Tag Archives: principle

Tom Watson named United States Ryder Cup captain

Watson named Ryder Cup captain as United States ask legend to lead them into battle at Gleneagles

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 13 December 2012

Tom Watson has been named United States Ryder Cup captain for the battle with the Europeans at Gleneagles in 2014.

The greatest Open champion of the past 100 years, the man of principle who rigidly refused to use the crutch of the belly putter even while crippled with a form of the yips, picks up the captaincy in at an age when most people are content to pick up their bus pass.

Three weeks after his 65th birthday, Watson won’t be a father figure to most of the team he will lead at Gleneagles but a grandfatherly one. Not only is he the oldest American captain of all time, he is a good decade older than any captain of either side for more than 40 years.

Leader: Tom Watson will captain the United States Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in 2014

Leader: Tom Watson will captain the United States Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in 2014

Leader: Tom Watson (right) will captain the United States Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in 2014
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

DARREN CLARKE (Europe’s likely captain in 2014): ‘Obviously if Tom does get it, he is one of the legends of the game. I am sure he would be a fantastic captain, not just to the team but for the whole aspect of the Ryder Cup. The man is a huge name in the world of golf and rightly so.’

BERNARD GALLACHER (European captain opposite Watson in 1993): 'It is a surprise. The USPGA obviously decided they needed a bit of experience in Scotland and Tom is probably the most respected figure in the game today.

'He's done the job before, he's been there as a player, he knows how to win in Europe and in Scotland as well.'

WEBB SIMPSON (2012 US Ryder Cup player): ‘I think he would be amazing. Such a remarkable player and person and he demands respect just by the kind of player he has been. He’s like a quiet lion. It would be an honour to play for him.’

BRANDT SNEDEKER (2012 US Ryder Cup player): ‘I am surprised but excited. Tom is a good friend of mine, one of the best players to ever play the game who is instantly going to gain a lot of respect and sway the homefield advantage for us in Scotland because of his success over there.’

PAUL AZINGER (2008 US Ryder Cup captain): ‘Truthfully, I am really surprised but I think it’s OK. There’s a philosophy of picking contemporary players under the age of 50 that hasn’t really worked. That would have been a great philosophy had we been winning, but we haven’t, which makes Watson a good choice at this time.’

LANNY WADKINS (played under Watson in 1993): ‘Tom is just one of those guys who always believes. He doesn’t go out there to have fun. He goes out there to kick butt and get the job done. That’s really what the PGA of America, in my opinion, are thinking what needs to happen.’

On Thursday Watson appeared on NBC television before a teleconference at the Empire State Building in New York.

He said: 'I was waiting 20 years to get the call again,' he said. 'It's a great honour to do it again and this time it is going to be 14 and a half points.

'I loved it the first time. I've been a great fan of the Ryder Cup – I get the same gut feeling just watching it at home on TV.'

Inevitably, there will be eyebrows
raised as to how a man who will not be rubbing shoulders with his
players week-in, week-out can somehow mould them into a team.

It is a
reasonable question, one that Sir Nick Faldo failed to answer in 2008,
and he had been only a few years removed from the scene, not 13 long
seasons like Watson.

But there are other more persuasive
reasons that suggest this could turn out to be an inspired move by the
PGA of America rather than an illogical one.

Firstly, in four Ryder Cups as a
player and one as a captain, Watson has never been on a losing side.
Given that losing has become a habit for the US, with seven defeats in
the past nine matches, that winning mentality he has always possessed
can only be for the good.

But here’s the main reason I think
he has been selected. Since Watson captained America to victory at The
Belfry in 1993 — their last triumph on foreign soil — we have seen four
American skippers in Tom Kite, Curtis Strange, Tom Lehman and Corey
Pavin dwarfed by the personalities of their European counterparts — Seve
Ballesteros, Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie.

Think back to the last match at
Celtic Manor, where Montgomerie was lording it gloriously and his
opposite number appeared even smaller than his diminutive self after
being labelled ‘Crazy Pavin’.

Momentum is everything in a Ryder Cup and Europe began each of those
matches with it all in their favour because four larger-than-life
captains had set the tone against four US skippers with no profile
outside their own country.

Now look at the two men put forward
to lead in 2014: the immensely popular Darren Clarke and the relatively
unknown David Toms. Is it any wonder the PGA of America looked at that
prospective scenario and wearily thought to themselves: ‘We’ve seen this
movie before’.

