Muammar Gaddaffi is the latest Arab League manager to come under intense pressure ahead of next month's big kick-off. Following the demise of long-term Egypt manager Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (the big name in Tunisia), Gaddafi's future looks bleak as support has evaporated following a poor run of results and his failure to sign new talent before the transfer window shatters. Rumours of a move to Algeria or even Venezuela are unconfirmed and Gaddafi could not be contacted today. Meanwhile, Syria's owners Oleg and Bernie Ba'ath issued a statement to confirm that manager Bashar al-Assad enyoys their "full confidence". Fears of a rash of foreign takeovers, as happened with Iraq in 2003, are unfounded according to Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia's owner and manager. "I am not nervously scanning the horizon", said Abdul, "and I have tanks."
Sources within the Libya camp indicate that Gaddaffi's successful bid to return ace striker Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali al-Megrahi from a spell on loan to Barlinnie United in Scotland was not regarded as a good move. "That just put the fez on it: Megrahi was a great hit man twenty years ago but he's certainly not fit to play a full ninety minutes these days", said our informant.