Marina Hyde
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/ 15 February 2008

Black mark for racism reform

Another week, another chance to gauge how our fine governing bodies are combating racism, with everyone’s favourite test case still England’s 2004 friendly against Spain in Madrid. Yet what’s often overlooked is that it was world soccer governing body Fifa that imposed the paltry £44 750 fine on the Spanish FA for the racist chanting.

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/ 21 September 2007

Dyeing for the cause

There are days when even the World’s Most Wanted Man looks in the mirror and just feels like the world’s most unwanted man. He stares at his grey beard, sighs wearily at a FedEx-ed package of cave-floor carpet samples Mullah Omar wants him to pick between, and thinks: is there some sharia law loophole that means I could hang out with Scarlett Johansson for a few days, as long we just laugh at funny little Japanese people together and don’t get it on?

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/ 15 September 2006

Cashley Cole’s defence

There is a scene in the sports-agent movie Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise’s super-rich NFL client notices a Reebok commercial being filmed, and takes the opportunity to bemoan his endorsement poverty. ”I ain’t getting no love from Chevy,” he rages. Strip away the Cuba Gooding Jnr character’s charisma, and you are left with Ashley Cole.

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/ 8 September 2006

Soccer becomes the subplot

”Politics is a shitty world,” opined Andriy Shevchenko last weekend. ”I want to stay well away from it.” In which case, I can’t help feeling the vaguest misgivings about his choice of club. If anything is clear about recent developments in English football — and not an awful lot is — it is that the Premiership appears to have made the cheering step up from football league to geopolitical pawn.

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/ 7 July 2006

Where the street has no name

One of the many and varied tragedies about the turbulent Saturday night we all endured is that we will now never know what it would feel like to walk down Sven-Goran Eriksson Street. Had the outgoing England manager persuaded football to come home as he had promised he would, the relevant municipal authorities may well have granted him this honour.

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/ 5 May 2006

Rooney injury: Maggie Thatcher to blame

Instantly supplanting the War of Jenkins’s Ear as history’s most depressing conflict about a body part is the War of Rooney’s Foot, currently being waged between Sir Alex Ferguson and Sven-Goran Eriksson. Yet as they fiddle, the rest of us get on with the real business: whom to burn for The End of the Dream.