Anne’s woes pile up af­ter a FIFA crash

Daily Mail - - Martin Samuel -

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.

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