Inside Lines

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Life's all very interesting as Motty joins Bazza's book club

The great (and grating) of British sports broadcasting, from Dickie Davies to Barry Davies, assembled in Mayfair to help the latter celebrate the publication of his autobiography, 'Interesting, Very Interesting'. Even Motty turned up for bubbly. "Actually," says Bazza, "there was never animosity between us." Now that is interesting.

Brown warned: 'Schoolchildren's safety at risk'

As the schools go back, an increasing number of children are choosing PE as a GCSE subject. Yet according to the Association of Physical Education, almost half the newly qualified teachers will have had only six hours or fewer training to teach PE - less time than a single day's competition at last week's Government-backed UK School Games. The association's chief executive, Margaret Talbot, calls it "a national scandal, totally inadequate for ensuring the safety of the children they teach". She says: "Government agencies are reluctant to admit there is a problem, sadly."

Prince Naz comeback? Sorry, no Khan do

Naseem Hamed, who has not fought for five years, five months of which were spent in prison, wants to make a comeback - against Amir Khan. The former world featherweight champion, now 33, has told promoter Frank Warren he is determined to fight again, with Khan his target. I understand that the Commonwealth champion Khan is up for it, but Warren has strongly advised Hamed to forget it. "It would be a very unwise move," he says. Hamed would certainly have problems in persuading the Boxing Board of Control to allow him back, because of his conviction for a serious driving offence which critically injured another man and the fact that his ballooning weight would make him a more suitable opponent for Joe Calzaghe than the lightweight Khan. The multi-millionaire formerly known as Prince is envious of the popularity of Khan, who fights Scott Lawton in Nottingham on 6 October. Hamed's last fight was in May 2002, when he was booed out of the ring after outpointing Spain's Manuel Calvo. Yet he once said he would never fight a "brother Muslim". Needs must, eh Naz?

Putin determined to score against England

England have good reason to be fearful of their Euro 2008 qualifying group rivals Russia when they meet at Wembley on 12 September, both on the pitch and off. After his success in securing the 2014 Winter Olympics for Sochi, President Vladimir Putin has got the sporting bit between his teeth big time. It is whispered that he even fancies a seat on the International Olympic Committee when he leaves office next year, and he has instructed his Sports Minister, Vyacheslav Fetisov (pictured), to pull out all the stops to bring football's 2018 World Cup to Russia. Fetisov, a former ice hockey hero, is close to Sepp Blatter and popular within Fifa, so doubtless England's putative bid ambassador, Richard Caborn, will be keeping a watchful eye.

Ping-pong diplomacy takes to the streets

Darius Knight, the young table tennis star whose escape from the gang culture of south London we chronicled last week, will tell teenagers how they can follow his lead when he mentors them at an innovative new event on Saturday organised by the English Table Tennis Association, the Fred Perry Urban Cup (he was a world table tennis champion as well as the last Briton to win Wimbledon) at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, east London. Youngsters from eight cities compete for prizes including computers and music systems - rather more acceptable than a medal these days.

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