Inside Track

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

Inside Track


Byline: ADRIAN WARNER

FA are wrong over Wembley relaunch

THE Football Association won't admit it but the Community Shield on 13 August has already been set as the new Wembley's opening game. The FA are getting it wrong again. Given the controversy around the project, the best way to relaunch Wembley is to think globally.

This is the home of football opening a stadium which is supposed to set new standards for the world. So the first match there cannot be a meaningless preseason club game.

It must be the high-profile friendly on 16 August between England and this summer's World Cup winners. If that's England, then the game can be a rematch of the Berlin final.

If England is serious about a 2018 World Cup bid this is the perfect opportunity for good politics with FIFA. That doesn't mean just VIP invitations. Wembley can help FIFA make a huge point about the value of international football.

Ironically, a friendly against Brazil was being pencilled in three years ago when it was thought Wembley might even be opened in March.

Marry me? Only if you can win the World Cup

DUTCH speedskating gold medallist Marianne Timmer is clearly determined to keep her footballing boyfriend Henk (both right) on his toes. During a live TV linkup from Holland to Turin the other day, the goalkeeper of AZ Alkmaar and Dutch national team No2 asked the speedskater to marry him in front of millions of viewers. …

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