Tag Archives: independence

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Martin O"Neill tells Sunderland winger James McClean to forget about Twitter

Sunderland players given social media lesson after McClean's latest Twitter row

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

16:31 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

00:13 GMT, 2 March 2013

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has called on a technology expert to teach his players the pitfalls of Twitter and other social networking sites.

The briefing follows James McClean’s latest Twitter row, which led to the Republic of Ireland winger deleting his account this week.

Last Friday, McClean professed his love for The Broad Black Brimmer by the Wolfe Tones. The song tells of a boy whose father is killed while fighting for the IRA, with the title referring to the wide-brimmed hat worn by many of the group’s members in the 1920s during the Irish War of Independence and Civil War.

Ill-advised: James McClean's controversial tweets have got him into trouble

Ill-advised: James McClean's controversial tweets have got him into trouble

One DUP MP called for McClean to be sacked but O’Neill, who has repeatedly warned his players about Twitter, is hoping the midfielder’s decision to stay off the site can help him concentrate on re-establishing himself in the Sunderland team after losing his place following Danny Graham’s arrival.

O’Neill said: ‘We have had someone in to talk to the younger boys about the social media thing and he’s going to have a chat with the senior boys for them to keep an eye on it.

‘He can tell you all the ills and woes and the possibility of what might happen if you were sending out a normal message to your friend, how people can log into these things, and it goes global. It will be a real eye-opener for me because I want to be in the meeting.

Unhappy: Martin O'Neill wants McClean to forget about Twitter and concentrate on his football

Unhappy: Martin O'Neill wants McClean to forget about Twitter and concentrate on his football

‘It’s just getting back to trying to be a bit more responsible for your own actions. I’d never have believed even five years ago that we’d be having this conversation.’

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will open talks on a new contract, just days after his agent claimed he would have to quit Sunderland to enhance his international career.

Captain Lee Cattermole has had an injection in his knee but still faces a lengthy lay-off.

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John Terry could play for England again – Charles Sale

Race report could signal Terry return to England duty

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 4 October 2012

The full report into the John Terry racism case expected to be published by the FA on Friday morning could leave the way open for the Chelsea captain to resume his England career.

Terry retired from international football before last week’s disciplinary commission, believing his position had been made untenable by the FA continuing with their charges despite Westminster Magistrates Court having cleared him of a racially aggravated public order offence.

However, despite being banned for four matches and fined 220,000 for racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, the written verdict from the tribunal’s independent chairman Craig Moore QC crucially does not brand him a racist.

Possible: John Terry could make an England return depending on the report

Possible: John Terry could make an England return depending on the report

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Cycling and athletics prove double trouble for Mills' funding plan
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Instead Moore’s conclusion is along the lines of: ‘It is accepted by everyone connected with the inquiry that John Terry is not a racist.’

Being described as a bigot would not only have ruled Terry out of an England return, it would also have made it impossible for him to become a top-flight manager after his playing career.

But such has been Terry’s rollercoaster relationship with England and their defensive frailties without him, the wording of the report means an international comeback is still possible.

Best is worst for Sky

There is plenty of angst at Sky Sports over the departure of highly rated match director Grant Best, who unexpectedly resigned last week and is expected to take up a management role with rivals BT Vision, who are planning a new sports channel around their 38-game package of Premier League rights. BT Vision’s ability to attract Sky Sports’ top talent follows them forcing Sky to spend far more than they wanted on their 116-game offering. It’s reckoned BT outbid Sky for five packages in the first round of the tender.

Ladies in racing

Channel 4’s revamped racing coverage starting next year is expected to have a major female presence on screen. As well as lead presenter Clare Balding, it is understood Alice Plunkett, Emma Spencer and Tanya Stevenson will be retained and that the ultra-glamorous Francesca Cumani, who works for Australia’s Channel 7, is being considered for feature work.

