Tag Archives: bodies

Sport England give cash boost to cycling, netball and triathlon

Cycling ends stellar year with more gold… and netball and triathlon profit too

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UPDATED:

22:52 GMT, 17 December 2012

Cycling has received a huge increase in funding to top off a superb 2012.

Netball and triathlon were also rewarded for increased participation as Sport England announced a 493million investment in grassroots sport over the next four years.

However, swimming, tennis and basketball have been told to engage more people to be assured of getting their cash.

Wheely good news: Cycling is among the sports to get a cash injection

Wheely good news: Cycling is among the sports to get a cash injection

Sport England funding

Cycling, the event in which Britain had most success at the London Olympics, will receive 32m — more than any other sport.

Netball is the third highest funded sport (after football in second) with 25.3m to support a game played almost exclusively by women. Triathlon, which will get 7.5m, also aims to put on cheaper events so more people can participate.

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said: ‘For the first time we have created a specific fund to reward success by national governing bodies who prove they can grow their sports. This is about backing winners.

‘Investment in this scale from the public purse is a big responsibility for the sector and we are committed to a tough but fair approach of payment for results. We are determined to get good value for every pound of this funding.’

Non-Olympic sports such as cricket and both codes of rugby suffered big cuts.

Cricket will see a 15m drop in grassroots funding up to 2017, although the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine programme will receive an additional 7.5m over three years. Rugby union’s allocation was cut by 8.8m and rugby league’s by 10.1m.

The Lawn Tennis Association will receive 7.5m next year but their long-term plan to get more people involved in the game was labelled ‘not strong enough’ and there is no assurance they will receive the 10.3m that has been provisionally allocated to them for 2014-17.

Pride of Britain: The success of the Brownlees has given a lift to triathlon

Pride of Britain: The success of the Brownlees has given a lift to triathlon

Britain’s elite swimmers underperformed at the Olympics and the Amateur Swimming Assocation will also have funds withheld until they can show Sport England their participation plans are working.

David Sparkes, chief executive of the ASA, said: ‘While we are disappointed with the one-year investment for participation, we are encouraged by the confidence Sport England has shown in our plans to increase swimming participation levels over the next four years.’

Owen Farrell praises England performance against new Zealand

England played like champions at Twickenham, says Farrell after All Blacks are stunned

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UPDATED:

16:45 GMT, 2 December 2012

Owen Farrell hailed the 'champions' attitude' which underpinned England's sensational 38-21 victory over New Zealand – and proved a point to the rest of the world.

Farrell kicked 17 points and overshadowed his illustrious opposite number Dan Carter as England powered their way to a record victory over the world champions.

England went into the game on the back of frustrating defeats to Australia (20-14) and South Africa (16-15) while the All Blacks were on a 20-game unbeaten run.

Top performance: Farrell kicked 17 of England's 38 points

Top performance: Farrell kicked 17 of England's 38 points

The gulf in experience was vast. New Zealand boasted more caps in their front row than Stuart Lancaster's young team had in their entire starting XV.

But England bridged that gap with a ferocious performance at Twickenham and delivered the victory they needed to validate their own belief and all the talk of improving performances.

'The belief has always been there. This win just solidifies that. We know that when we bring our game we can beat anybody,' Farrell said.

'We felt the performances were there but we didn't quite get the results we wanted. We felt like it was nearly there. I know on the outside people didn't think that.

'But the stuff that has been said on the outside has only made us tighter as a group.

Clinging on: Farrell tackles Conrad Smith

Clinging on: Farrell tackles Conrad Smith

'There is a lot of fight in this team, there is a champions' attitude and it showed out there. The boys put their bodies on the line and really worked hard to put the pressure on.

'We really put in a good performance and it can only do us good going forward.

'If we stick to our processes and do what we do well, we will challenge any team. If we take our game to them on the day, it doesn't matter who we are playing we are going to trouble them.'

Farrell kicked three penalties and a drop goal to open England a 15-0 lead before the All Blacks hit them with two tries in three minutes, from Julian Savea and Kieran Read.

At that moment, England's young team faced the biggest test of their character and they reacted in the way of champions with Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi all scoring in a three-try blitz.

Try time: Manu Tuilagi goes over for England

Try time: Manu Tuilagi goes over for England

'We knew they would come back and throw the kitchen sink at us. We know what a good team they are, that they would never lie down and be beaten,' Farrell said.