Tartan Army: Scottish golf fans love Watson - he won four Opens north of the border

Tartan Army: Scottish golf fans love Watson – he won four Opens north of the border

Now, in going for a true legend who could not be held in higher esteem in Europe, they have changed the dynamic completely.

Watson, lest we forget, won four of
his five Open titles in Scotland, where he might even be more popular
than Andy Murray. In the press room, Clarke’s blarney would have been
infinitely more quotable than the genuine but quiet Toms, while among
the paying spectators filling the grandstands there would have been no
contest.

But Watson, with all his wit,
charisma and integrity, is a different matter. For the first time in 19
years at an away match, America will not mentally feel a couple of
points down at the start.

Squaring up: Darren Clarke (right) is set to captain Europe - following on from Jose Maria Olazabal (centre)

Squaring up: Darren Clarke (right) is set to captain Europe – following on from Jose Maria Olazabal (centre)

As for the team room, Watson might
not know much about the music tastes and personalities of his players
but it is hard to imagine there will be a member of the US side who will
not look up to him and respect his decisions. Well, maybe there is one.
In 2010, at the height of the Tiger Woods scandal, Watson was scathing
in his criticism.

‘I feel Tiger has not carried the
same stature as the other great players that have come along like Jack
(Nicklaus), /12/12/article-2246805-05C54D86000005DC-660_634x408.jpg” width=”634″ height=”408″ alt=”Fairytale: Watson was so close to winning The Open at Turnberry in 2009 before Stewart Cink pipped him” class=”blkBorder” />

Fairytale: Watson was so close to winning The Open at Turnberry in 2009 before Stewart Cink pipped him

Watson’s four Open wins in Scotland
came at Carnoustie in 1975, Turnberry in 1977, Muirfield in 1980 and
Royal Troon in 1982. He came close to winning again and writing one of
the great sports stories of all time at the age of 59 at Turnberry in
2009, but he missed a short putt at the 72nd hole then lost out in a
play-off to Stewart Cink.

The man who will feel most
disappointed is the personable Toms but expect him to be chosen for
Hazeltine in 2016. Unless America win, of course. Then it will probably
be Arnold Palmer.

It's elementary: Why Watson's a real Ryder Cup hero

He has appeared in four Ryder Cups as a player (1977, ’81, ’83, ’89) and one as captain (1993) and never been on a losing side.

In 15 matches he won 10 and lost just four. He teamed up with Jack Nicklaus on four occasions and won every time.

Only one American who has played two Ryder Cups or more has a better winning percentage against Europe — Larry Nelson.

At 65 he will be the oldest American Ryder Cup captain. The previous oldest was Sam Snead, who was 57 when captain in 1969.

Watson’s message before sending his team out in the singles in 1993: ‘Remember, everything they invented, we perfected.’

He is the seventh US captain to be granted a second term of office but the first since Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village in 1987.

Ryder Cup pedigree: Watson and the USA's triumphant team of 1993 celebrate victory at The Belfry

Kell Brook to fight Devon Alexander for IBF welterweight title in January 2013

Brook to fight IBF king Alexander for shot at world welterweight crown

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UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 11 November 2012


Title shot: Kell Brook

Title shot: Kell Brook

Kell Brook has been offered a shot at Devon Alexander’s IBF welterweight world title in January.

The 26-year-old from Sheffield earned a crack at the belt when he stopped Argentinian Hector Saldivia inside three rounds last month in the final eliminator.

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed a deal has been proposed for a title fight on January 19 – either in Las Vegas or New York – and indicated an agreement is likely to be reached this week.

Hearn said: 'We have received an offer to fight Devon for the IBF world title on January 19. In principle we are happy with the terms and will now work to try and get this made this week.

Champion: Brook will look to win Devon Alexander's IBF welterweight title in January

Champion: Brook will look to win Devon Alexander's IBF welterweight title in January

'The venue looks like NYC or Vegas but definitely not St Louis (where Alexander is based).'

Brook is undefeated after 29 professional fights and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Wincobank Gym graduates Naseem Hamed and Johnny Nelson in winning a world title.

