Save the Children accused of suppressing criticism of corporate sponsor British Gas, while internal emails reveal how fuel poverty campaign was dropped to avoid offending EDF
San Marino 0 England 8 - as it happened
England thrash San Marino on a good night for Wales and Ireland
ANALYSISSo a great night for Wales, who came from behind to win 2-1 in Scotland. It was all too straightforward for England who thrashed San Marino 8-0. It was also a good night for Ireland, who were able to hold Sweden to a 0-0 draw in Stockholm.
FT: A thorough thrashing dished out by England. The early own goal by Della Valle didn't help the home side and after Defoe made it 3-0 after 35 minutes, it was all over. But England weren't done. They scored five by half-time and added three more in the second half. Defoe might take the headlines due to his double but the Ox, who was the first England player to get on the scoresheet and Leighton Baines were perhaps the stand-out players for the away side.Simon Rice (Online Sports...Mar 22, 2013 at 9:50 PM
FULL TIME: SAN MARINO 0 ENGLAND 8
- Della Valle scores an own goal after 11 mins
- Oxlade-Chamberlain makes it 2-0 with a fine goal after 29 mins
- Defoe makes it three with a tap in after 35 mins
- Young with fine long range strike
- Lampard scores England's fifth with a low shot
- Rooney with a free-kick after the break to make it six
- Sturridge header makes it seven
- Defoe gets his second and England's eighth after a great team move
- WALES BEAT SCOTLAND 2-1
Welcome to The Independent's coverage of England's World Cup qualifier against San Marino. Before the game gets underway (8pm) we'll be bringing you all the latest news.
We'd also like to hear from you - is there any chance England will lose? How many will they win by? What do you make of Rio Ferdinand's withdrawal? Let us know by using the 'Make a comment' button and we'll publish the best ones.
Here's some of the best stories from today's Independent...
- Hodgson: I'm not interested in Rio or what he is doing
- Sam Wallace: How did Rio Ferdinand not realise 15 hour flight to Qatar was a terrible idea?
- San Marino v England: Early goal will release the pressure says Steven Gerrard
- Can England add to their biggest away wins?
- San Marino v England San Marino are pointless as they prop up most of the rest of the world
The Independent's Sam Wallace is in San Marino for us tonight. Aha!
No pavements/paths in San Marino. Just walked along side of dual carriageway, like Partridge on his way to buy windscreen fluid. Goldfinger Sam Wallace via Twitter at 12:36 PM
TEN THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT SAN MARINO...
- San Marino are currently ranked joint-207th and last in the FIFA rankings, level on zero points with Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- Davide Gualtieri, who scored the fastest goal in World Cup qualifying history after eight seconds against England in 1993, is now a computer salesman.
- San Marino have only won one match in their history, a 1-0 friendly success over Liechtenstein in April 2004.
- None of the teams in the seven-team Sammarinese League have their own ground. Instead, five neutral grounds are used on a rotating basis.
- San Marino is 24 square miles and has a population of around 30,000. It is also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino.
- San Marino boasts a famous cake called the Cake Of The Three Towers. It is a layered wafer cake which is covered in chocolate.
- Aldo and Davide Simoncini made history against Sweden in 2010 when they became the first twins to score own goals in the same international match.
- Only four independent states in the world are smaller than San Marino. They are Tuvalu, Nauru, Monaco and the Vatican.
- San Marino have never won an Olympic medal, but trap shooter Alessandra Perilli came closest in 2012 when she finished fourth.
- San Marino's original entry for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest - 'Facebook Uh, Oh, Oh' - was disqualified due to a rule breach, and had to be re-titled.
The Independent's Martin Hardy has been questioning whether San Marino should be playing in these World Cup qualifiers...
This qualifying campaign has run to a now all too predictable pattern: four games played, four games lost. Goals for 0, goals against 16. This is non-competitive football in competition format. San Marino are pointless.Read the full article here.
Do you agree that San Marino are 'pointless'? Leave your comments.
The Independent's Sam Wallace, in San Marino, confirms the news about Theo Walcott...
