Should Owen go to the World Cup?

At the time of writing 79% of voters in the Guardian’s “Should Michael Owen go to South Africa?” poll says Yes. I don’t know how many people have voted so far but a mere two comments suggests the topic is hardly catching the public’s imagination.

That said, 22% of voters in a similar Telegraph poll want an England recall for Owen, up 10% from last month. Here are the latest figures for the Telegraph Fans' XI.

Let’s leave the last word on this to the bookies, some of whom know a thing or two about backing outsiders or at least fanning the flames in the hope of attracting speculative punts.

In a move which may provoke more Dutch giggling than the annual Amsterdam Cake Festival Japan’s coach is in buoyant mood ahead of the World Cup. Here’s what Takeshi Okada and one of his players, who admittedly has an impressive goals to games rate, had to say. Semi finals? I don’t think so.

FIFA has “demanded that all competing nations submit their first three choices for a World Cup base in order of preference by Saturday – and that the final decision is made and contracts are signed by 31 January”. So will Fabio Capello and the FA be persuaded by Royal Bafokeng or not?

A spokesperson for a pressure group says “Football fans should be outraged that these shirts are being produced in such conditions”. Find out more here.

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