Spurs fans chant "Yid Army" at Europa League clash with police backing

We'll sing what we want! Spurs fans chant 'Yid Army' at Europa League clash… with police backing

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UPDATED:

23:38 GMT, 8 November 2012

TODAY'S POLL

Do Tottenham fans have right to chant 'Yid Army'

Yes

No

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Jermain Defoe's hat-trick gave Tottenham fans even more to sing about after the Metropolitan Police reassured them they will NOT face prosecution for using the word 'Yid' in matchday chants.

London's police force agreed with the club and their supporters that the 'Yid Army' songs are not anti-Semitic.

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Backing: Tottenham fans cheer on their side against Maribor on Thursday

Backing: Tottenham fans cheer on their side against Maribor on Thursday

SPURS STATEMENT

'The club does not tolerate any form of racist or abusive chanting.

'Our guiding principle in respect of
the “Y-word” is based on the point of law itself – the distinguishing
factor is the intent with which it is used ie if it is used with the
deliberate intention to cause offence.

'This has been the basis of
prosecutions of fans of other teams to date. Our fans adopted the chant
as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect
anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any
offence, they use it a chant amongst themselves.

'The club believes that real
anti-semitic abuse such as hissing to simulate the noise of gas chambers
is the real evil and the real offence. We believe this is the area that
requires a determined and concerted effort from all parties and where
we seek greater support to eradicate.'

Spurs fans often sing songs featuring the expression, and did
so during their Europa League
clash against Slovenian side
Maribor at White Hart Lane, where
a stunning treble from Defoe gave
them a 3-1 win.

Before kick-off, a smattering of
supporters in the South Stand sang
'Yid Army' and, after a third-minute
corner for Spurs, the chant grew
louder with the whole end joining
in. Then, in clear protest at the criticism levelled at them, Spurs fans from all corners bellowed: 'We're Tottenham Hotspur, we'll sing what we want.' Another round of 'Yid Army' then followed.

The club released a statement defending their fans' right to use the expression. It read: 'Our guiding principle in respect of the “Y-word” is based on the point of law – ie. if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offence.

'This has been the basis of prosecutions of fans of other teams to date. Our fans adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any offence, they use it as a chant among themselves.'

The Met have advised Spurs that chants such as 'Yid Army' will not lead to prosecution on the basis that it is used with no 'deliberate intention to cause offence'.

Spurs' conversations with police came after the Society of Black Lawyers threatened to report Spurs to the police if they were not seen to be doing more to ensure the term is no longer used.

Hat-trick hero: Jermain Defoe

Hat-trick hero: Jermain Defoe

SUPPORTER COMMENT: SORRY BUT THE Y-WORD BELONGS TO US

As a youngster growing up supporting Spurs, it took me some time to realise the word 'yid' was an offensive racial slur. I'd never heard it used in a derogatory sense at White Hart Lane, only ever as a collective term – yid army – and as a positive identifier.

If a player was good, he was a yiddo.

But its significance soon became apparent. Though far from the abhorrent gas chamber hissing of some away fans, it's still sensitive. Context is important, though, and its reclamation as a positive term at the ground should not be ignored.

The Society of Black lawyers says use of the word yid, including the tone adopted by Spurs fans, amounts to casual racism. Perhaps they have a point. Perhaps simply substituting the word would be the answer. But Spurs fans are unlikely to take kindly at being told what to do by an external body, especially as it is largely considered a positive, rather than offensive, chant.

David Baddiel tried to stamp out its use by Tottenham supporters but, despite his own Jewish faith, the views of a Chelsea fan were never likely to be accepted by the Spurs majority.

If the word yid really is to be kicked out of White Hart Lane, it would need concerns to be raised from within the Spurs-supporting community, rather than outside pressures.

Andrew Magee, life-long Spurs supporter

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Peter Herbert is getting it wrong with Spurs warning over "Y word"

Shut up, Peter! Herbert's getting it all wrong with warning to Spurs fans over 'Y word'

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UPDATED:

11:55 GMT, 8 November 2012

So Peter Herbert has the misguided arrogance to tell Tottenham fans we 'just don't get it' when it comes to racist chanting

Here is a chant you might be more comfortable with, Peter: sit down, shut up.

When Herbert, the chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, threatened to report Tottenham to the police if they didn't report anti-Semitic chanting, it was assumed he meant the hissing of rival fans.

