Think back to 2007. It’s the quarterfinal day of the Rugby World Cup between France and the All Blacks in Cardiff and one of the greatest dramas in rugby is about to take place. In the end, the French would emerge victorious and this morning Gerry Thornley relives this exciting victory by two points in the latest in our series of favorite sporting moments. “In the mixed zone afterwards, I never encountered players as shocked and discouraged as these All Blacks when they were struggling for a few hushed words. Never, ”he writes. Meanwhile, controversy surrounding the appointment of Fijian President Francis Kean to the World Rugby executive committee took another turn yesterday as the man who was convicted of manslaughter in 2007 was charged with “homophibia” rampant ”in the Sunday Times. “World Rugby 3f rules state that an objective of the organization is to” prevent any discrimination of any kind “against a country, a private person or groups of people”, writes Gavin Cummiskey about controversy that will continue to roar.
On football and Ken Early wrote in his column this morning that Newcastle United fans have full view of the latest operating offer for them like the agreement to see a consortium funded by Saudi Arabia buy the club closer. “The truth is that Newcastle fans are more spectators than beneficiaries. Their club was chosen because 13 years of Ashley’s austerity meant it was cheaper than some other clubs the Saudis would have preferred to own, “he wrote. When we may watch football live again, we can only guess, but what is certain is that it will, for some time, be played behind closed doors. The idea itself has many flaws but it would also, at least, restart the sport but is it worth it? As the old saying goes – fanless football is nothing – but does it get better than nothing?