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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Arts and Entertainment
Ella Henderson's first studio album has gone straight to the top of the charts
music
News
<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
TV

Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

Life and Style
fashion
News
Paul Nuttall, left, is seen as one of Ukip's key weapons in selling the party to the North of England
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand labelled 'left-wing commie scum' by Fox News
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC's Antiques Roadshow uncovers a TIE fighter pilot helmet from the 1977 Star Wars film, valuing it at £50,000
TV

TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow

News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

Sport
Steven Caulker of QPR scores an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool
football
Arts and Entertainment
artKaren Wright tours the fair and wishes she had £11m to spare
News
i100
Life and Style
Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh been invited to take part in Women Fashion Power, a new exhibition that celebrates the way women's fashion has changed in relation to their growing power and equality over the past 150 years
fashionKirsty and Camila swap secrets about how to dress for success
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
booksNew book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer
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

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Year 5/6 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Permanent Year 6 TeacherThe job:This...

KS1 & KS2 Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: KS1+KS2 Teachers required ASAP for l...

Year 2 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 2 Teacher The position is to wo...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past