Great to watch ENGLAND'S THREE LIONESSES qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada by defeating WALES 4-0 at Cardiff City Stadium last night. For the first time there will be 24 teams competing in 6 cities across the Dominion of Canada, five of them in stadiums with artificial turf.
With a new coach after a woeful European tournament which saw long time pioneer Hope Powell relieved of her duties MARK SAMPSON took his team through the 10 match campaign undefeated and a perfect record, with only one goal against. Three goals in 6 minutes prior to half time did the damage, but Wales, in second place, defended well in the second half and have an outside chance of a play-off spot. The team will celebrate under the arch when they face current European Champions GERMANY on Sunday, November 23rd. www.thefa.com/womens for more details.
A few days earlier the England Women's rugby XV won an exiting World Cup Final over Canada in Paris. The tournament had seen record crowds for the event and record TV audiences. The England ladies are all amateur and took weeks off work for the privilege of representing the nation. The good news is at least 7 will be offered contracts since Rugby Sevens will be a new, exciting addition to the Summer Olympics in Rio 2016. The I.O.C. has made it mandatory that all disciples will have equal representation for both sexes. The recent Commonwealth Games Sevens had record sell-out crowds of 50,000 each day at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, with South Africa defeating Australia in the final.
Not such good news for the England men's football team. With a first round disaster in Brazil, the FA have so far only sold 10,000 tickets for England v Norway at Wembley on September 3rd, despite discounted prices for a not very attractive fixture, but the halal beef burgers are still very overpriced.
Not before time the evil League Managers Association and its CEO Richard Bevan are on the defensive for suggesting that Malky Mackay's nasty texts were 'JUST FRIENDLY BANTER'. I won't repeat them but they are all over the media this morning. The LMA has long defended the many member managers who walk out on clubs despite being under contract. ' A BUMBLING DINOSAUR' is how the respected Henry Winter of 'The Daily Telegraph' calls the LMA. Their HQ is at St. Georges Park, the very expensive FA National Training Centre, and both the Park and the LMA are miles from anywhere and even further from reality ! I know people who attend meetings and even work there, and take their own sandwiches !
Vincent Tan the billionaire owner of Cardiff City, who changed the Bluebirds strip from blue to red, had first fired Iain Moody, who moved to Crystal Palace, and then Mackay, even though the latter took them to The Promised Land of The Premier League. Mackay had asked for £7.5 in compensation but suddenly dropped the claim. Tan in the meantime spent £750,000 in research to show how Moody and Mackay had overspent on transfers and went through 10,000 plus text messages- some very nasty. Yesterday, on the verge of being appointed Crystal Palace's new manager, the texts were made public to the media and to the F.A. Moody promptly resigned from his position at Palace and the offer to Mackay was withdrawn.