Option: Francesca Cumani may be involved

Option: Francesca Cumani may be involved

Clive can't stay

There had been talk of Sir Clive Woodward, who leaves his role as director of sport at the British Olympic Association on Friday, staying on under the new regime of chairman-in-waiting Lord Coe in a part-time role as chef de mission for the 2014 Winter Olympics. But even one day a week at the BOA would be difficult for Woodward because of tensions with beleaguered chief executive Andy Hunt.

City stars mull revolt

Concern among Manchester City players over the three-at-the-back defensive line-up is such that there is talk of sending a delegation to speak to manager Roberto Mancini.

The team are pinning the blame for the change of formation on Italian defensive coach Angelo Gregucci, who arrived in the summer and needs a training-ground translator because he doesn’t speak much English.

Meanwhile, City strikers Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli are said to have had a heated argument after the 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund over who takes the penalties. Substitute Balotelli converted the late spot-kick, but the taker of the next penalty is yet to be resolved. Balotelli, with his great record from 12 yards, is the most likely choice.

Row: Mario Balotelli is vying with Sergio Aguero for penalty duties

Row: Mario Balotelli is vying with Sergio Aguero for penalty duties

Drive next time, Roy

After Roy Hodgson’s loose talk to passengers on the London Underground about Rio Ferdinand’s non-selection for the national team, his FA bosses will be relieved he will soon take delivery of his new Vauxhall Insignia from the team sponsors, which will give him one less reason to use the Tube.

Prepare your answers now

Garry Cook, the former Manchester City chief executive and newly appointed European boss of the mixed martial arts Ultimate Fighting Championship, is chairing a debate at next week’s Leaders in Football conference. On Cook’s panel along with Liverpool’s Ian Ayre is Arsenal’s Ivan Gazidis. And one certain question from the Stamford Bridge audience will be whether Cook and Gazidis have justified being paid 2million a year as football chiefs.

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Sir Keith Mills" funding plan at risk because of athletics and cycling – Charles Sale

Cycling and athletics prove double trouble for Mills' funding plan

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UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 3 October 2012

A grand plan led by deputy LOCOG chairman Sir Keith Mills to maximise Olympic sports’ chances of attracting sponsorship rights could be derailed by the big two, cycling and athletics.

The Mills brainchild to capitalise on the success of London 2012 is the British Sports Marketing Bureau, under whose banner the sports would pool commercial rights to attract big umbrella deals that could be geared to suit clients’ requirements.

Mills, expected to chair a reformed combination of UK Sport and Sport England, is canvassing support across all sports. His idea received widespread backing at meetings last Friday and on Wednesday from governing bodies.

Issue: Cycling and athletics are causing problems with the planned deal

Issue: Cycling and athletics are causing problems with the planned deal

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Football League set for sponsorship shortfall as npower deal nears end
02/10/12

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01/10/12

Charles Sale: Radio silence from blinkered Beeb as broadcaster puts Premier League before Ryder Cup
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Charles Sale: Justin timing is off at gala late show
27/09/12

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24/09/12

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But there is understood to be considerable opposition from the two sports least in need of a collective organisation — cycling with their huge Sky funding and UK Athletics whose 50million five-year Aviva deal expires in December. But UKA are planning to bring in a Champions League style roster of backers themselves — putting them in competition for sponsors with the British Olympic Association. And that is the type of Olympic sport in-fighting Mills is setting up the BSMB to avoid.

However, swimming, which has the most sponsorship money after athletics and cycling, is broadly in favour of the BSMB proposals.

They do not prevent sports doing individual deals which are not in conflict with the overall sponsorships being sought.

Mills said: ‘For this to work, we will need the vast majority of sports behind us. Some of them are asking questions but none of told me they’re opting out.’

Nicklaus not swinging towards Obama

President Obama’s love of golf that has seen him play more than 100 rounds since taking office isn’t enough to convince Jack Nicklaus, who has been endorsing Republican rival Mitt Romney. Nicklaus, who designed the Gleneagles 2014 Ryder Cup course, said he has been forced to lay off more than 50 per cent of his golf course design company employees over the last four years — and could not afford four more years of Obama.

