Football, rugby and cricket tournaments have all contributed to the rise in English national consciousness in recent years. Politicalbetting.com asks if this phenomenon will have an impact on the burning question at Westminster:
You can’t help but feeling a bit sorry for Gordon over the timing of the World Cup. There he is in the final stages of his plan to take over the Labour leadership and along comes the contest which in the UK is the ultimate “English-fest”.
With the question mark over his appeal to the electors as a whole being the main obstacle standing in the way of the succession that he regards as his getting the World Cup right is critical - and much more important than any policy issue. (Politicalbetting.com)
The Guardian reported on Saturday that Gordon Brown has effectively bounced the Football Association into bidding for the 2018 World Cup.
A decision on whether to launch a 2018 bid is far from urgent - the FA need not confirm its intention for at least four years - and both football and Whitehall sources suggested that Brown's support has as much to do with his rivalry with the prime minister as his love of football. A genuine Falkirk fan but a lukewarm supporter of the Olympic project, Brown insisted on a funding package that ensured the Treasury would not have to pay a penny towards the infrastructure costs of staging the games. (Guardian)
I won't be posting for the next couple of days as I'll be in Dublin for the All-Ireland football final.
British -based fans can catch the match on Setanta TV (available at all good Irish pubs) or via the internet on Radio Kerry from 3.30pm.
It should be a good match this year. Kerry's Colm 'Gooch' Cooper put on a scintillating display against Cork in the semi-final. However, Tyrone dumped Kerry out of the championship in 2003, and I have a feeling this match will be Kerry's toughest test since then.
Incidentally, I should mention that the Sam Maguire cup is named after one of the greatest figures in the history of the Irish community in London. You can read his story here.
Respondents were asked to imagine a situation where an international sports competition was taking place where Ireland had no team in the tournament, and were asked to consider which of a list of countries they would be most and least likely to support.