A 'Yid Army' Spurs flag

Tottenham Hotspur fans celebrate in the stands

Traditional support: A flag at Wembley during 2008's Carling Cup victory and a fan cheers on Spurs

TODAY'S POLL

Do Tottenham fans have right to chant 'Yid Army'

Yes

No

VOTE

Tottenham

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When it emerged that this included home fans chanting the 'Y-word' (as we are now ridiculously calling it), the club released a concise and rational retort.

'Our guiding principle,' the club statement read, 'is based on the point of law itself, ie if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offence.'

End of argument Apparently not.

Herbert's reply went as far as to tell Tottenham they 'just don't get it', and that 'even if it comes from Tottenham supporters, it remains casual racism'.

No, it absolutely doesn't. Being part of the Yid Army is a badge of honour at White Hart Lane. It is chanted with a raging pride.

Euro test: Spurs are preparing for Thursday's night's clash with Maribor

Euro test: Spurs are preparing for Thursday's night's clash with Maribor

Enough is enough: Peter Herbert

Enough is enough: Peter Herbert

The best chants make every fan at the
club feel as one and the crucial point is this is one of them,
regardless of race, colour, creed or favoured formation.

In the context of White Hart Lane, Spurs fans own the word.

Within that stadium the word refers to a footballing identity, not a religion or race.

Yes, the chant has its roots in the Jewish heritage of North London and the word, of course, has historical baggage – but not for 90 minutes on a Saturday it doesn't.

Although I fully admire Herbert's grand ambition to rid football of racism, the way he is going about it is deluded, misguided, self-promoting and so damaging to the very cause he is trying to promote. They've got this one badly wrong.

Incidentally, he was also the man who lodged the police complaint over referee Mark Clattenburg's alleged abuse of John Mikel Obi, only I've checked the footage and he wasn't there.

I will do everything I can to help his fight against racism, but insulting the Yid Army has marginalised his loudest supporters.

Which isn't bad for a day's work.

Bulgarian team ordered to take lie detector tests by own bosses amid match-fixing claims

Bulgarian team ordered to take lie detector tests by own bosses amid match-fixing claims

PUBLISHED:

10:50 GMT, 25 September 2012

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UPDATED:

11:01 GMT, 25 September 2012

Players and coaches at Bulgarian
Premier League side Lokomotiv Plovdiv have been ordered to take lie
detector tests after their surprise 1-0 loss to basement side Botev
Vratsa sparked fresh match-fixing concerns.

Lokomotiv, Bulgarian champions in
2004, suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday to lowly Botev
Vratsa, who had been bottom of the table after a run of five consecutive defeats.

Lokomotiv owner Veselin Mareshki said he had to be sure there were no other factors behind the team's loss.

'Nobody is insured against defeats but this loss is very strange,' he said.

'The fair play principle is the most important thing for me and all players and coaches will take lie detector tests.'

Earlier this month, the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) said a prosecutor has opened an investigation into claims of match-fixing in four domestic games this season.

Spartak Pleven's junior team have been expelled from the domestic U-19's championship for match-fixing even before the results of the investigation have been announced.

Most games in the Balkan country's junior championship are included on bookmakers' betting coupons.

There have been claims match-fixing and corruption have been rife in Bulgaria for years, but no one has been brought to trial with the European Commission criticising the authorities for doing little to fight the problem.

Tottenham failed with Dimitar Berbatov Deadline Day bid

AVB failed in Deadline Day bid to bring Berbatov back to White Hart Lane, says agent

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UPDATED:

13:35 GMT, 3 September 2012

Tottenham made a last-ditch attempt to re-sign Dimitar Berbatov on transfer deadline day, according to the Bulgarian's agent.

Berbatov moved from Manchester United to Fulham for 5million on Friday, but only after Sir Alex Ferguson had hinted he could be bound for White Hart Lane.

Emil Danchev, the 31-year-old's representative, has revealed there was interest from Spurs, who signed Berbatov from Bayer Leverkusen in 2006 before selling him to United for 19.9million profit two years later.

Good to talk: New Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov speaks during a press conference in Sofia

Good to talk: New Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov speaks during a press conference in Sofia

'We were in touch with Tottenham at the last moment,' Danchev told reporters at a press conference with Berbatov held in Sofia.

Berbatov provoked the ire of Fiorentina and Juventus for allegedly breaking promises to join both Serie A clubs in favour of staying in the Barclays Premier League.

