Well, here’s a cautionary tale, should Umbro ever take it upon themselves to follow through the increasing amounts of red on England shirts to its logical conclusion. A Turkish lawyer is planning on suing Internazionale for wearing a shirt with a red cross on the front of it. It seems pretty straightforward to me that the man is either desperately seeking publicity or is mad. Let it go, man! The Crusades were 900 years ago! Still, on a relatively slow news day, it gives the likes of me something to talk about.
Elsewhere, if you actually did want to see something that could be deemed as offensive, you could do a lot worse than check out Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd’s comments over the apparently imminent deportation of Alhassan Bangura back to Sierra Leone. The young striker was The Hornet’s Young Player Of The Year last season and, at nineteen years old, had (or, with a bit of luck, may still have) a bright future ahead of him before the Immigration Service stepped in. I can only say that Mr Boothroyd may wish to dwell upon the fact that it is precisely this sort of thing:
“This country, great as it once was, seems to allow anybody in to send benefits wherever they fancy and we have one young man here who pays his taxes, has a fiancee and a newborn son and somebody somewhere thinks it’s a good decision to send him back to Sierra Leone. It’s ridiculous.”
That is the reason behind Britain’s absurdly cruel laws on immigration. I wish Bangura all the luck in the world with his application, but at least the system can’t be accused of “political correctness gone mad”. This is a case of “Daily Mail politics seen through to its logical conclusion”.
This week’s FA Cup Second Round replays, meanwhile, threw up a couple of interesting results in the week. It’s all over for Horsham, though the Ryman League Premier Division side did take the lead twice before losing 6-2 to Swansea City, The Swans, who lead League One, are at home against Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville in the Third Round. Luton Town, who recently plummeted to the bottom of the League One table after going into administration, might just have been handed a lifeline to secure their short-term future. They beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night, and are now at home to Liverpool in a Third Round that will be televised live. The money that this match will bring in should help to ensure that they survive at least until the end of the season. Two years ago, you may remember, Luton and Liverpool played out one of the most memorable FA Cup matches of recent times when Liverpool came from 3-0 down to beat Luton 5-3 in the Third Round. It’s probably asking too much to expect such excitement again. Finally, congratulations to Chasetown, of the (deep breath) British Gas Business League Division One Midlands, who beat Port Vale 1-0 in their replay to set up a Third Round tie against Cardiff City.
Last but not least, the FIFA Club World Cup has its two finalists – Milan beat Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 today, with Kaka setting up the only goal of the match for Clarence Seedorf, of all people. Milan play Boca Juniors on Sunday, with Urawa Red Diamonds playing Etoile Sportive Du Sahel in the Bronze Medal match just before them. Here are some brief highlights.