Golf fan: Barack Obama is still not being backed by Jack NicklausQ

Golf fan: Barack Obama is still not being backed by Jack Nicklaus

Mark’s rock bottom

BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson is likely to face listener complaints about sexist comments after telling Radio 5 Live’s Drive Time programme hosted by Peter Allen and Aasmah Mir that Manchester City full back Maicon’s ‘bottom’s bigger than Aasmah’s’. The presenter, however, shrugged off the comment along with Allen’s offer to say something in retort about Lawrenson.

To clarify last Monday’s Sports Agenda column, 5 Live’s Ryder Cup coverage was presented throughout from Medinah even during the Saturday morning foursomes session when the programme included commentary on Arsenal v Chelsea.

Hammers lose money man

West Ham, in the middle of negotiations over their proposed move to the Olympic Stadium, are losing their finance director Nick Igoe. Igoe, who kept West Ham’s finances above water through troublesome times, is thought to be leaving amicably at the end of the year.

Wanted: West Ham are still after the Olympic Stadium but their finance chief is leaving

Wanted: West Ham are still after the Olympic Stadium but their finance chief is leaving

Flintoff lacks pulling power

Fewer than 1,000 tickets have so far been sold for former England all-rounder Freddie Flintoff’s boxing debut at the Manchester Arena on November 30. But promoter Barry McGuigan is waiting for Flintoff’s foe to be named before banging the drum with the expectation the event will attract a crowd of up to 7,000 in a venue scaled down to hold a maximum 10,000.

Canvas collection

The 1997 oil painting Art of the Game by Michael Browne depicting a toga-wearing Eric Cantona as Jesus Christ surrounded by manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Phil Neville, David Beckham and Paul Scholes is the last picture to be photographed in a 10-year project by the Public Catalogue Foundation, who have gathered all the nation’s paintings on one website.

Bosses told to visit St George's

The League Managers’ Association are encouraging their members to use the state-of-the-art sports science and medical facilities at their new St George’s Park base, which includes a 72-hour stress, sleep and lifestyle assessment for the high-pressure profession.

Use it: The LMA are encouraging managers to try St George's

Use it: The LMA are encouraging managers to try St George's

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Football League struggling for sponsor – Charles Sale

Football League set for sponsorship shortfall as npower deal nears end

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 2 October 2012

The Football League are facing considerable commercial problems, with energy company npower due to pull the plug on their title sponsorship when a three-year deal expires at the end of the season.

The exclusive renewal negotiating period ended this week for npower, who paid a premium 21million for the rights. But the Football League will have difficulty attracting another backer at a similar rate, especially with BBC no longer covering Championship matches live.

In addition, the Football League’s online betting partner negotiations with BetButler have been complicated by the funding problems of software providers Worldlink Sports. They have yet to pay monies owed for similar deals struck with Newcastle, Sunderland and Fulham.

Interest waning The Football League will be in need of a new sponsor

Interest waning The Football League will be in need of a new sponsor

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Sir Bobby makes Manchester United sales drive at Ryder Cup
01/10/12

Charles Sale: Radio silence from blinkered Beeb as broadcaster puts Premier League before Ryder Cup
30/09/12

Charles Sale: Justin timing is off at gala late show
27/09/12

Charles Sale: Salmond leaps at Ryder Cup chance to drum up support ahead of Scottish independence vote
26/09/12

Charles Sale: Clubs' fury over faulty websites as new platform is beset by problems
24/09/12

Charles Sale: BOA in crisis over Coe bid for top job
20/09/12

Charles Sale: Media mogul Platini expands his empire
19/09/12

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18/09/12

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And Brighton are leading strong objections about the new umbrella Football League club website platform being run by US digital media company SapientNitro that has been beset with teething difficulties this season.

In fact, npower have been surprisingly lacklustre in making the most of their Football League property ever since the driving power behind their sponsorship, marketing director Kevin Peake, was made redundant in a cost- cutting company restructuring last year.