Danchev defended Berbatov and revealed there was considerable interest in from various clubs.

'I cannot make promises on behalf of my client whoever they might be because my work principle is to create opportunities and options,' he said.

'The choice belongs to the person who makes the decision. We discussed all three options. Nobody promised anybody anything.

'Fiorentina had a desire to get Dimitar to sign with them. We went as far as negotiating all conditions.

'But other than that, I've also spoken with three Turkish clubs, three Italian clubs, three English clubs, and three German clubs.'

Ful of it: Berbatov made his Fulham debut from the bench during their 3-0 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park

Ful of it: Berbatov made his Fulham debut from the bench during their 3-0 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park

Fulham duo Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey moved to White Hart Lane last week, the latter a late deadline-day transfer completed once interest from Liverpool had waned.

Cottagers boss Martin Jol has revealed that Berbatov was looking forward to playing alongside Dembele, only to discover that he had been sold to Tottenham.

Capital One Cup: Football League clubs forced to play strong sides

Anger at Cup ruling after Football League clubs forced to play strong teams

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 27 August 2012

Football League clubs are under strict orders not to play weakened teams in the League Cup this season — but Premier League teams can do as they please.

The new rule has been introduced into the newly named Capital One Cup, in an effort to ensure supporters get value for money, but has provoked anger at Football League clubs.

Aston Villa's Scottish manager Paul Lambert

Leeds manager Neil Warnock

Rules: Paul Lambert (left) can field a weakened team but Neil Warnock must not

Aggrieved managers feel the principle of different rules for teams in the same competition is unfair and raised the issue at a recent LMA meeting.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert can rotate his squad and rest players against Tranmere on Tuesday, as can West Ham against Crewe, but Leeds, who play Oxford, are among those clubs who must field a strong team.

Gaston Ramirez confirms Southampton move

We mean business! Bologna star Ramirez confirms Southampton switch is imminent

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UPDATED:

09:37 GMT, 17 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Southampton have pulled off a major coup by luring in-demand Bologna schemer Gaston Ramirez to the club.

The Premier League new boys have fought off competition from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham from the Uruguay international who is comfortable operating throughout attacking midfield.

Ramirez will cost last season's Championship winners a club record 11.8million.

The 21-year-old was also attracting
interest within Serie A, namely Inter Milan, but he has now confirmed to
Italian media that only the finer details of his contract are to be
confirmed.

Going South: Gaston Ramirez has confirmed he will move to Southampton

Going South: Gaston Ramirez has confirmed he will move to Southampton

Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Ramirez, who featured in the Olymipcs, said: 'The truth is that I think, yes, this time I am moving. Bologna has reached an agreement with Southampton, and there are only a few details to be found but the agreement in principle is done.'

Ramirez admits that Southampton have offered him very good terms, and he is happy to become a key player for them.

'The English club has reached an agreement with me, it is the classic offer that you cannot refuse for my life as a whole and my family.

'But they believe in me in every way, I will be essential and above all they are going to grow. Southampton is a newly promoted team in the English top-flight but they will become a big team in years to come.

'They have told me they are going to build and that is very stimulating.'

Kevin Pietersen has to say sorry, David Bumble Lloyd

Pietersen has behaved bizarrely and he has to say sorry

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 13 August 2012

When I was England coach, there were no central contracts, so the counties were in charge of the players but I would always say to them, in a friendly manner: ‘Lads, there are no curfews. You’re all big boys who make your own decisions. But just remember who picks the team.’ Some find that difficult to accept.

Pietersen’s problem appears to be the breakdown of his relationship with his team-mates, which is staggering. We’ve all played in teams where we haven’t got on with a particular player, but this seems to be more serious. It is a breakdown in trust.

Hands up: Kevin Pietersen must apologise for his actions

Hands up: Kevin Pietersen must apologise for his actions

If Pietersen wants to spend the whole of the Indian Premier League campaign playing for Delhi, then I am sorry but he can’t do that if he is under contract to England. It is like Wayne Rooney asking Manchester United if he can play for AC Milan for six weeks.

Kevin has behaved bizarrely in recent times and we don’t know how the England management has addressed the issue before now.

