Anne’s woes pile up after a FIFA crash
ENGLAND 2018 bid chairman Geoff Thompson and his wife, Anne, were involved in a traffic accident outside Johannesburg that could have had serious repercussions for the FIFA high command.
Mrs Thompson was taken to hospital for X-rays on her shoulder and received a painkilling injection after the FIFA car carrying the English VIPs to an official banquet had to brake unexpectedly and hit the vehicle in front.
But a mass pile-up that could also have involved UEFA president Michel Platini and Cyprus’s FIFA executive committee member Marios Lefkaritis, in the cars in front and behind the Thompsons, was narrowly avoided. ‘It was a matter of centimetres,’ said Platini yesterday.
The reaction times of chauffeurs in the FIFA convoy were not helped by the fact that they were handling unfamiliar l eft-hand drive Hyundai limousines rather than the right-hand cars used in South Africa.
It was a day to forget for Mrs Thompson. She discovered a mosquito in her drink at the Ministry of Sport reception attended by South African President Jacob Zuma. And she was hit on the head by a photographer’s camera during a picture opportunity at the function. DAVID DEIN’S humorous approach plus a personalised video message from trump card David Beckham helped England 2018 receive a warm reception after their bid presentation to CONCACAF delegates in Johannesburg. The loudest laugh came from confederation chief Jack Warner’s wife Maureen, who had previously returned her Mulberry handbag gift from England 2018, when Dein joked: ‘The last time I did it in 12 minutes, I was 18 years old.’ The Russian PowerPoint presentation failed three times during their 12-minute slot. BBC 5 Live are already in thrall to celebrity culture to the extent of making Robbie Savage (right) the regular presenter of Saturday evening flagship phone-in show 606 next season when he’s still playing football. Now his club, Derby County, are building a special broadcasting studio for him at Pride Park so Savage can walk from the dressing room to host 606 after every home match. SELF-PUBLICIST Piers Morgan has only himself to blame for missing out on what could have been the last TV interview with an ailing Nelson Mandela. Morgan inherited the chance when he replaced unavailable Trevor McDonald as presenter of a pre-World Cup documentary on South Africa shown on ITV this week. But Morgan’s boasts about his forthcoming exclusive chat were picked up by the South African press, and the uproar it caused led to concern about allowing Morgan access to such an iconic figure and the questions he might have asked. So the programme went ahead without a meeting with Mandela.