Peake, who now runs Aviva’s sports marketing operation, set up a number of Football League promotional initiatives that an increasingly uninterested npower did not develop.

CAA expanding

Hollywood entertainment agency giants CAA, who lost confidence in former Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon building a European sports empire, have nevertheless funded their new offshoot company CAA Eleven, run by Frenchmen Olivier Guiguet and Stephane Schindler.

They have given a guarantee of around 1billion for centralised UEFA TV rights for the Euro 2016 tournament and qualifying and World Cup 2018 preliminary games in Europe.

Gerrard recognised

England captain Steven Gerrard is to be honoured by the Football Writers’ Association at their annual tribute dinner on January 20.

Terry unsure

There are understood to be mixed opinions in the John Terry camp over whether the Chelsea captain, who has retired from international football, should appeal against the four-game FA ban and 220,000 fine for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. The decision will be made after the FA publish independent QC Craig Moore’s full report of the disciplinary commission case this week.

In two minds: John Terry (centre) has yet to decide whether to appeal

In two minds: John Terry (centre) has yet to decide whether to appeal

Green light for Red Nev

The conflict of Gary Neville’s joint role as a lead Sky football pundit and assistant to England manager Roy Hodgson was exposed by his TV comments this week hinting that Rio Ferdinand had ‘lost a yard of pace’ and would not be in the next England squad.

Neville’s remarks, which included him saying ‘how divisive’ it can be to have a 34 or 35-year-old sitting in the stands at a World Cup, did not go down well with Ferdinand’s advisors. And Neville discussing with Hodgson what he was going to say about Ferdinand hardly makes for independent impartial analysis.

However, Sky Sports boss Barney Francis has said he has no qualms about Neville’s double life. Nor do the FA, who believe it is helpful having an England insider in a high-profile TV role.

Conflict Gary Neville (right) is involved with both England and Sky television

Conflict Gary Neville (right) is involved with both England and Sky television

Cook finds time for himself

Alastair Cook, the England cricket captain who married last New Year’s Eve, has only just found time for a honeymoon. Cook and wife Alice, who live on a Bedfordshire farm, are going on a busman’s holiday to a ranch in Argentina.

Ashley in the market

The demise of England shirt suppliers Umbro is such that even their cut-price sell-off by parent company Nike, who have taken over the prime kit contracts with the FA and Manchester City, has been put on the back burner.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, overlord of Sports Direct, is favourite to buy the Umbro brand but not the company headquarters in Cheadle which staff expect to close. Ashley is busy cherrypicking the best 20 stores belonging to collapsed High Street retailer rivals JJB Sports in a 24m deal.

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Julio Cesar Chavez against Sergio Martinez has the makings of modern classic

Sin City awaits a modern classic as Chavez and Martinez prepare for battle

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UPDATED:

23:26 GMT, 14 September 2012

So powerful is the sense that ring history is in the making that not even a rival world championship promotion less than two miles down The Strip could prevent Julio Cesar Chavez versus Sergio 'Maravilla' Martinez selling out the biggest arena in town.

So strong is the urge to be able to say you were there the night these men hewn from the highest tradition of prize-fighting elevated themselves to the pantheon of middleweight boxing that attendance records at the Thomas and Mack Center are being shattered.

Tens of thousands of Mexicans – and not a few Argentinians – have responded to the potential of this fight to compare with the magical middleweight battles of the past.

Ready for battle: Julio Cesar Chavez and Sergio Martinez go head to head for the final time before the meet in the ring

Ready for battle: Julio Cesar Chavez and Sergio Martinez go head to head for the final time before the meet in the ring

This is an annual pilgrimage from south of the border in celebration of Mexican Independence Day but an unprecedented 50,000 are estimated to have made the crossing this year.

So even as 19,186 tickets have been sold for Chavez-Martinez, it is likely that the overflow will fill the 16,000 seat MGM Grand Garden Arena, at the same televised hour.

