WITH THE World Cup all but underway (depending on when you’re reading this), the likelihood of Roy Hodgson’s three Lions bringing home the Jules Rimet trophy does rely somewhat on the remote side. Therefore any hope of international success this summer lies solely at the hands of the Maccabi GB team who are competing in the European Maccabi Football Trophy this weekend. And if the football teams (open & masters) don’t end up victorious then we also have the futsal teams to pin our hopes on. Failing that, it may well be up to the ladies to lead the way when they take part in the first ever open women’s futsal tournament. Two days of action, spread across east and north London, with a BBQ on the Sunday at Rowley Lane to boot. Spectators are more than welcome.

AS IF Sepp Blatter doesn’t have enough on his plate right now with calls for him to resign as head of FIFA. However, should he stay on as president of world football’s governing body, he has the small matter of dealing with the escalating Israeli-Palestine football conflict. The Palestinian Football Association have spent recent months trying to make FIFA impose sanctions – expulsion from international football – against Israel over restrictions on the movement of their players from the Gaza Strip and West Bank. While Blatter has indicated he won’t support those calls, the Palestinian FA has said their secretary general was this week denied a permit to travel to a FIFA congress. The Israelis have hit back, with Sports Minister Limor Livnat writing to Blatter saying Israel would allow Palestinian athletes to “exit and enter for the purpose of sports, excluding occasions in which there are attempts to make use of sports in order to injure or threaten the security of our citizens”. She added a Palestinian player, Sameh Maraabeh, was detained in late April, alleging he received funds, a mobile phone and a written message from Hamas activist. The Palestinians are demanding action, Israel remain resolute. It never rains, but it pours…