Brian GlanvilleThe FIFA Ethics Committee has struick: Bin Hammam has been thrown out of football. Unless of course he can havethe decision reversed by the various appeals he intends now to launch.

The clear corollary of the FIFA decision, which has not so far been bruited, is that Qatar’s ridiculous, criminally successful bid for the 2022 World Cup should be promptly investigated; and cancelled.

Meanwhile, though Dracula may have gone, the Wolfman remains. So long as Sepp Blatter remains in command at FIFA, what hope is there of the Augean Stables being cleansed.

Futile indeed for well meaning but irrelevant House of Commons committees to insist that something should immediately be done. These are important, if self-regarding voices crying in the wilderness. And as long as the ineffable Blatter, the all-too-fitting heir to still more ineffable Joao Havelange, who began the whole moral descent, remains in power, so long as the eminent likes of Michel Platini and Franz Beckenabauer, inexplicably support him, nothing will change.


Generous and decent of David Beckham to come to the support of Mario Balotelli, after the ridiculous backheel wide of the goal against LA Galaxy. Suggesting that the enfant terrible may have believedthat he was offside.

The saddening fact is that not even Roberto Mancini any longer seems capable of controlling the eccentricities and excesses of Balotelli, and if he can’t, then who else can hope to?

Mancini it was, when manager of Inter, who took Balotelli under his wing, nurtured and encouraged him, put him as a teenager into the Campionato team, and deputed him to take very relevant free-kick with his explosive right foot.

But Balotelli, the son of Ghanian parents, born in Palermo but brought up by foster parents in northern Brescia, has alas, grown up, if that be the relevant phase, since those teenaged days at Inter and one doubts if anybody can tame and discipline him now. All £24million of him and his gifts.


What price, now, the excellent young Chelsea midfielder, 18-year-old Josh McEachran? Playing further upfield than usual, he gave a fine display against the Thai All Stars, winning high praise from Villas-Boas. While alas, Fernando Torres fired blanks again.

But Chelsea, with all that oligarch money behind them, seek bigger fish than McEachran, who may well go out on loan. Which would be a sin and a shame and one more indication of how Chelsea and Manchester City, with those billions behind them, have poisoned the wells of English football.

Not even the new Platini rule will hinder Manchester City, who have so conveniently sold the rights to their stadium’s name to none other than Abu Dhabi’s airline for £400million. Just mere coincidence of course, that Sheik Mansour, their owner, happens to be a member of the royal family that owns the airline.