There another Mexican prodigy, the quirkily red-headed Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, will defend his world super-welterweight title against Hispanic Californian Josesito Lopez.

In normal circumstance this confrontational scheduling between Bob Arum’s Top Rank, who represent Chavez, and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy, who handle Chavez, should have cut off the noses of both promoters and left egg on the faces of them and their television pay-masters.

Pulling the crowds: WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr signs autographs

Pulling the crowds: WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr signs autographs

Yet the explosive potential of Chavez Jnr and Martinez, nine years his senior, has HBO predicting high pay-per-view sales and Showtime confident of a substantial spin-off viewing audience of their own.

Can they live up to the hype Their pedigree suggests.

Chavez, of course, is the same-name son of an iconic father. Julio Cesar Snr is here confident that his 26-year boy is ready to step out of his shadow and become a legend in his own right.

To do that, even though he already holds the lineal WBC world title, he must defeat now the successor to perhaps the greatest Argentine boxer , even though Martinez is a different animal from his own idol.

Carlos Monzon, who ranks among the best middleweights of all time, was a Bull (of the Pampas) by nickname and a bull of a fighter.

Mobbed: Martinez arrives in Las Vegas

Mobbed: Martinez arrives in Las Vegas

/09/14/article-2203464-14E8D7A1000005DC-243_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Chance to shine: Matthew Macklin fights Joachim Alcine in a world-title eliminator on the undercard” class=”blkBorder” />

Chance to shine: Matthew Macklin fights Joachim Alcine in a world-title eliminator on the undercard

If so Martinez, at 37, will be giving away not only those nine years but more than 20 lbs.

So you pay your money at the sports book at the fight-hosting Wynn Hotel and Casino and you make your choice between youth and crunching size or speed and dazzling technique. You also have to decide that even though last year would have been too soon for Chavez, whether Saturday might be a few months too late for Martinez.

As if that equation is not tricky enough, we also have genuine anger and resentment mixing spite and venom into this cocktail.

Martinez, a charming gentleman by nature, has been riled by his conviction that Chavez was manipulated to the world title at his expense, So he has accused the champion of disrespecting boxing and his fabled mentor Freddie Roach with his erratic training pattern and alleged drinking habits.

Chavez, very much in his famous father’s idiom, has labelled Martinez a liar who has prospered on easy fights.

Undefeated: Chavez is the slight favorite

Undefeated: Chavez is the slight favorite

Each has threatened to seriously harm the other.

The plot thickened when Jose Sulaiman, Mexican president of the WBC and godfather of Chavez the younger, was heard betting an expensive dinner on Julio Cesar Jnr winning.

Martinez joked: ‘I wish he had made the bet with me. Then I could have had a fine meal to go with the title I am going to win.’

Then, seriously in view of the recent results controversies in Las Vegas, he added: ‘I don’t want a gift from the judges. Only justice.’

The odds, marginally in favour of Martinez a the start of the week, are expected to close to dead even as more Mexican money comes in.

Personally, I was inclining towards Chavez until his team kept predicting that body shots would slow down the older man. Since Martinez’s otherwise dangerous habit of carrying his hands low by his sides should offer him protection against that plan, he can win with a typically late stoppage.

Still, it is a desperately close call. More importantly for boxing, it could be a middleweight classic.

Chavez-Martinez and Macklin-Arcine is live on Primetime from 2am via Sky Ch. 498 and Virgin on Demand, 14.95 and Alvarez-Lopez live on BoxNation from 2am via Sky Ch. 437 and Virgin Ch. 546

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What A Life! Noel Gallagher times Kiev gig nicely

Ian Ladyman's Euro diary: What A Life! Gallagher times Kiev gig nicely

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UPDATED:

22:05 GMT, 14 June 2012

Well-known football fan Noel Gallagher played a concert with his new band in Kiev on Wednesday and is staying over in the iconic Ukraine Hotel on Independence Square so that he can attend the England game. He should be careful, though. His next gig is in Sweden.

