On The Line: Setanta splash out on World Cup trail

Last updated at 21:32 24 November 2007

Anyone who can bear to watch England's

football team after this week is more likely

than ever to be tuning to Setanta.

The Ireland-based company dug deep

again to take a punt on winning the rights to

some of England's away games in the 2010

World Cup qualifying campaign.


who with ITV trumped Sky by snapping up

the FA Cup/home

internationals package,

will pay £5 million per

match for trips to

some less glamorous

European outposts.

The deal is with

sport marketing firm

SportFive, who own

overseas rights to

home matches for 30 or so

federations across the

continent, although not

heavyweight nations like

Italy and Spain.

Unfortunately for Setanta,

the two-year deal was

struck the day before

Frank Lampard and the boys were

beaten by Croatia.

That defeat would have reduced the price

that was too rich for Sky, who have held

the rights for four seasons. Setanta hope

today's draw in Durban pits England

against as many of their new 'clients' as


December will be D-day — or month —

for the rival systems racing to satisfy football's

demand for goal-line technology. Premier

League officials will be at Reading on

December 11 to observe tests of the multiple

camera project devised by Hawk-Eye. But the

'intelligent ball' designed by adidas in

partnership with Cairos Technologies could

gain an important foothold in FIFA's affections

if trials during the World Club Championship in

Japan from December 9-14 are a success.

All change on the drug-testing front

No athlete in Britain — not even Christine

Ohuruogu — will have a good excuse for

missing a drugs test by the end of the year.

While the world 400 metres champion attends

a personal hearing tomorrow to appeal against

her lifetime Olympic ban, UK Sport are close to

completing an education programme for

athletes which explains the workings of the

Anti-Doping Administration and Management

System (ADAMS).

Under the new arrangements, athletes will

provide the same quarterly on-line updates of

where they will be and they will still inform the

authorities of late changes by text message,

fax or telephone. But ADAMS also allows UK

Sport to plan and implement every aspect of

their testing programme and to liaise with other

bodies to ensure it is as rigorous and effective

as possible.

How civilised of the Football

Association to sort out Steve

McClaren's £2.5 million

severance payment so quickly.

And how disgraceful that Les

Reed, now Lawrie Sanchez's

assistant at Fulham, is still waiting

for a settlement more than three-and-a-half years

after his dismissal as acting technical director.

McClaren can start spending his pay-off

but Reed had to reschedule mortgage payments

after his dismissal. It's worth remembering the

next time Soho Square wrings its hands about

standards of behaviour in football.

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