BBC BLOGS - David Bond

Archives for December 2010

Bernstein has tough task on his hands

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David Bond | 14:32 UK time, Wednesday, 22 December 2010

New Football Association chairman David Bernstein has just told me it would be preferable if Fabio Capello's replacement as England manager is English.

Bernstein also said he will be fully involved in all the major decisions involving the national side. And so he should, you might say.

Responsibility for the England team is the most high profile role the FA performs and it would be unthinkable for the chairman not to be in control of it.

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What does U-turn mean for sporting legacy?

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David Bond | 10:27 UK time, Monday, 20 December 2010

Of all the difficult spending cuts announced by the coalition government back in October, Prime Minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne cannot have expected the scrapping of funding for school sports to have sparked such howls of protests.

Tuition fees, sure. Defence cuts, definitely. But a relatively small and little known network called School Sports Partnerships (SSPs)?

That was hardly likely to cause demonstrations, was it?

And yet on Monday Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, will announce a partial climbdown on the decision to axe the £162m scheme.

After a series of meetings with cabinet colleagues last week, including the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, I understand about £70m has been salvaged to ensure the network is maintained, although that too will eventually be phased out.

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Is winter World Cup on cards?

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David Bond | 16:26 UK time, Friday, 17 December 2010

Sepp Blatter's apology over his crass comments about gay sex in Qatar might have attracted most of the attention on Friday but his remarks about the possibility of staging the first winter World Cup are perhaps far more significant.

Two weeks after the oil rich Arab emirate was awarded the rights to stage the 2022 World Cup, a bandwagon is already rolling to try and move the competition from its usual place in the football calendar in June and July to January to avoid the scorching heat of summer in the Middle East.

First Fifa executive committee members and ex-players Franz Beckenbauer and Michel Platini floated the idea. Then on Thursday Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said "why not?" when asked whether the event could be moved.

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Uncertainty surrounds appointment of FA chairman

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David Bond | 17:07 UK time, Thursday, 16 December 2010

With a series of big names distancing themselves from the post and the favourite, David Dein, still weighing up whether to apply, the search for a new Football Association chairman is not becoming any clearer.

Sir Keith Mills, Martin Broughton, Lord Mervyn Davies and Sir Terry Leahy have all declined advances to talk to the FA about the position, which has been vacant since Lord David Triesman resigned in May.

Dein, who until two weeks ago was the international president of England's failed World Cup 2018 bid, has become the favoured candidate in a narrowing field.

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FA hopes new chairman will bring happier 2011

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David Bond | 19:15 UK time, Friday, 10 December 2010

Even by the Football Association's standards 2010 has been a terrible year.

Humiliation in last week's World Cup vote in Zurich, humiliation at the World Cup in South Africa and humiliation as its chairman Lord Triesman and chief executive Ian Watmore quit within the space of just two months.

But over the next fortnight English football's governing body has the chance to make amends and set itself on the road to a better 2011.

Before Christmas the FA is due to select a new chairman to replace the now shadow education minister Lord Triesman, who was forced to resign after the Mail on Sunday published his claims about World Cup bid rivals Spain and Russia.

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FA faces questions over 2018 World Cup bid

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David Bond | 14:12 UK time, Saturday, 4 December 2010

Roger Burden is seen by many as a principled man. The acting FA chairman was also seen as the favoured candidate to land the job full time early in the new year.

His decision to withdraw his application because he feels he cannot trust Fifa in the wake of England's failed bid for the 2018 World Cup is entirely understandable in the circumstances.

His sour views about the Fifa members who betrayed the England bid will also be shared by many other football leaders and fans in the country.

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Anger, despair and bewilderment

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David Bond | 17:13 UK time, Friday, 3 December 2010

The atmosphere was one of anger but also despair and bewilderment. 

As the England 2018 chief executive Andy Anson gave the dreaded morning after the night before media conference at the Steigenberger Hotel it was clear he still couldn't quite believe what had happened at Thursday's Fifa World Cup vote.

To lose was one thing. But to be eliminated with only two votes was quite another - especially when one of those votes came from Englishman Geoff Thompson.

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England will fight to the very last

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David Bond | 08:43 UK time, Thursday, 2 December 2010

Zurich, Switzerland

It was like a who's who of English football and politics in the Baur Au Lac Hotel on Wednesday night. In one corner of the intimate lobby, where so much of the action is happening, there was David Beckham and Fabio Capello. In another, Richard Scudamore, the chief executive of the Premier League, chatting with Mohamed Bin Hammam, head of the Asian Football Confederation and Qatar's Fifa vice-president.

Lord Sebastian Coe, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Sports Minister Hugh Robertson were also out in force but the most amusing moment of the evening came when Mayor of London Boris Johnson bounded into the room.

Spotting Chuck Blazer, the American Fifa executive committee member sitting with the actor Morgan Freeman, Johnson made straight for the key voter, patting him on the arm before proceeding to fist pump his way around the room, urging 'Come on England'.

Just what the Fifa members made of all this is anyone's guess but any doubts over England's commitment to the 2018 World Cup campaign will surely have been swept away.

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