Inside Lines: Sidelined Caborn picks wrong man as firepower of Fergie glows

Richard Caborn, the ex-sports minister, may be peeved at being jocked off England's 2018 World Cup first team as he is one of sport's ace networkers, but he is out of touch in suggesting that Gary Lineker should be brought in "to do a Seb Coe" and lead the bid. As reported here, Lineker has made it clear he does not have the time or the inclination. Caborn thinks it is time for Lord Triesman – a babe lost in the wood of sports politics – to go, and he is not alone there. The sidelining of Caborn seems to be one of the reasons that the Premier League's Sir Dave Richards, his Sheffield pal, has dropped himself from the bid board, though some may consider this no great loss. As the bid rolls on its wobbly way towards South Africa and the World Cup draw, suggestions continue to flood in for personalities to add some pep. These range from Arsène Wenger to Tony Blair. (Oh no, I hear you cry.) Interestingly, the one made here last week, that Sir Alex Ferguson at least should join a host of ambassadors voluminous enough to scoff the chocolates at a Ferrero Rocher soirée, seems to have met with approval. And far less choking over the haggis and neeps from across the border than we might have anticipated. Apart from his unrivalled stature in the English game, Fergie is no mean orator, speaking with passion and without notes, as anyone who heard his moving tribute to Sir Bobby Robson will testify. And should the FA have any parochial qualms about recruiting him to the cause, they should be reminded that a predecessor of Triesman's as chairman of the FA was a Scot, Sir Andrew Stephen, who sacked World Cup winner Sir Alf Ramsey. One call to Old Trafford from Triesman could mean England's fading 2018 hopes are given a Glasgow kiss of life.

Hatton's Board meeting

Ricky Hatton, one of the guests at the British Boxing Board of Control's annual awards bash in London tonight, will have a less social meeting with them next month after being called before the stewards to explain why he took part in a wrestling extravaganza in Sheffield recently. The board, who frown on licence holders doing such things, refused permission for local boxer Ryan Rhodes, who had been offered £3,000 to take part. But Hatton did so and now faces a reprimand and a heavy fine. The podgier-than-ever Hitman, unwisely contemplating a comeback (something the board may also wish to examine) could also come into conflict with Amir Khan, as both have named the Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez as a prospective opponent next year. A sceptical Frank Warren, Hatton's former promoter, says: "It all depends whether Marquez could move up to middleweight to fight Hatton."

insidelines@independent.co.uk

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