Justice has been done!

McLaren Mercedes have lost their appeal against the decision of the stewards at the Brazilian Grand Prix on the 21st October 2007. McLaren appealed the decision of the FIA stewards at Interlagos concerning illegally chilled fuel pumped into the Williams and BMW cars. Three of these cars finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton gifting the title to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. If Rosberg, Heidfeld and Kubica had been excluded it would have meant that Lewis Hamilton would have been promoted from 7th to 4th and would have been crowned 2007 world drivers champion. BMW and Williams got away with it on a technicality; claiming that the ambient temperature and the actual temperature of the fuel is ambiguous and when there is doubt; the benefit of the doubt has to go to the defendant(s). Despite me being a Lewis Hamilton/McLaren fan; I think that justice has been done. Kimi Raikkonen is a deserving champion making up for his poor start to the season with a strong finish and Lewis Hamilton folded when it counted as Lewis will say himself. The Briton had already gone on record as saying he doesn’t want to win the championship in the courtroom and wants to let his performance on the track do the talking! A lot of people have criticised Hamilton outside of the UK; but I don’t think he has done anything wrong. His driving style is aggressive but very fair; he hasn’t taken anyone off the track all season (except himself). Even Michael Schumacher has praised Lewis for his driving skill; which is high praise coming from the seven time world champion. Lewis will be stronger than ever next season!

Israel have done Steve McClaren’s England a huge favour beating Russia against the run of play. Elyaniv Barda put Israel into the lead but that was cancelled out by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Russia dominated and were denied by the post late on before Omer Golan gave Israel the lead with moments left on the clock. So cheers to Israel who were only playing for pride as they can’t qualify for the finals despite this win. But it has now put England’s fate back in their own hands; England will need at least a draw from the tie with Croatia at Wembley to finish second in the group and qualify for Euro 2008! But England could still top the group if they beat Croatia by two clear goal at Wembley as England are three points behind Croatia and a win would mean they are equal on points and it would come down to goal difference. Should England win the game by one clear goal then it comes down to goals scored and that would go Croatia’s way. I can’t believe that we are still in it somehow; but England really need to get a result from Wednesday or else they’ll crash out unless Andorra (who have conceded 41 goals in 11 matches) do something spectacular and beat or draw with Russia. No excuses; it’s crunch time… if England fail to qualify now; McClaren needs to go as do a lot of the donkeys in the England squad; no names mentioned!

Scotland weren’t so fortunate being beaten by a late goal at Hampden Park; Scotland were caught on the hop early on conceding a goal in the first 2 minutes. But the Scots composed themselves having a surefire goal cleared off the Italian line before Barry Ferguson equalised for the Scots 15 minutes after the half time break. The scores remained deadlocked until the dying moments with both teams missing chances. The winning goal is a contentious issue because the Scots dispute the free kick decision that resulted in Christian Panucci scoring the winner in injury time. Scotland have played all 12 of their games in the group and find themselves in 3rd with no opportunity to overhaul either Italy or France. Northern Ireland won their game against Denmark 2 -1; but their fate still lays in the balance as they need other results to go their way to qualify. In simple terms; Northern Ireland need to beat the Spanish in Spain and Latvia pull a result out of the hat against Sweden; they’ll qualify; any other results will mean the Irishmen miss out on the finals!

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