Eastern promise: Noel Gallagher

Eastern promise: Noel Gallagher

Wenger and the 2am scrum

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s love of all things football is well known but he had an extra incentive to attend the Germany-Holland game in Kharkiv on Wednesday night as his new signing Lukas Podolksi was playing. I bet he didn’t enjoy the 2am scrum at the city’s tiny airport afterwards, though. I know I didn’t.

Are you in the right job

Speaking of which, getting taxis in to the venue cities can be rather tricky. There are plenty of them but it’s not uncommon for the driver to get 200 yards down the road, get out his map and start looking at it rather quizzically. They obviously don’t have to pass the ‘Knowledge’ in Ukraine and Poland.

WAGs, get a room please

The English WAGS arrived this week but the Danes’ partners are already here in force. Hence colleague Matt Barlow being treated to the sight of forward Dennis Rommedahl canoodling with his other half outside the dressing room in Lviv. I wonder what attracted her to the millionaire footballer…

Money talks: Dennis Rommedahl

Money talks: Dennis Rommedahl

Emergency!

Paramedics have stationed themselves at Shevchenko Garden in Kharkiv to tend to fans, but said they had treated only one foreigner, a Dutchman who was wearing the wrong-sized clogs. 'They were narrow and uncomfortable,' said a medic known only as Dr Ivan.

Thumbs up to

The Dutch fans – those with and without clogs – who gave their team such a rousing reception when they arrived at Kharkiv airport in the early hours of Thursday morning after losing to Germany. They could well be going out but their supporters still love them.

Support: The Dutch got behind their team

Support: The Dutch got behind their team

Thumbs down to

Whoever is in charge of the CD machine at Kiev airport. Is it really necessary to be playing a selection of Christmas songs over the loudspeaker system when I am trying to eat my breakfast and it’s 34 degrees outside

Quote of the day

'This time last year he was being eliminated in the Copa America, in his own country. I think that’s worse, no' Cristiano Ronaldo comes over all petty when hearing yet another unfavourable comparison with his La Liga nemesis Lionel Messi.

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Euro 2012: Ian Ladyman"s diary: Russians protected by guards in hotel

Ian Ladyman's Euro diary: Red army protects Russians in Warsaw hotel

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 13 June 2012

The Russian team staying in Warsaw’s Radisson Blu hotel were protected by armed guards with full military gear on each floor after Tuesday’s draw with Poland. On Wednesday, UEFA condemned violence between fans of the two teams that marred the occasion.

Gun show: Heavily armed Polish police

Gun show: Heavily armed Polish police

Room with a view

The BBC may have kept their TV presenters back in Salford to save cash but good to see Radio 5 Live’s Nicky Campbell and George Riley keeping it real above Kiev’s iconic Independence Square this week. The view from their studio in the Kozatskiy Hotel is truly stunning.

Language Barrier

Meanwhile, Lviv’s mayor Andriy Sadovyi has demanded his city’s fan zone broadcasts matches in Ukrainian, saying it was ‘unacceptable’ for commentary to be in Russian. Many people in the country still primarily speak Russian, a throwback to the Soviet Union days.

Fan zone: Supporters will be pleased with this offering

Fan zone: Supporters will be pleased with this offering

In the zone

England fans travelling to lovely Kiev without tickets for Friday’s game need not worry. The fan zone runs for half a mile along Khreschatyk Street and — holding 100,000 people — is the biggest I’ve seen. I don’t know what happens if you need the loo, though.

Nice to see you

Few players have been missed more at Euro 2012 than France left back Eric Abidal, recovering after a liver transplant two months ago. But the French Football Federation have invited him to next week’s Group D game against Sweden as guest of honour. Nice touch.

Guest: Eric Abidal has been invited to the tournament

Guest: Eric Abidal has been invited to the tournament

Thumbs up for

My travelling partner out here, The Times’ rakish Manchester man James Ducker. On occasion it has been a bit like having a wife in tow. The difference being that he hasn’t shouted at me yet and doesn’t mind paying for dinner occasionally.