'Credit to them for fighting back but we always had belief in what we were doing and we never gave up and that showed in the way we played.'

Farrell and Carter are both on the International Rugby Board's shortlist for world player of the year, along with Richie McCaw and Frederic Michalak.

No one was more shocked by Farrell's inclusion than the Englishman himself but his performance eclipsed Carter's at Twickenham.

'There is no bigger admirer of him than me. I have watched him very closely,' Farrell said.

'We had a little chat after the game and swapped shirts.

'I was massively shocked to be on the list. I think I showed bits of what I can do today. I can always get better.'

Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els and Co wait to hear if long putters will be banned

Scott, Bradley, Els and Co wait to hear if controversial long putters will be banned

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UPDATED:

11:08 GMT, 26 November 2012

Golfers around the world are waiting to hear if long putters are to be banned – or at least the way many currently use them is banned.

But one influential voice is urging professionals not to take radical action even if they do not like having to change.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said: 'Speaking personally on behalf of the Tour, one of our great facets is that we are connected to the game that every amateur can play as well.

Verdict: Long putters could be banned from the game

Verdict: Long putters could be banned from the game

Justin Rose feels the fourth

Justin Rose

Justin Rose's closing 62 for second
place behind Rory McIlroy in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai has
taken him to fourth in the world – his highest placing.

But by finishing only joint 48th in
the 56-strong field, Lee Westwood has dropped to sixth – his lowest
position for over three years.

'We could go separately. I would urge the Tour to follow the rules as laid down by the governing bodies.

'We are a very strong lobbyist, our views being sought all the time. There's been a lot of discussion throughout the year with the USGA (United States Golf Association) and the R&A (Royal and Ancient Club) and the PGA Tour.

'I think the rules-making bodies have to do what they think is right for the game.

'The view of our leading members and our players must be listened to, but I haven't heard one of our members want to break away at the moment. They want to be connected to the game.'

The issue has come to the fore with three of the last five major champions – Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els – among those using long putters.

Nobody had ever won a major with one until Bradley's victory at the USPGA Championship last year.

Peter Dawson, the R&A chief executive, said in July after The Open: 'Anchoring is what we're looking at -method of stroke – and it's all about putting around a fixed pivot point, whether that is in your belly or under your chin or on your chest.

'It has dramatically increased and we're also seeing now people who can putt perfectly well in the conventional way thinking that an anchored stroke gives them an advantage.

'I think that's the fundamental change that we've witnessed in the last couple of years.

'The objections I find from those at elite level are “if people have become failed putters in the conventional way why should they have a crutch to come back and compete against me when I haven't failed in the conventional way” That's the general argument one hears.'

Racist fans won"t get to Spurs – Andre Villas-Boas

Racist fans won't get to us, says AVB as Spurs brace for second clash with Lazio

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 22 November 2012

Andre Villas-Boas has told his Tottenham players to let football's governing bodies lead the fight against racism in the stands.

Spurs are in Rome on Thursday night for the Europa League return against Lazio, who were fined 32,500 after fans aimed monkey noises at black players when the teams met at White Hart Lane in September.

Warming up: Tom Huddlestone (right) and team-mates in training at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday

Warming up: Tom Huddlestone (right) and team-mates in training at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday

Fancy that: Clint Dempsey (left) shows off his skills to Kyle Walker (second right)

Fancy that: Clint Dempsey (left) shows off his skills to Kyle Walker (second right)

Lazio v Spurs

'UEFA decided to punish Lazio and
rightly so,' said Villas-Boas. 'It doesn’t mean incidents won’t happen
again. We hope they won’t and the players will be in the right frame of
mind to let the governing bodies deal with those situations at the end
of the game if it does. It’s something that will hopefully not happen.'

Tottenham’s team will include Steven Caulker, charged by Serbian police after the England Under 21 team brawl which followed racist abuse by Serbian fans during a European Championships play-off in Krusevac last month.

'I’m not worried about the atmosphere,' said Caulker. 'Italy is a great footballing country and hopefully that will be the talking point.'

Paul Gascoigne’s appearance may soothe the mood inside the Stadio Olimpico with a crowd of around 30,000 expected. The former England star has been invited to Rome by Lazio as a guest of honour, 20 years after he joined them from Spurs.

