Inside Lines: Sacked Nicolas Anelka plans his next move as a gesture of defiance

 

It's been a tough week for French football, with Eric Cantona getting into hot water with the police and then Nicolas Anelka getting the boot by West Bromwich Albion.

After being sacked for "gross misconduct" following his five-match FA ban and £80,000 fine for the quenelle gesture he made at Upton Park in December, sources in France say the 35-year-old striker intends to continue his playing career. It is believed he will not be short of offers from European clubs and could even return to China, where he was player-coach at Shanghai Shenhua in 2012-13.

"Nicolas will want to continue with another club even if it is an act of defiance," says a French journalist who knows him well. "He will not consider this as an end to his career."

Anelka had himself declared on Twitter that he had decided to terminate his contract with Albion, a day after it was confirmed he would not contest the FA ban. But West Bromwich responded by saying that his purported termination "was not conducted under the proper legal process" and issued him with 14 day notice "as required under his contract".

Fairer funding for have-nots

Team GB's successes in Sochi, with medal targets exceeded in both the Winter Games and subsequent Paralympics, led by visually impaired skier Jade Etherington, have rightly been extolled by funding body UK Sport, who jubilantly cite their policy of Lottery and Exchequer investment on a "no compromise" basis as a prime reason for the current euphoria.

Fair enough. Like the golden days of 2012, it couldn't have happened without such a huge infusion of public dosh. But this "no-time-for-losers" philosophy continues to attract criticism from those less successful sports, notably basketball, wrestling and water polo, which have been cast into the financial wilderness, and now is even causing some embarrassment among some of the more richly rewarded Olympic pursuits. We hear that at least one major sport is to argue that a fairer system should be introduced and would happily take less if this could be distributed among the have-nots. Others may follow and urge UK Sport to re-think their punitive programme.

One campaigner tells us: "There is clearly an increasing groundswell against the policy, which is harming British sport overall, especially team sports." I hope that UK Sport's chief executive, the ex-netballer Liz Nicholl, now the most powerful woman in British sport, will take the argument on board on and demonstrate she is not completely wedded to a policy which so many believe is unsporting.

Hard labour, soft answer

The current UK Sport policy is endorsed by the Government, so we asked the shadow sports minister, Clive Efford, whether he would support those who thought it would be fairer, rather than to award increases to successful, yet less-needy sports, to instead distribute this amount among the others so they are not totally financially emasculated.

His response was disappointingly anodyne. "UK Sport has an outstanding record in supporting athletes and sports that bring success at the highest level. Whilst I am determined to play my part in generating greater participation in sport at the grass roots, I do not think it is for politicians to try to pick and choose which sports are going to be successful and which are not at the elite end of competition."

No boat-rocking there, though one would have thought that fairer distribution of wealth was right up Labour's street.

Lviv and let die

The political turmoil in Ukraine has not deterred Lviv from bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Along with those of Krakow (Poland), Oslo (Norway), Almaty (Kazakhstan), and Beijing (China) their submission, initiated by deposed president Viktor Yanukovych, has been formally lodged with the IOC. Good luck with that!

Ingle's new Naz

Brendan Ingle, 73-year-old doyen of Britain's fight gurus, for years has yearned to unearth another Naseem Hamed in his Sheffield reformatory. Now he reckons the new Naz has come along – with remarkable similarities to the old one.

Like Hamed, Barry Abdul Awad has Yemeni parentage, though born in Qatar. Given the nom-du-ring Kid Galahad by Ingle, and undefeated in 15 bouts, he boxes for the European super-bantamweight title against Spaniard Sergio Prado at the Ponds Forge Arena next Saturday – the same venue where "Prince" Naseem won this title 20 years ago.

Galahad is another teenage tearaway "sorted out" by Ingle, who says: "Just like Naz, the Kid was a pain in the backside. He'd start an argument in an empty room. Now he's one of the nicest fellas you could wish to meet. He does more than help old dears across the street – he gives them a lift in his car to do their shopping."

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing