"I'd like to play for an Italian club, like Barcelona"
Mark Draper, formerly of Aston Villa
I found myself like most of the country in the strange position of being a supporter of Israel on Saturday night and they did not let us down (unlike certain national football teams a little closer to home). Did anyone else notice the irony that the result of a football match between Israel and Russia had the potential to decide whether England would qualify for the European Championships? This crime against geography is presumably because UEFA and FIFA allow countries to join continental federations based on history and politics rather than actual physical locations.
Of course, Israel is also in UEFA because a few countries in the Asian federation do not recognise its right to exist. Which got me thinking: if the People's Republic actually got independence from the old country and was recognised by the United Nations, but not Westminster could we then apply for membership of CONCACAF and play World Cup Qualifiers against the might of Mexico, USA and Canada? It is one benefit of independence that we could sell to the people of Birmingham
But let's not give Alex Salmond any ideas.