'It is a big thing for both clubs,' said Villas-Boas. 'He was admired by a generation of football people around the world. He had tremendous class and quality and it is important he will be here.'

A win for Tottenham will put them through to the Europa League’s last 32 with a game to spare.

So close: Spurs can get through to the Europa League knockout stages with a win in Rome

So close: Spurs can get through to the Europa League knockout stages with a win in Rome

Focused: Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas speaks at his press conference on Wendesay

Focused: Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas speaks at his press conference on Wendesay

Derek Lawrenson World of Golf – November to remember for Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood

It's already been a November to remember

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UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 5 November 2012

Has there ever been a golfing week in November quite like the last one What caught your eye – the joyous rise of Ian Poulter in China or the sad demise of Lee Westwood What happens next for Rory McIlroy now he’s changed club manufacturers or what happens next for the European Tour now everybody is off to America Are the governing bodies right to try to ban belly putters

Here are some thoughts on the hot topics of the moment…

The rise of Poulter

He might have no chance of winning the BBC’s Sports Personality award but is there really a better personality in sport right now than our Poults

Poulter: Amazing personality

Poulter: Amazing personality

Is there a better character than the larger than life, former 17 year old club assistant playing off a five handicap, who progressed so far he changed the destiny of the Ryder Cup single-handedly and still found enough energy to win in China on Sunday and become the first Englishman to win two World Golf Championship events This is Poulter’s 13th year as a pro and he has won tournaments in all but one of them.

Poults reckons the American Brandt Snedeker is the best putter in golf. On a week-to-week basis, I’d go with Luke Donald. But if you had to pick one man to hole a putt to save your life, the way Jose Maria Olazabal once did and then Tiger Woods That man is now Ian James Poulter.

The demise of Lee Westwood

You will be familiar with my respect for Westwood the golfer and Westwood the man. So you can imagine what it was like rising early to watch the end of the HSBC Champions tournament in China on Sunday, and the first two shots I see are Westwood doing what all bad amateurs do – first clunking a chip short and then thinning the next one.

The great thing about Westwood is that he will dwell on the positives of his lucky life and keep searching for a solution, and let’s hope to God he finds one.

Demise: Westwood fell away in China

Demise: Westwood fell away in China

But the fact he has now played in over 100 majors and world golf championship events and not won any tells its own story about a telling weakness around the greens under pressure that you fear will never be resolved.

Rory McIlroy changing clubs

Listening to Sir Nick Faldo, he makes changing club manufacturers sound a bit like a violin virtuoso ditching his Stradivarius. And yes, it is true, we have seen a number of players lose form after such a change. Payne Stewart, Ian Woosnam and, perhaps most pertinently in this instance, David Duval when he switched to Nike clubs, to name but three.

But the technology has changed to such an extent since those players were competing it is hard to believe that it will cause a break in McIlroy’s stride.

Perhaps there will be a couple of tournaments early on when the clubs will feel a touch strange. But, as we await the official announcement of his expected 156 million switch to the swoosh, expect him be perfectly in tune with the new tools of his trade come the Masters.

Changing clubs: McIlroy

Changing clubs: McIlroy

Whither the European Tour

Are we rapidly reaching the point where the last man on tour needs to switch off the lights Listening to some of the doom and gloom, you’d think so.

No-one could argue this has been a good year for the tour, with events in mainland Europe disappearing at an alarming rate. But Keith Waters, the tour’s chief operating officer, tells me that when the schedule is announced for next year, all the national Opens around Europe that we have come to know and love will be in place, and that’s good to know.

Luke Donald said last week the tour should be worried by the growing exodus to America but the fact is, stars like himself can ease any such fears. All it would take is for them to commit to play in three events in Europe every year.

Time to ban the Belly Putter

Yes, you’re right, the governing bodies should have snapped this dreadful implement in half at birth. But if you’re in any doubt that it is never too late to do the right thing, then the sight of 14-year-old Guan Tianling winning his spot at the Masters using one of the damn things should convince.

Belly putter: Guan Tianlang of China, 14, reacts after winning his pot at the Masters

Belly putter: Guan Tianlang of China, 14, reacts after winning his pot at the Masters

In other words, the future stars are now not even bothering learning the complexities of putting with orthodox equipment, and why should they when this form of legalized cheating offers such an easy way out

The Royal and Ancient and the United States Golf Association have seen the future, and know that if they don’t act now a conventional putter in another decade will be about as common as a persimmon driver.

More from Derek Lawrenson…

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29/10/12

World of Golf: Rose blooming, so let’s not rake over the coals
22/10/12

Derek Lawrenson: Overpaid Most earnings aren't on a par with Rose's fortune
15/10/12

Derek Lawrenson: It's a Turkish delight as eight greats battle it out for big bucks
08/10/12

Derek Lawrenson: Why we should be saying Yanks for the memories to gracious losers
01/10/12

Derek Lawrenson: McIlroy a victim of trash talk in American press ahead of Ryder Cup
24/09/12

Derek Lawrenson: Westwood at fever pitch to boost his holiday funds by $10million
17/09/12

Derek Lawrenson: Now Tiger has the chance to rewrite McIlroy's story
10/09/12

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Ryder Cup car up for auction

Shortly up for auction in the village of Lombard, just outside Chicago: an unmarked police car, namely a Ford Crown Victoria, built in 2005 and with 81,000 miles on the clock.

Its selling point This is the car used by Deputy Chief Pat Rollins that broke all speed limits and got Rory McIlroy to the Ryder Cup singles matches on time.

Christian fighting to avoid cut

On a United States tour where $1 million first prizes are handed out almost as a matter of course and the average salary of players competing is in seven figures, it seems almost perverse that a shortfall of precisely $3,504 is threatening Gary Christian’s livelihood.

That is the amount between the 41-year-old Englishman in 127th place on the list and 125th-ranked Billy Mayfair, who occupies the last spot to retain privileges to play a full schedule next year.

Perverse too, that this week’s final event featuring pros frantic with worry and nerves should take place in the vacation capital of America, Orlando.

Christian is the gutsy fighter who finally made it through to the big-time this year after so many seasons of struggle, when he was forced to take jobs like selling knives to keep his dream alive. Now he has 72 holes to save himself or suffer the unkindest cut.

A terrible finish to his last tournament, when he was in position to claim the funds he needs, was a brutal indication of the pressure he is feeling. We can but wish him well in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic, which begins on Thursday within the grounds of Walt Disney.

Quote of the Week

‘If Rory McIlroy doesn’t come and play Bay Hill next year he might have a broken arm and won’t have to worry about where he’s going to play next.’

Here was Arnold Palmer, wrapping up his message in a joke but making clear he wants Rory to pitch up at his tournament next March. If truth be told, McIlroy would rather play in Houston the following week. But dare he say no to the King

Rio Ferdinand and Anton Ferdinand call truce with John Terry and Ashley Cole

Shake on it! Ferdinands call truce with Cole and Terry, saying: 'It's time for us all to move on'

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UPDATED:

07:07 GMT, 25 October 2012

Rio and Anton Ferdinand have called a truce in their fight over racism — and they will even shake hands with John Terry and Ashley Cole.

In a statement, the Ferdinand family expressed their disappointment with the actions of the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association during the last year.

Brothers in arms: Anton (left) and Rio Ferdinand have called for a truce

Brothers in arms: Anton (left) and Rio Ferdinand have called for a truce

But hours after PFA chief executive
Gordon Taylor responded to the threat of a breakaway black players’
union by announcing a new six-point action plan to combat racial
discrimination in the game, the Ferdinands agreed to call a halt to the
internal fighting and open discussions with the relevant bodies.

That, Sportsmail understands,
includes drawing a line under their public disputes with Terry and Cole
against the backdrop of the Terry racism controversy.

Snub: Anton Ferdinand declines to shake John Terry's hand last month

Snub: Anton Ferdinand declines to shake John Terry's hand last month

Only last month Anton Ferdinand
refused to acknowledge both Terry and Cole at Loftus Road and his older
brother was considering snubbing Cole when Manchester United meet
Chelsea on Sunday.

However, Rio will now shake the hands of Cole and Terry at Stamford Bridge in the Barclays Premier League match on Sunday.

Breakaway: Rio had considered creating a black players' union

Breakaway: Rio had considered creating a black players' union

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck issued a
public apology to the Ferdinands once Terry had decided not to appeal
against his FA ban and fine for abusing Anton Ferdinand, and Taylor’s
actions convinced them it was time to move on for ‘the betterment of the
game’.

In a statement, the Ferdinands said:
‘It has been a year since the incident at Loftus Road (between Terry and
Anton Ferdinand). In that time, some of the deep divisions that exist
in football have been exposed.

Snub: Anton was among several players who did not wear anti-racism t-shirts

Snub: Anton was among several players who did not wear anti-racism t-shirts

'During the coming months there will be
ongoing discussions, we are sure, on finding a way forward. We intend to
participate in these discussions with other current and
ex-professionals of all races, from the grass roots upwards.’

Last weekend, both Ferdinands joined a
number of black players in refusing to wear T-shirts supporting the
FA-sponsored Kick It Out campaign.

Snub: Rio Ferdinand declined to wear the Kick It Out T-shirt at Old Trafford

Snub: Rio Ferdinand declined to wear the Kick It Out T-shirt at Old Trafford

The statement said: ‘On the issue of
Kick It Out, we would like to go on record to say what fantastic work
they have done in the past regarding education and awareness. However,
times change and organisations need to change with them.

‘Although we have been left
disappointed by the PFA and the FA’s actions over the last year, as a
family we are committed to working with football’s existing
organisations towards the betterment of the game and to achieve
immediate action.’

Happier times (from left): Rio Ferdinand, Cole and Terry on England duty

Happier times (from left): Rio Ferdinand, Cole and Terry on England duty

Taylor welcomed the statement. ‘We’ll
be very happy to involve them in the process of talks,’ he said.

But
sources said a federation of black players remains a
possibility.

Black players urged to support Kick It Out campaign and scrap breakaway plan

Divided we fail! Don't go it alone in racism fight, black players urged

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UPDATED:

21:57 GMT, 23 October 2012

The FA have joined Government ministers and senior football figures in urging black players to get behind the Kick It Out campaign and abandon plans for a breakaway union.

FA chairman David Bernstein and general secretary Alex Horne warned against 'fragmentation' as a breakaway began to take shape.

Peter Herbert, who chairs the Society of Black Lawyers, confirmed Sportsmail's exclusive story by telling the BBC discussions about forming a group – that he referred to as the 'Black Players' Association' – had taken place.

Snub: Rio Ferdinand, who was an unused substitute in the win over Braga on Tuesday, has boycotted the Kick It Out campaign

Snub: Rio Ferdinand, who was an unused substitute in Manchester United's win over Braga on Tuesday, has boycotted the Kick It Out campaign

Bernstein said: 'Great passions are involved here. I hope sense prevails and people can work together. Fragmentation isn't in anyone's interest. We support Kick It Out in every respect, both morally and financially. Do I hope players stay in Kick It Out Yes I do. Fragmentation would be a shame. At the same time we have to understand the moral issues and people have to be able to make their own choices but, in the interests of everybody, I hope it doesn't lead to fragmentation.'

As Sportsmail revealed, a draft constitution for a new group exists, with players as high-profile as Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand supporting the initiative.

It is understood that the players involved are determined to press ahead with plans for the BFA after becoming disillusioned with the game's governing bodies.

Leading the way: Terry returned to captain Chelsea on Tuesday night

Leading the way: Terry returned to captain Chelsea on Tuesday night

There is particular discontent with what is considered the lenient punishment of John Terry for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

'I have great respect for Anton Ferdinand and Rio Ferdinand and I understand their sensitivities,' said Bernstein.

'They have had a pretty rough time. Anton has had a very difficult time, as have his family. The fact this has taken so long – even though I would justify the process – certainly hasn't helped.'

Herbert said: 'There comes a point in any community's life or experience where enough is enough. People appear to have decided they have to do something more vigorously.'

Making his point: Chairman of the Football Assocation David Bernstein warned against fragmentation

Making his point: Chairman of the Football Assocation David Bernstein warned against fragmentation

PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle said he will hold talks with the players in an attempt to avert the growing crisis.

Reading striker Jason Roberts, who has been among the most vocal players during the demand for change and led the T-shirt boycott of Kick It Out last weekend, is in regular dialogue with Carlisle.

Carlisle said: 'I've had a number of conversations with Jason over the past few months and the most recent was on Sunday. Jason explained one or two things to me, but I don't know what the full intentions or requests of this breakaway group are.

'The threat is very real because the proposal is there and the discussions have been had. We have been having meetings with Jason and we have been desperately trying to get Rio into the meetings. We will have discussions with them and we need to know exactly what it is they want.

