a return to a senior role in sports administration here.

Ohuruogu snubbed in IAAF awards

While it is likely that Christine Ohuruogu will get clearance to compete in Beijing after her appeal hearing by the British Olympic Association's independent panel tomorrow, it is by no means a racing certainty. Whether her lifelong Olympics ban is overturned may well depend on whether she finally admits she was at fault in missing three drugs tests. So far she has remained unapologetic for her forgetfulness. Could this be why, despite being named Britain's female athlete of the year and shortlisted in all the home sports personality awards, her name is not among the contenders for the prestigious IAAF world athletes accolades to be announced in Monaco tonight? Yet hers was one of the outstanding performances of 2007. Odd.

Boxing clever: More honours for the amateurs

A meeting between sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe and education minister Kevin Brennan has brought boxing closer to a return to the school gyms. Good news for a sport enjoying something of a renaissance. We report on page 79 that new world amateur champion Frankie Gavin, who leads England against the US in London on Friday, has committed himself to Beijing where, last week, heavyweight Danny Price won gold in an Olympic test event. And junior champ Scott Cardle, 17, from Lytham, has won the OCS award as the year's outstanding young sportsperson.

Row over 'guru' Woodward to be probed by parliament

Olympic chiefs face a grilling from a parliamentary watchdog body next week over the controversial role of Sir Clive Woodward in Britain's 2012 build-up. This follows criticism made to the DCMS Select Committee of his involvement as a "motivator" by two leading sports but these will be firmly rebuffed by the BOA.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?