Theo Walcott out of Tuesday's game against Montenegro, as well as tonight against San Marino Sam Wallace via Twitter at 4:02 PM
Currently - 33 per cent of you think England will win by four goals tonight. 20 per cent of you think it'll be more than six. Keep on voting.POLL
England 6 San Marino 0 - February 17, 1993PAST MEETINGS
David Platt was the star of the show as England brushed aside the minnows in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley. The midfielder scored four goals while Carlton Palmer and Les Ferdinand both struck for the first time at international level. Three goals in the last 12 minutes made the scoreline more emphatic than it might have been.
San Marino 1 England 7 - November 17, 1993
One of the most notorious nights in England's recent history. Although they won comfortably in the end, it was not without the embarrassment of San Marino taking the lead. Davide Gualtieri seized on Stuart Pearce's poor backpass to score after 8.3 seconds - the fastest ever goal in World Cup qualifying. Ian Wright scored four times while there were also two goals from Paul Ince and one from Ferdinand, but it was not enough for England to qualify for the World Cup finals and manager Graham Taylor resigned a week later.
England 5 San Marino 0 - October 12, 2012
It was 19 years until England met San Marino again, in another World Cup qualifier at Wembley. Wayne Rooney, who was captain for the night, netted twice to take his England tally to 31 goals, making him the fifth highest goalscorer in the country's history. It was Rooney who broke the deadlock with a penalty after 35 minutes and Danny Welbeck added a second three minutes later. San Marino put up stubborn resistance but England struck three more times in the second half through Rooney, Welbeck and a first international goal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
A few musings on tonight's match from Twitter...
England play San Marino today. A country so small that if you kick the ball into touch you have to go through customs to get it back. robbie saunders via Twitter at 5:44 PM
What does Friday evening hold then? Standard fish n chips, England v San Marino, then the Test Match, all with a glass or two of red. Ian Mitton via Twitter at 5:44 PM
The dressing room England will use tonight in San Marino. Reminds me of Grimethorpe Cricket Club in the mid 90s. t.coMatthew Murray via Twitter at 5:43 PM
Tonight's England team is still unconfirmed - although Theo Walcott is out with an injury and his Arsenal team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to fill in. Here's the probable team that's been circulating this afternoon...
Hart; Walker, Smalling, Lescott, Baines; Ox, Lampard, Cleverley, Young; Rooney, Defoe
The Independent's Sam Wallace has been asking how Rio Ferdinand did not realise his 15 hour flight to Qatar was a terrible idea.
There is a tendency for some players to do whatever the hell they like without thinking of the effect it might have on others, and this was the case with Ferdinand.Read the full article here.
What do you make of Rio's decision? Let us know by using the 'Make a comment' button.
Rio Ferdinand is 'seeing' a 5-0 win for England tonight. Lest we forget, he's seeing it all the way from Qatar. MrPaulRobinson via Twitter at 6:21 PM
#sanmarinofacts Rio Ferdinand's ego is bigger than the stadium tonight's game will take place in, hence his absense. Samuel Heyes via Twitter at 6:12 PM
Has Theo Walcott ever come back from England duty in one piece? No wonder Rio "Justin Bieber Tickets" Ferdinand pulled out. Sean Attwood via Twitter at 5:57 PM
CONFIRMED LINE UP
England: 1 Joe Hart, 2 Kyle Walker, 3 Leighton Baines, 4 Tom Cleverley, 5 Joleon Lescott, 6 Chris Smalling, 7 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 8 Frank Lampard (c), 9 Jermain Defoe, 10 Wayne Rooney, 11 Ashley Young.
Substitutes: 12 Scott Parker, 13 Ben Foster, 14 Ashley Cole, 15 Steven Taylor, 16 Steven Caulker, 17 James Milner, 18 Steven Gerrard, 19 Michael Carrick, 20 Leon Osman, 21 Daniel Welbeck, 22 Daniel Sturridge, 23 Fraser Forster.
Frank Lampard will captain England tonight when they take on San Marino.
The Chelsea midfielder has been given the armband by Roy Hodgson after the England manager elected to name Steven Gerrard among his substitutes.
Elsewhere, Theo Walcott's absence is confirmed, with the Arsenal midfielder not making the bench. He's expected to be out for up to 10 days with an injury. That's opened up an opportunity for his Gunners team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who comes into the starting XI.