Centre of attention: Roberts is among a number of black players to snub the Kick It Out campaign

Centre of attention: Roberts is among a number of black players to snub the Kick It Out campaign

'Whether this is a movement that is in full flow and whether they think it is going to happen irrespectively, or whether it is something where they are trying to instigate change within the organisations that are in place.

'It has the potential to be divisive as when you establish a black players' union it would instantly define 'us and them' and that's something we need to work against.'

FA general secretary Horne claimed the FA are one step ahead of the world's leading football authorities in helping to combat racism.

'We are ahead of the game when it comes to tackling the issue of racism compared with other countries,' he said.

Urge: Hugh Robertson called on football's black players to unite behind the campaign

Urge: Hugh Robertson called on football's black players to unite behind the campaign

'We are always willing to co-operate and the English FA is a preferred partner, along with Germany, to assist FIFA with different issues.'

Sports minister Hugh Robertson suggested the breakaway group was a notion cooked up by 'hotheads'.

Robertson urged the game's black players to unite behind Kick It Out. He said: 'This is a moment for cool heads, not hot ones. Whatever the frustrations, the best way to advance this agenda is to get behind those bodies and to help them carry this work on. Footballers are individuals and take their own decisions. I acknowledge and support the work done by the anti-racism bodies, particularly Kick It Out, and I would urge everybody to get behind them.

'I absolutely understand why the temperature is raised and why they feel very strongly but I think it is important we back Kick it Out and continue to make progress.'

Webb Simpson: Don"t ban long putters

Don't ban the long putter! US Open champion Simpson against potential rule change

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UPDATED:

10:48 GMT, 23 October 2012

US Open champion Webb Simpson insists he is not worried about his long putter being banned – but believes outlawing the club would be wrong.

American Simpson, one of three players to win a major recently with the controversial club, has been trying out a conventional 'short' putter in anticipation of a possible rule change.

Simpson also argues that large-headed drivers have had a much bigger impact on the game.

Size matters: Webb Simpson uses one of the controversial longer putters

Size matters: Webb Simpson uses one of the controversial longer putters

The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient (R&A), the game's two governing bodies, have been discussing the status of 'anchored putters' with a ban among the options being considered.

'”There's a bunch of arguments going around but I haven't heard a good one yet,' Simpson, in Bermuda for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, said.

'I'm friends with a lot of the R&A guys and the USGA guys. It's nothing personal and I know they are trying to do it for the betterment of the game, but I don't think it's a good decision.'

Simpson switched to the belly putter in 2004 but says he has seen no evidence in the PGA Tour's 'strokes gained over the field' putting statistic that the longer putter gives players any advantage.

'Last year there was no one in the top 20 in strokes gained category that anchored a putter,' he said.

'So the argument of, “it's an advantage”, you have to throw that out there.

Big fan: Keegan Bradley enjoys having a bit of extra length when he's on the green

Big fan: Keegan Bradley enjoys having a bit of extra length when he's on the green

Golf blog

'It's going to be tough if they do ban it. It's going to be tough for a lot of people, not just players. It's going to be tough for committees to really have a stance on it and explain why.'

The use of an extended putter seems to be totally at odds with the spirit of the game, but it has played a key role in reviving the careers of several players who have suffered from the yips, or the putting twitches.

Broomhandle or belly putters, pioneered by 2002 European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance, among others, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, are tucked under the chin or into the belly.

They are swung in a pendulum fashion, and crucially make demands on a different set of small muscles and nerves.

'The objections at professional level are all about if people become failed putters in the conventional way, why should they have a crutch to come back and compete against me when I haven't failed in the conventional way,' R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said earlier this year.

'That's the general argument one hears. But we're also seeing now people who can putt perfectly well in the conventional way thinking that an anchored stroke gives them an advantage.'

Big stick for the Big Easy: Ernie Els won The Open with his long putter

Big stick for the Big Easy: Ernie Els won The Open with his long putter

Three of the last five major winners used long putters – Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, Simpson at the Olympic Club in June this year and Ernie Els at The Open the following month.

'What I found was I just became a more consistent putter,' said the 27-year-old Simpson. 'I don't get hot quite as much. I don't get cold quite as much.

'With the short putter, I was a real streaky putter, so in my head I figured if I want to play this game for a long time, I don't want my putting to be such highs and lows.'

