Inside Lines: Scots score an own goal as Britain United get go-ahead
Sunday 21 December 2008
Fifa yesterday gave thego-ahead for a British football team to compete in the 2012 Olympics, assuring the four home nations it would not affect their individual status for other competitions. However, Scotland, whose former manager Craig Brown led a petition to oppose this, seeking separate participation or none at all, remain unlikely to play ball, an unwise move which may prove a huge own goal. A quick call to fellow Scot and namesake Sir Craig Reedie, one of Britain's International Olympic Committee members, would have appraised Brown of the Olympic facts of life – that the rules require all team sports to compete as Great Britain, and that football associations around the world expect a unified team with the Games held in Britain. Another senior IOC source suggests that the fuss kicked up by the Scots could be counter-productive, reminding Fifa members of the privileged situation that exists and that some would like to abolish. "All they have achieved is to annoy both Fifa and the IOC."
Cold comfort for Russia
Will London 2012 be following Sochi, host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics, who have loaned back $720 million (£480m) of funding to help out the Russian government in the financial crisis? Cold breath should not be held.
Synch duo back in swim
Tiny Tom Daley, whose post-Olympic activities have included diving with dolphins in Florida and an appearance in the Royal Variety Performance, confirms, as we first reported, that he will resume his partnership with Blake Aldridge in 2009. While the 14-year-old Daley, never one to miss a photo opportunity, has made the most of his celebrity, Aldridge, 26, has been busying himself with other Olympians, visiting kids with critical cancers at London's Great Ormond Street and Liverpool's Alder Hey hospitals for a TV programme to be be screened on Christmas Day. "We just wanted to put a smile on their faces," he said. Daley, who had suggested he would never be in synch with Aldridge again, says any differences are now behind them. He cannot fail to have noticed that Aldridge has been diving successfully with another partner in Germany.
Caborn ko's peace deal
The Amateur Boxing Association have failed to respond to a request from Olympic stars James DeGale and Tony Jeffries to discuss the failure to pay allegedly promised bonuses for performances in Beijing. We hear that the ABA chairman Keith Walters agreed to a meeting but was overruled by president Richard Caborn. The boxers, who make their pro debuts in the new year, say they are fighting for a principle and will give the money, totalling £25,000, to charity. Nor has there been a reply to a solicitor's letter sent on behalf of coach Terry Edwards over remarks made by ABA chief executive Paul King in a radio interview. So, writs all round. Seconds out!
Say it ain't so, Joe
Remember Gerald Ratner? He was the jewellery tycoon who shot himself in the foot by saying his product was crap. Joe Calzaghe seems to have a similar commercial death wish, telling us he is glad to be near the end of his career because boxing is dying. It's hardly the way to sell tickets for his debut as a promoter in Wales next month. Or, indeed, his new DVD, 'Joe Calzaghe — The Complete Story', £19.99.
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