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Lugano lifts spirits at West Brom as Everton miss out

Charles Nevin: Time now for the canine o'clock news

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Diary: Conspiracies hit rock bottom

Living in the cynical age that we undoubtedly do, it gives me no pleasure to report there have been some unsavoury mutterings following national treasure Carol Vorderman's triumph at yesterday's prestigious Rear of the Year ceremony. The flirty number cruncher came out on top despite repeated reports in the tabloids that this year's gong would be going to their new favourite pin-up, Pippa Middleton. Barely moments after Queen Carol's coronation at the Dorchester hotel, conspiracy theories were beginning to mount in a manner perhaps not seen since that old weasel Sepp Blatter announced "and the winner is... Qatar" at Fifa HQ last December. As "Arse-Gate" quickly began to gather momentum, veteran commentators were daring to suggest that poor Carol had "only been wheeled out because the posh Middleton girl wouldn't be seen dead at an event like this". While unfairly not recognised for my undercover work to date, I briefly set about attempting to get to the truth, only to be halted in my tracks by a sinister caller. "Let it go," growled the mystery voice. "This is big boys' stuff."

Johan Cruyff elected to Ajax board of directors

Johan Cruyff has been elected to the board of directors of Ajax in a move the club hopes will help it return to the glory days he ushered in as a player in the 1970s.

DJ Taylor: Blatter's no more than a bench player

Football is bigger than Fifa and its boss. Even on a good day, he has about as much to do with top sport as John Sergeant

Warner ready to turn heat on Blatter

Suspended Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has promised to release an email he sent to the organisation's president, Sepp Blatter, after a meeting of the Caribbean Football Union with then Fifa presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam which became the subject of the cash-for-votes scandal.

Forget envelopes full of cash, this is why 'Football Family' voted Blatter...

A slew of corruption allegations mean Fifa's reputation in the UK is at an all-time low, but most of the world, and their football associations, seem unconcerned. Glenn Moore explains why

Hitzfeld goes back to the drawing board to plug holes up front for Swiss

After the humiliation inflicted by Sepp Blatter the Football Association could regard it as bitterly ironic that England's opposition at Wembley tomorrow are also Swiss. However, while the Fifa president appears as impregnable as ever his nation's footballers are at a low ebb.

Sepp Blatter wins Fifa president election

Sepp Blatter has been re-elected as president of FIFA after the Football Association's attempt to block the vote ended in heavy defeat and vengeful recriminations.

FA calls for delay to Fifa vote as 'point of principle'

Bernstein sticks to guns but acknowledges Blatter re-election is virtually guaranteed

Letter from the editor: The tyranny of Doublespeak

Remember as a child how you would sometimes be listening to adults and see their mouths moving but not understand a word?

Diary: The cost of curves

Never one to shy away from highlighting hypocrisy, readers may recall I was quick to note criticism of certain "quality" newspaper editors who seemed intent on publishing giant photographs of Mad Men's Christina Hendricks whenever given the slightest excuse. Indeed, I was careful to ensure my own written assault was accompanied by a sizeable picture of the said actress, just to drive home the point. (Disappointingly, certain readers later saw fit to question my motives, but that's another story).

James Lawton: Blatter is football's Mr Big and now the gangbusters must bring his empire down

When Acton declared that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, he might havebeen anticipating the creation of Fifa

Robin Scott-Elliot: Fifa is in the crisis – not that they realise it

It takes more than scandal to disturb the serenity of football's governing body

Leading article: The old regime lives to fight another day

It's been a bizarre couple of days. One evening the world is watching an exemplary Champions League final at Wembley, after which there is universal agreement that the better team won – probably, indeed, the most gifted and accomplished team to have competed for very many years. The very next day, you have an ethics hearing at the governing body of world football, Fifa, which finds that two senior officials have a case to answer over bribery allegations and announces a full-scale inquiry.

The Last Word: Club is essential but country is expendable

International rescue is needed as England players continue to walk away
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture