Arjen Robben is a disgrace to football

Arjen Robben is a fantastic footballer, one of the best in the world, and has been for some years now. He is also a disgrace to the game. His dive inside the penalty box against Mexico, which handed Holland the penalty that put the Mexicans out of the World Cup, must surely be punished by FIFA. I would place it up there with Luiz Suarez’s bite in Uruguay’s game against Italy in the group stage of the tournament, which earned the Uruguayan a four month ban from football, when it comes to bringing the game into disrepute.

Robben’s form when it comes to diving is well established by now. He is one of the worst offenders, but by no means the only one. In fact, diving has sadly become accepted and widespread at all levels of football and it’s high time it was stamped out. Making Robben’s dive against Mexico even worse is that this World Cup has been an excellent advertisement for football up to now. Great football, excellent refereeing for the most part, packed stadiums, and it appears little if any trouble. The Brazil v Chile match was one of the most exciting games of football I can recall. Who could argue, watching it, that the beautiful game stands alone when it comes to passion, emotion, skill, and excitement?

The Dutch went through against Mexico by cheating. There is no other way to put it. Arjen Robben is a cheat.

Galloway’s speech against Scottish independence in Edinburgh

At a Spectator-sponsored debate on Scottish independence in Edinburgh on Monday evening, chaired by Andrew Neil, George Galloway lined up on the No side of the argument alongside Tory MSP Annabel Goldie and Labour MSP Iain Murray. Putting the case for Yes were former SNP MSP Andrew Wilson, Jeane Freeman of Woman for Independence, and Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of the Yes campaign.

I attended the event and have to say that even though I’ve heard George speak many times, I’ve rarely heard him speak with the kind of passion and fire he did on Monday night. He really did steal the show, blowing not just the opposition but the audience away in the process.

Each speaker was allotted nine minutes in which to make the case either for or against the motion on independence. Here’s George Galloway making his case: