Inside Lines: FA will bring on Blair to help England score World Cup win

Former prime minister Tony will be asked to play a key role in bringing the 2018 World Cup to England. He is expected to be among the luminaries lined up by the Football Association when the bid board of big-hitters from politics, sport and the commercial world is announced shortly by the FA chairman Lord Triesman. Blair, who privately expressed an interest in being part of the bid team before he left office, played an influential part in London capturing the 2012 Olympics. Triesman, a Labour peer, clearly believes his former leader still carries the clout to woo Fifa voters in what will be a highly charged game of political football, with Russia, now almost certain to be England's chief rivals, making it known they will do "whatever it takes" to win the bid.

Edwards still 'uncertain'

Although, as we forecast, a new body have been given responsibility for overseeing Britain's Olympic boxing squad, successful head coach Terry Edwards remains uncertain about his future. The formation of the British Amateur Boxing Association under former Sport England chairman Derek Mapp has been sensibly approved by funders UK Sport, but Edwards still has to resolve deep differences with ABA chief executive Paul King who, he claims, undermined him in Beijing and is expected to part of the new body. The vindicated Edwards will seek assurances from Mapp there will be no repeat of "all that's gone on in the last two years" before deciding whether to stay in the corner.

Late shoe-in for Gabby

The BBC's 'Inside Sport' returns tomorrow and we hear leading lady Gabby Logan is less than ecstatic at the prospect as it becomes an even later late-late show at 11.20pm. With one repeat even scheduled for 5.30am next Sunday and the programme cut back to a mere 30 minutes, it hardly suggests schedulers rate the programme as grabbing viewers by the footballs. Pity. The talented Logan is always good value even when deployed, as she is tomorrow, on such gripping expeditions as helping Olympic golden wonder Rebecca Adlington to sift through her Imelda Marcos-sized shoe cupboard. Talking of presenters, it is good to see that ITV have backtracked on their attempt to axe 60-year-old Jim Rosenthal after their decision to continue screening live boxing under a new deal with promoter Mick Hennessy, which began last night. But uniquely Rosenthal is free to work for other channels.

Gay fans meet Tottenham

Incensed by the abhorrent abuse of Sol Campbell by some Tottenham fans, the Gay Football Supporters' Network will meet the club this week. "We want to know how such breaches of regulations will be dealt with," they say. Don't we all.

Olympic number comes up

Whoopee! We have just won the Lottery. A missive from a Miss Jane Fang, secretary of the " Beijing Olympic 2008 Lotto" in China, informs us that this e-mail address has been selected through a computer ballot system as one of 50 lucky winners and that half a million US dollars will be winging into our bank account once they have the details. So far our enquiries of the organisers remain unanswered, which suggests it is probably a scam of which the IOC should be made aware. But should this turn out not to be the case, next week's column will be coming to you by way of the Bahamas.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

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