HOT OR NOT: Mohamed Sbihi can leave a lasting legacy… while the Netherlands goes backwards

HOT OR NOT: Team GB’s Mohamed Sbihi could leave a lasting legacy after becoming the first Muslim to carry the Union flag at an Olympics…as the Netherlands backslide by bringing Louis van Gaal back as coach

It’s hot or not time if Sportsmails DANIEL MATTHEWS tells us what made him feel hot and cold this week…

HOT

THE HUNDRED

Forget the graphics for a minute. Forget it was all kinda like that thing they call Twenty20. And remember who the target audience is.

Do that and it becomes clear that the ECB could hardly have wished for a better start to this expensive gamble. This whole enterprise could still fall on its head.

But at least it got off to a flying start.

The ECB could hardly have wished for a better start to their expensive gamble with the Hundredgams

MOHAMED SBIHIA

Only about 30 athletes from Team GB showed up for Friday’s opening ceremony in Toyko. But it is important that rower Sbihi was there to lead them out. Who knows the legacy he—the first Muslim to carry the Union flag at an Olympics—could leave for generations to come?

Rower Mohamed Sbihi became the first Muslim to carry the Union flag at an Olympic Games

Rower Mohamed Sbihi became the first Muslim to carry the Union flag at an Olympic Games

TRACEY CROUCH

Is it naive to think that we are getting closer to a more equitable, sustainable future for English football? Maybe. But there is cause for hope after former Sports Secretary Tracey Crouch recommended independent regulation following her “fan-led” assessment of the sport’s governance.

NOT

RUGBY LEAGUE

It didn’t take long for the mud-slinging to begin.

‘Selfish, parochial and cowardly’ was the verdict of the Rugby Football League after Australia and New Zealand withdrew from this autumn’s World Cup on these shores.

It’s a real mess: neither of the two best parties in the world; no holders there to defend their title. The organizers face a pretty big decision.

DUTCH FA

If we are to believe the reports in the Netherlands, Louis van Gaal is in line to take over the role of national coach.

This would be the 69-year-old’s third stint since the turn of the century.

Since 1992, Van Gaal (two), Guus Hiddink (two) and Dick Advocaat (three) have all had several bites of the cherry. Why go back to the future?

Louis van Gaal, 69, is lining up to take over the role of Holland manager for a third stint

Louis van Gaal, 69, is lining up to take over the role of Holland manager for a third stint

WORLD DRUGBY

Lions boss Warren Gatland is right to make a fuss.

With Rassie Erasmus midway through his career transitioning to waterboy on the pitch in the grayest areas, World Rugby’s decision to have a South African TMO for this first test shows an unforgivable lack of foresight.

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