World Cup 2018: “All the fish are sold”

The week in sport and journalism in quotes, featuring FIFA’s incorruptible voting system for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the expense claims of Michael Gove as he cuts funding for school sport, Tiger Woods and second chances, boxing world champion Carl Froch and a record-breaking first Test in the Ashes series

“All the fish are sold” Miguel Angel Lopez, head of the Spain-Portugal bid to stage the 2018 World Cup, chooses an unfortunate turn of phrase to describe the incorruptible FIFA voting system, claiming eight of the 22 first-round votes on Dec 2.

Fish mongers? Jack Warner, right, with FIFA president Sepp Blatter

“A personal vendetta that is so stupid and deliberately designed to negatively impact on England’s chances. It is just a rehash of the same old bullshit, so I continue to sleep soundly” Jack Warner, Trinidad’s FIFA executive committee member, on BBC Panorama, which has previously exposed the football official’s  money-making schemes linked to the World Cup.

“I am still undecided as to whom we will support, but the CONCACAF family will vote together. The eyes of the world will be watching and I am certain we will all do what is best for the game” Warner, demonstrating that he holds three votes in the ballot.

“Although it’s corrupt, it’s only corrupt if you get caught” Ahongalu Fusimalohi, Tonga’s suspended delegate, on FIFA.

“The questioning suggests Panorama will have a right go at FIFA, but the bids should be judged on their technical merits and the economic and social benefits, not on TV criticisms” Gerry Sutcliffe MP, the former sports minister.

“If building these stadiums means taking on more debt, I fear they will not happen” Angel Laborda, chief economist at Funcas, the Spanish savings bank, on the recession-hit status of 12 yet-to-be-competed stadiums included in the Spain-Portugal World Cup bid.

“He hit that ball unerringly past the post” David Pleat on BBC radio.

“Their record here is very strong and that is quite exciting, the thought of taking on a record like that and trying to turn it round. Australia have a very proud and strong record at home. We are not expecting them to be any weaker than on past tours. We are not underestimating the size of the challenge. There are very few sides who come out here and win” Andrew Strauss ahead of the record-breaking first Test in Brisbane, where after gatting a third-ball duck in the first innings, the England captain scored a century in the second.

“The plan was pretty similar all day, to pitch it up, make them play, be patient and consistent with those lines. I got Cook and Prior with two balls like that and I think the third was a bit of adrenaline from the crowd. The crowd starting roaring, and it was very loud out there and definitely did pump me up” Peter Siddle, whose hat-trick on his 26th birthday ripped out the heart of the England first innings.

“During that victorious 1987 England trek the Observer published an unforgettable letter from a reader, Vicky Rantzen, who told how her best girlfriend was making love to her husband at dead of night when, just as mutual passion was reaching its heady heights, she noticed something in his ear.

“Ardour dampened, she pulled away and asked him what it was? ‘Be quiet, woman, I’m listening to the Test match from Brisbane’.” Frank Keating on the still enduring allure of listening to Ashes series in Australia on the “wireless”.

“The first hour-and-a-half was probably the hardest Test bowling I’ve ever had to face” Brad Haddin, the Australia wicket keeper, after the third day of the first Test, in which he went on to score 136 and Mike Hussey 195 in a sixth-wicket stand of 307.

Leadership: Andrew Strauss

“This was always going to be the decisive day of this Test and Australia murdered us” Geoffrey Boycott after the third day in Brisbane.

“What a wonderfully uplifting day for England. Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook batted splendidly and showed there is nothing to fear from this Australian attack” Boycott 24 hours later, Strauss and Cook scoring second innings centuries.

“A talking goalkeeper is a big asset” Jim Beglin in ITV commentary.

“The important thing is that it was a top performance by us” Sir Alex Ferguson after Manchester United beat Blackburn 7-1, with Dimitar Berbatov scoring five.

“We are nine points from the middle, that is something you can close” Avram Grant sums up the extent of bottom club West Ham’s ambitions after a rare home win, 3-1 against Wigan.

“We didn’t sign him to make friends. We signed him to win” Emilio Butragueno, Real Madrid’s former striker, now a club director, on coach Jose Mourinho.

“We live in a society of second chances” Mark Steinberg, Tiger Woods’s long-time agent, speaking a year after the infamous car crash incident that saw the golfer lose his No1 world ranking and marriage.

“You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the love” Tiger Woods‘s charm offensive begins, via Twitter.

“I’m just the student, Robert McCracken is the master” Carl Froch pays tribute to his trainer after regaining the super-middleweight world title from Arthur Abraham.

“It was a bitter pill to swallow. We made too many errors but we will be a better side for it. It was a very tough Test match” Martin Johnson, the England rugby coach, after watching his side physically battered into submission by World Cup-holders South Africa.

“This was a day when only a masochist would have wanted to be an England rugby player” Paul Hayward in The Observer on the 21-11 Springbok victory.

“It is difficult to understand how we did not get a penalty. The five referees is not an answer to the problem… The turning point was the penalty. It remains a complete mystery. The referee had some surprising decisions tonight” Arsene Wenger, after Arsenal’s 2-0 Champions League defeat at Braga, states the obvious about the flaw in UEFA’s trial system.

“If you are telling me that it’s about solidarity, then I can only hope that Scottish referees succeed in their fight” Vitor Pereira, Portugal’s head of referees, after four of his officials, together with 12 Polish referees, decided against officiating in Scotland at the weekend, where officials went on strike after having had their integrity questioned.

“We want people who are passionate about the LTA, not about tennis” Lawn Tennis Association response to a rejected job applicant, according to a report this week by Charlie Sale.

“To those of you who care, thanks for your support, am on here for you. To all you haters… I just don’t give a fuck, haha” Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 F1 world champion, replies to his literary critics on Twitter (@IamLewis4real). He later deleted the comment.

Michael Gove: £162m school sport programme is "unaffordable"

“Every time the Education Secretary Michael Gove appears on screen, it is impossible to banish the suspicion that he is a ventriloquist’s dummy… But when he announced his school sport policy there was no evidence of anyone working Gove with a hand up the back of his jacket.

“Gove has been declaring ‘war’ on education this week. You can argue elsewhere about the merits of his plans in the academic arena. But some of the collateral damage he has inflicted was idiotically destructive in the extreme, most notably the decision to wipe £162 million of protected School Sports Partnership funding from the books” Des Kelly, in the Mail, believes that Lord Charles is in the cabinet.

“Last year: Gove repays £7,000 expenses for claims including a £331 Chinon armchair, a Manchu cabinet for £493 and a pair of elephant lamps for £134.50, bought from an interior design firm set up by David Cameron’s mother-in-law, Lady Astor. Gove: ‘I am sorry for the mistakes I made’.” David Hills in his award-winning Said & Done sports diary column.

“About 20 world ranking points, a lovely trophy and $400,000 in earnings frustrated” Ian Poulter on the cost of the accidental move of his marker in the play-off with Robert Karlsson in golf’s Dubai world championship.

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