Read the full story on the England team by clicking here.
Frank Lampard: Of the 19 players with 10+ PL goals this season, only Le Fondre (21.3%) has a better conversion rate than Lampard (20.7%) WhoScored.com via Twitter at 6:32 PM
Lampard to captain england. wohoo Aakash =D via Twitter at 7:00 PM
Lampard captaining the england side tonight! Feeling a 4-0 win! #ThreeLions Declan Wood via Twitter at 7:01 PM
Most of the England team are multimillionaires. This is what some of the San Marino team do...
- Aldo Simonicini [GK, age: 26, 30 caps] Job: Business consultant
- Fabio Vitaioli [D, 28, 25] Bar owner
- Alessandro della Valle [D, 30, 41] Accountant
- Davide Simoncini [D, 26, 30] Student
- Damiano Vanucci [D, 35, 68] Fitness centre owner
- Michele Cervellini [M, 24, 16] Student
- Enrico Cibelli [M, 25, 8] Barman
- Alex Gasperoni [M, 28, 25] Owner of a lighting shop
The Independent's Sam Wallace in San Marino...
Hodgson goes back to 4-4-2 for tonight? ENG: Hart; Walker, Smalling, Lescott, Baines; Young, Lampard, Cleverley, Oxlade-Chamb; Defoe, Rooney Sam Wallace via Twitter at 6:52 PM
You've been voting in our poll on how many goals England will win by. This is what you think so far...
- 1 goal 5%
- 2 goals 10%
- 3 goals 18%
- 4 goals 21%
- 5 goals 18%
- 6 goals 6%
- More that 6 goals 22%
Here's the San Marino team for tonight...
Starting XI: Aldo Simoncini, Fabio Vitaioli, Palazzi,
Alessandro Della Valle, Davide Simoncini, Cervellini, Gasperoni,
Cibelli, Fabio Bollini, Selva, Matteo Vitaioli.
Valentini, Bacciocchi, Bianchi, Buscarini, Coppini, Alex Della Valle,
Rinaldi, Carlo Valentini, Vannucci.
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane on ITV discussing the Rio Ferdinand situation...
No doubt Rio Ferdinand would be under pressure from his club as they will want him to focus on Manchester United. He has a contract situation and a testimonial coming up, so no doubt he was under pressure.
No doubt he has also been upset at being left out, he did not deserve that, but Roy Hodgson has dangled him a carrot and he has not come back.
From Hodgson's point of view, he should focus on the other players, not forget about Rio, but focus on the younger players.
You cannot be too critical of Manchester United though, as they provide England with so many other players.
Some views from Twitter on England's opponents...
San Marino's population couldn't even fill half of Wembley Stadium !! #SanMarino #England Luke Earl via Twitter at 7:47 PM
Was losing 7-1 to England really the best moment in San Marino's history? Really?? Stuart Pike via Twitter at 7:47 PM
Mocking San Marino before the game... Classy punditry!! #itv #England #sanmarino MattLawton via Twitter at 7:46 PM
Haha San Marino formation 9-0-1 Sam Johnson via Twitter at 7:47 PM
BREAKING: San Marino XI: Barman, Builder, Accountant, Student, Postman, Factory Worker, Plumber, Dentist, Lawyer, Electrician, Unemployed. BBC Sporf via Twitter at 7:33 PM
Oxlade-Chamberlain off the bar. Unlucky. Sam O'Sullivan via Twitter at 8:10 PM
Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to have a habit of hitting the bar recently.. Matt Dawson via Twitter at 8:10 PM
Oh Oxlade! He loves hitting the bar these days. Jon Platt via Twitter at 8:10 PM
11 min: There's been a goal... and it goes to... England of course. But it's a San Marino player on the scoresheet after Alessandro Della Valle puts through his own net. A real shocker from the accountant who had Rooney breathing down his neck.
Awful from Defoe! Michael Squirrell via Twitter at 8:16 PM
Lambert would have scored that Defoe chance. #facts Sam Binnington via Twitter at 8:16 PM
Why has Defoe started over Sturridge or even Welbeck? Can't work it out. Hayden Pennywhistle via Twitter at 8:16 PM