Qatar still the home of football, says Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has confirmed that Qatar remains the birthplace of football and no investigation will change that.

Criminal charges against senior FIFA officials, and investigations into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, will not have any effect on Qatar’s proud history as the mother of the beautiful game.

Blatter said: “Every since Yusuf al-Webb Ellis first kicked a ball, made from an inflated camel’s bladder, between two sand dunes in 1320 the Qatari nation has been football mad.

“So many moments of Qatar’s history are footballing ones; the Bin Matthews final of 1953, the benevolent rule of Emir Pelé under which the country gained independence, and of course the 1966 World Cup win against the United Arab Emirates.

“Who can forget the famous commentary, ‘Some of the crowd are on the pitch, they will be flogged and their wives will be flogged and they will die like dogs. It is over for them now.’”

Blatter confirmed that the 2022 World Cup, which will take place in Qatar’s green and pleasant valleys which are currently off-limits to journalists, will take place as planned.

He added: “And I will still be president. Or there will be no more football. It is your choice.”

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At least three applicants for West Ham job clearly Allardyce in disguise

WEST Ham has been disappointed by how many of the applicants for its manager’s role are departing boss Sam Allardyce.

The Hammers have commenced interviews with potential replacements for Allardyce but were shocked to discover that their most promising prospect was Allardyce wearing goggles, a facial scarf and speaking with an affected lisp.

West Ham co-chairman David Gold said: “The disguises are quite poorly executed. It’s perhaps a little naive on Big Sam’s part to imagine that he could attach a fake moustache and we’d believe he was one of the most sought-after coaches in France.

“Sam de Allardyce was unable to understand even the most rudimentary French phrases and I’m pretty sure there’s no such team as FC Blancmange.”

However Gold believes the right man will eventually present himself: “Somewhere out there is a coach who wants to play passing football, who brings a fresh approach to the game and doesn’t believe that Bovril is a delicacy.