Off the ball

30th May 2003 at 01:00
Education Secretary Charles Clarke has been mending fences with Chelsea football club, following his criticism of its failure to participate in the football-based children's literacy scheme.

His efforts, however, have not met with complete success. During an unpublicised visit to Stamford Bridge to attend the Asian Community Cup Final, he is said to have enthused about Chelsea's great forward Emile Zola. The Diary thinks that he meant Gianfranco Zola, Emile being more famous for his turn of phrase than his turn of pace.

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