Sport A view of the World Cup trophy

President’s response dismissed as ‘totally inadequate’ after he says Fifa cannot ‘change things’

Outside the Box: Scudamore's role in taking off Thaksin and bringing on Sheikh

While the football authorities might have been hoping that Thaksin Shinawatra – originally deemed a fit and proper person to own a Premier League club – would be found not guilty of corruption at his trial in Thailand, there is considerable relief that he had managed to dispose of Manchester City before the verdict was announced last Tuesday. Flimsy as they are, the "fitand proper person" tests employed by the Football Association and Premier League could hardly give carte blanche to someone sentenced to two years' imprisonment in his own country, which is now seeking his extradition from Britain after he skipped bail to return here. Intriguingly, it emerges that City and Thaksin were both advised that the way the wind was blowing in Thailand, it would be impossible for him to continue as the club's owner. Hence the hasty sale to the vastly richer Abu Dhabi United Group, which suited all parties. Richard Scudamore, the chief executive of the Premier League, says in defence of his organisation: "Don't underestimate the role the football authorities played in that." Better late than never.

Scudamore insists relegation will remain

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore insisted today that promotion and relegation remain fundamental to English football.

Glenn Moore: The 39th step is a bold one that the Premier League should persevere with

Tomorrow Richard Scudamore will deliver a speech to the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge entitled "Building a global league". It is understood the Premier League's chief executive will not be resurrecting the case for the international round. He should be.

Neil Warnock: It may be long overdue but it's justice – of sorts

Our columnist and the then manager of Sheffield United welcomes the verdict

'Respect' plan aims to end baiting of referees

The incidents that featured Ashley Cole and Javier Mascherano baiting referees last season were described yesterday as "the tipping point" for the Football Assocation's new "Respect" programme that will be rolled out from this weekend.

Stand your ground, refs told

Team captains will be given extra responsibility in stamping out dissent on the pitch next season but the new 'Respect' initiative launched today stopped short of recommending that only skippers could speak to referees during a game.

Bin Hammam hints at Asian venue for '39th game'

The head of Asian football has opened the door for the Premier League to stage their controversial 'international round' of fixtures in the region provided they can convince the Football Association to back the idea.

England face fight for 2018 World Cup

It may be just a friendly tonight at Wembley, but the Football Association have been warned that it faces the mother of all battles to defeat its American counterparts when it comes to winning the 2018 World Cup bid. The United States' top football officials have also hinted that England's game against Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday will not secure them the vote of the influential Concacaf president, Jack Warner.

Bristol City 0 Hull City 1: Hull aim to copy Bolton's survival template

Until Saturday the most famous scoreline associated with the port at the north end of the Humber Bridge, outside of rugby league circles, was Hull 4 London 0, the title of The Housemartins' debut album. Now there is a new result to cherish, one that ends a century of longing.

The Nick Townsend column: We already know the top four and the bottom three. Keegan's right, it's dull

Barely had a saturated, satisfied Sir Alex Ferguson completed that curious jig of exhilaration – the one that appears more appropriate to the front row of a punk concert than a season's football finale – than the Premier League's ruling junta were flexing their muscles and ominously rearming themselves. Chelsea have already acquired £16.1 million of defender in Jose Bosingwa. United have any number of possibilities, including the strikers Dimitar Berbatov and Ajax's Klass Jan Huntelaar. Meanwhile, Liverpool's Rafa Benitez has been offering rather more than a come-hither glance towards Aston Villa's Gareth Barry. It's what they do; ensure the power continues to be vestedin the self-same ranks and, in Liverpool and Barry's case, wresting it away from those with pretensions of competing with them.

Inside Lines: Home nations still await sign from Blatter

Sepp Blatter's autographwas much in demand at Gleneagles yesterday. Not by fans, but by representatives of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at the International FA Board meeting. They want the Fifa president formally to sign a declaration that their World Cup status will not be compromised if they agree to supply players to a Great Britain Olympic football team in 2012. Although Blatter has given verbal assurances he seems coy about putting pen to paper, and according to Howard Wells, the chief executive of the Irish Football Association, "the whole thing is dead in the water". Wells tell us that the matter was not raised yesterday, informally or otherwise, so the impasse continues, despite renewed pressure on the home nation refuseniks from Gordon Brown and the Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham. The British Olympic Association say that come what may a GB team will be fielded in London, if necessary with all English players. Seb Coe is believed to have cheekily "tapped up" Sir Alex Ferguson to manage, but the Scot is too canny to play ball at this stage.

Beckham will win his 100th England cap, says Capello

Fabio Capello finally confirmed publicly yesterday that David Beckham will get his 100th England cap this year – and the Italian said that he was even prepared to fly to America to watch the former captain in action. Capello made the admission at a forum with England fans, who pressed him on Beckham's international future.

'39th game' moves a step closer as Fifa softens stance

Fifa last night left the door open to an "international round" of Premier League games overseas with a cordial statement that welcomed the Premier League's request to postpone a meeting on the issue, scheduled for tomorrow.

FA rejects 39th game but keeps options open

The Football Association said yesterday that the Premier League's plans for an "international round" (IR) of matches overseas are unsustainable in their current format, with its chairman, Lord Triesman, unequivocal in citing four major reasons why a "39th game" – as mooted in a first blueprint earlier this month – cannot happen.

Terry and Lampard face final on bench

Avram Grant is considering leaving both Frank Lampard and John Terry out of his starting line-up for Sunday's Carling Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur. Both players, who have only recently returned from injury, are understood to privately fear they will be excluded but if the Chelsea manager goes ahead with his plan it will be a remarkably bold move drawing a line under the Jose Mourinho era of "untouchables".

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?