Simpson believes that other rule changes in the game have been much more significant.

'With the changes in the groove, the golf balls, the drivers, you've got a little persimmon head 20 years ago the size of a fist and now a titanium head 460 cc (cubic centimeters),' he said.

'In 1980 the long drive guy was hitting it 285 (yards), and now if you hit it 285, you're one of the shortest guys on the Tour.

'To me it's a bigger change to go from that size head to what we play now than the putter.'

Amnesty on football"s ills – Neil Ashton

Amnesty on football's ills Now that would be a good idea… until the next whistle blows

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UPDATED:

23:09 GMT, 9 October 2012

Imagine if football’s governing bodies got together and declared an amnesty.

John Terry could move on. Luis Suarez would never dive again. Roberto Mancini would stop trying to pick fights with rival managers. Ashley Cole could even hand over his air rifle to the authorities without fear of sanction.

What a great PR opportunity for the Barclays Premier League, the chance to start afresh for some of the game’s biggest stars.

Call it quits Ashley Cole chats to Jermain Defoe at St George's Park

Call it quits Ashley Cole chats to Jermain Defoe at St George's Park

More from Neil Ashton…

Ash Wednesday: Allardyce's Hammers play just like Real Madrid and Barcelona… but not how you think
02/10/12

Ash Wednesday: If Ferdinand lines up next to Cole again in an England shirt, trust them to put history to one side
25/09/12

Ash Wednesday: Sign up, Walcott… and focus on fulfilling your potential at Arsenal before it's too late
18/09/12

Ash Wednesday: Messi's dedication is what you need for greatness, Wayne
28/08/12

Ash Wednesday: Net pains for Liverpool could leaving Rodgers feeling numb in race for top
21/08/12

Ash Wednesday: Doors closing on Adebayor in his world where cash is king
14/08/12

Ash Wednesday: Without a home, Owen has the clock ticking on his career
07/08/12

Ash Wednesday: Here's hoping we avoid God Save the Queen v Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau in Cardiff duel
31/07/12

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The FA could reset the clock, with players and managers starting over without a stain on their character.

It’s not even a novel idea, with Chelsea’s dignified manager Roberto Di Matteo recently urging people to ‘give everyone a second chance’.
This would be football’s chance to wipe the slate clean, setting a fine example for the next generation.

Of course they would all take it, putting past mistakes behind them and grateful for the opportunity to represent all that’s good about the game in the future.

It would finally put an end to the race row between Terry and Anton Ferdinand, a saga that has dragged on for nearly 12 months because of Crown and FA intervention.

The Premier League would not be momentarily paralysed when Chelsea face QPR on January 2 2013 wondering whether the pair will shake hands in the pre-match ritual. They will shake, embrace and get on with the game.

There will be no fears about Chelsea’s captain puffing out his cheeks and telling the QPR keeper that he is a ‘cheeky fat ****’. Or clasping his hand across Anton Ferdinand’s face, simulating that the QPR defender has bad breath.

Everyone will get along just fine.

The Premier League’s pardon will even stretch to Twitter, with Rio Ferdinand and Cole the obvious beneficiaries.

Ferdinand,
who was fined 45,000 by the FA for his infamous response to the ‘choc
ice’ tweet about the Chelsea left back, will revert to tweeting about
his ‘lil men’ or his ‘tune of the day’ each morning.

Friends reunited Rio Ferdinand, Cole and John Terry

Friends reunited Rio Ferdinand, Cole and John Terry

For Cole it might be wise to simply shut down his account altogether to avoid the temptation to dig out Alan Shearer or calling the FA a #BUNCHOF*****’.

Yes, even that can be forgiven.

Suarez, who has received more yellow cards for diving than any other player in the Premier League since the start of last season, will play within the rules.

The embarrassing tumbles against Manchester United and Stoke City this season will be forgotten, erased from Premier League history.

In future, when Martin Tyler screams ‘Suarez goes down in the box’ on a Sunday afternoon, it will be followed by the shrill of the referee’s whistle. Penalty.

An amnesty is something everyone in football will embrace, with honesty and integrity shining a torchlight over the best league in the world.

Supporters from leagues all over the world will admire the sportsmanship of players and managers, their eyes green with envy at these frighteningly high new standards.