Forget the individual and how good he is. This is the principle of management. There are countless examples of strong football managers shipping players out because they don’t fit in and Hugh Morris and the hierarchy have decided that they have had to ship Kevin out now.

Tough choices: But Andy Flower (right) w as right to drop Pietersen

Tough choices: But Andy Flower (right) w as right to drop Pietersen

That doesn’t mean there is no way back. If Kevin apologises and vows to buy into the team, then we could see him playing for England again.

As long as he doesn’t expect Andy Flower to say to him, ‘You were right all along, Kevin. We’ll do it your way.’ It doesn’t work like that.

Gareth Bale could be banned

Bale out! FIFA could force Spurs star to sit out pre-season over Olympic 'injury' snub

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UPDATED:

12:53 GMT, 25 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Gareth Bale could be banned for playing for Tottenham while the Olympics are on – but only if the FA lodges an official complaint, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has revealed.

Bale was included in Stuart Pearce's Great Britain squad for the Olympics but was withdrawn due to injury.

However, the Welshman played for Spurs on Tuesday and scored in a pre-season friendly against Los Angeles Galaxy in California.

Hot Spur: Gareth Bale played and scored for Tottenham against LA Galaxy despite ruling himself out of the Olympic spot with injury

Hot Spur: Gareth Bale played and scored for Tottenham against LA Galaxy despite ruling himself out of the Olympic spot with injury

Hot Spur: Gareth Bale played and scored for Tottenham against LA Galaxy despite ruling himself out of the Olympic spot with injury

Backing: Bale was one of those used to promote the Olympics

Backing: Bale was one of those used to promote the Olympics

HAVE YOUR SAY…

Should Gareth Bale be banned during the Olympics
He started and scored for Spurs against LA Galaxy – despite being ruled out of the Olympics through injury. Sepp Blatter says he could be banned if the FA complains.

Walker, Defoe and Bale

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

The FA and British Olympic Association have not commented on Bale's appearance, but Blatter said if there was an official complaint to FIFA then the 23-year-old could be banned for playing again for Spurs – even in friendlies – until August 12.

The world governing body would have to judge that the club had not released him – Spurs would argue Bale only returned to fitness this week.

Asked about Bale, Blatter said: 'The principle is that if a club does not release a player then this association can come to FIFA and we will then ban this player during the duration of the Olympics.

'So far nobody came to FIFA to say we should, but it is a possibility we could ban these players if they are not at the disposal of the national team.

'They (the association) complain and then we say let this player go or he cannot play for the club. FIFA's position has never been so clear than it is now for the Olympics 2012 and 2016.'

Blatter admitted that some countries such as Switzerland had not insisted on clubs releasing players but that all were entitled to.

After making his comeback, Bale revealed his rehabilitation from a back injury was 'well ahead of schedule'.

He told Spurs TV Online: 'After about 65 minutes my calf started to cramp up a bit but it was a good workout. It was one that I needed and it was good to get a goal as well.

'My rehab's gone very well at the club – we are well ahead of schedule.

Head boy: Bale's goal lit up the occasion in Los Angeles

Head boy: Bale's goal lit up the occasion in Los Angeles

'I am glad to be back. It's important to get a pre-season under my belt for the season forthcoming so I am just delighted to be back now without any problems.'

Bale came under fire on Twitter today, with former Wales star Robbie Savage posting: 'So A legend like [Ryan] giggs plays for the GB team , but bale who pulls out with injury scores for spurs last night , is that right

'Wales capt [Aaron] Ramsey, most decorated player giggs , prem league winner [Micah] Richards , does bale think he's better than that even if he is class !'

Former England captain Gary Lineker posted: 'Gareth Bale who pulled out of the Olympics through injury played for Spurs last night. Once in a lifetime opportunity thrown away #baffled.'

Preparing: Meanwhile, Stuart Pearce is putting the finishing touches to his plans

Preparing: Meanwhile, Stuart Pearce is putting the finishing touches to his plans

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas said: 'He came back to us during this week and you could say that we took a risk. We were on alert about the amount of effort he could put in.

'Gareth is young and physically a beast so he was able to put in the effort and we extended that because we want him to complete a certain amount of minutes before the start of the season.

'We just welcome his recovery – that is the most important thing for me. To have a player of this dimension available is fantastic.'

Bale was one of the faces of Team GB in the build-up to the Olympics and declared his desire to play.