Champions League needs to incorporate River Plate and Boca to create gripping TV

THE next step for European football’s superpowers is to incorporate the likes of Boca Juniors, River Plate, Santos and Gremio into their future plans.

For the Champions League to remain progressive, the top clubs in South America should be absorbed into a world league that involves the most famous names in the game.

There are talks in Nyon this week designed to give the European Cup a bit of spit and polish after 2024.

But South American clubs should be working their way into these conversations.

These inter-continental fixtures would play havoc with the schedule, but they would make for gripping TV.


THE FA got themselves into a right old mess by agreeing to be used as a guinea pig for VAR by the Premier League.

Saturday’s ridiculous controversies at the Liberty Stadium could have been avoided if someone had the good sense to suggest consistency across every tie in the round.

Instead a boutique VAR system was used at Watford and Wolves, but not in the quarter-final between Swansea and Manchester City sandwiched in between.

For TV viewers bingeing on Cup football over the weekend, it led to confusion after City got off the hook at Swansea because the system was not being used at the Liberty.

Unfortunately that made for a video nasty.


ROY HODGSON wasted a big chance in the FA Cup quarter-final at Vicarage Road against Watford.

Hodgson has never been beyond the quarter-final and he was made to pay for lack of ambition and adventure during Crystal Palace’s 2-1 defeat.

The Eagles’ hardcore – the Holmesdale Fanatics – demanded an improvement after their meek surrender in the derby against Brighton the previous weekend at Selhurst Park.

With the exception of Palace full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, they did not get it.


FULHAM are sleepwalking their way towards relegation.

There was an air of disbelief about Craven Cottage when Ryan Babel unexpectedly equalised against his former club.

Nobody inside the stadium really thought they could go on to win it from there.

The apathy has set in because this ambitious outfit have managed to secure only 15 points in this disastrous return to the Premier League.

They have some decent players on the books, but there are far too many thinking about their next move when they should be giving Scott Parker their unequivocal support.


YOU cannot tire of watching Lionel Messi’s cushioned chip against Real Betis from the outside of the area.

The super-slow mos help, with the architect of this finish working out how much flight and spin to put on the ball to send it sailing over the head of the Betis keeper as he is about to make the connection.

In years to come there will be a scientific study and analysis of this man and the boffins will reach the same conclusion as the rest of us: this player really is the greatest of all time.

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