When Mario Balotelli is substituted
55 minutes into a routine 3-0 Premier League win over Sunderland, he
will already have Mancini’s decision figured out.

He
will nod his head in agreement, salute the supporters and shake hands
with players from his team and the opposition as he walks off.

It
will be the same at stadiums all over the country, with supporters
looking on serenely at the action unfolding in front of them.

Down and out: Luis Suarez has a reputation for diving that he can't lose

Down and out: Luis Suarez has a reputation for diving that he can't lose

The atmosphere at West Ham last week, for example, where a distasteful minority sang without patent untruth ‘you’re just a French Jimmy Savile’ in the direction of Arsene Wenger will be rubbed out of terrace history.

Even after Arsenal have beaten West Ham 3-1 at Upton Park, Wenger will step on to the pitch and applaud both sets of supporters. What a guy.

In the north, Manchester United and Liverpool supporters will walk down Sir Matt Busby Way together in future, laughing and joking and shaking hands with each other.

United fans will not sing ‘Always the victim, it’s never your fault’ or strike up shameful songs about the Hillsborough tragedy.

Liverpool followers will show the appropriate consideration towards the Munich air disaster, paying their respects as they walk past the clock commemorating those who perished at the Scoreboard End.

At the Merseyside derby, Everton and Liverpool fans will return to the Eighties and an era when everyone from the area got along.

Back then, when they met at Wembley in the Milk Cup final in 1984, and again at the FA Cup finals in 1986, they proudly sang ‘Merseyside’ in unison.

Everyone can look forward to setting aside football’s ills as they make their way to matches on October 20.

So, how long will this new spirit of unity and respect last between players, managers and supporters

Until the first blast of the referee’s whistle and it will be straight back to football’s madhouse.

Kevin Pietersen says England must change IPL attitude ahead of showdown talks

Pietersen insists England must change IPL attitude as ECB showdown talks lined up

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UPDATED:

09:32 GMT, 31 August 2012

Exiled England batsman Kevin Pietersen has told the ECB they must change their attitude towards the IPL.

Long-awaited showdown talks between Pietersen and England boss Andy Flower have been lined up for Saturday, according to the Telegraph.

But the Surrey star's latest outburst on the need to balance players' commitments to both international cricket and club Twenty20 tournaments could make reconciliation even harder to achieve.

We need to talk about Kevin: Pietersen's England future remains uncertain

We need to talk about Kevin: Pietersen's England future remains uncertain

Pietersen maintains that England must follow the lead of other Test teams and allow players to cash in on the riches on offer in India's star-studded annual bash.

In an interview with The Cricketer conducted a month ago but published on Friday, he said: 'Test cricket is still right up there but IPL and Twenty20 cricket is a matter of fact now.

'Every board has accepted it apart from the ECB.

'Some part of international cricket may have to give as the IPL is not going away. No one in their right mind would turn down the contracts I’ve been offered.

'We put our bodies on the line. Why shouldn’t we be remunerated well Boards will have to keep up, it’s simple.'

Banished: Pietersen has been starring for Surrey in county cricket during his England exile

Banished: Pietersen has been starring for Surrey in county cricket during his England exile

Pietersen was banished from the
England set-up after he sent 'provocative' texts to members of the South
Africa team about now retired Test captain Andrew Strauss.

It is unlikely that just one meeting will be enough to resolve the differences between Pietersen and England's management team, who will also be represented by ECB chief Hugh Morris during the talks.

Several members of the dressing room are said to be deeply unhappy at Pietersen for sending the texts, while Strauss, before he quit cricket this week, had said that there were serious issues of trust to be resolved.

Pietersen is said to have contacted the ECB to set up the meeting, which will take place behind closed doors.

England, led by new Test capatain Alastair Cook, are currently in the middle of a one-day series against South Africa, a format of the game Pietersen retired from earlier this summer only to change his mind in the middle of the Test series against the Proteas, which ended in a 2-0 defeat.

Flower, Cook and co will need assurances from Pietersen that he remains committed to England in all forms of cricket – but the batsman has continued to praise the IPL, saying it is 'the best tournament to play in as a player, bar none.'

He added: 'India buzzes for its players and that makes you feel special. Everything is magnificent off the field.

'The owners are passionate. They have guys to sort out restaurants for the teams, you fly brilliantly from city to city. Nothing is too much hassle.'