Editor at Large: His (quiz) masters voice

PUBLISHED: 12:50 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 11 May 2010

FOR a moment it appeared that a peace-keeping battalion from the United Nations might be needed. Or perhaps that would have been too drastic. Maybe the people from the horse-racing world who decide the outcome of a stewards inqui

EDITOR AT LARGE

COLUMN

FOR a moment it appeared that a peace-keeping battalion from the United Nations might be needed.

Or perhaps that would have been too drastic.

Maybe the people from the horse-racing world who decide the outcome of a stewards' inquiry, or an expert from the arbitration and conciliation service would have been more in keeping to decide our dispute.

When I say dispute, it wasn't quite like that. But points were at stake, and we were involved in a bitter battle with one of our keenest rivals.

It may be just another quiz night to some, but this was as serious as being overruled by John Humphreys on Mastermind, or even Jeremy Paxman on University Challenge.

One of our members was adamant that our answer to a particular question was right, and the quizmaster was wrong.

In this case it was all about the captain of France and the lifting of the World Cup in 1998.

To our surprise - and it has to be said here that when it comes to questions about our national game, we will usually know the answer - the answer given was Laurent Blanc.

Impossible we said.

And there was every reason for such indignation. As everyone knows, Laurent Blanc was given a red card in the previous game against Croatia and, therefore, was ruled out of the final, let alone being allowed to lift the trophy once Brazil had been beaten.

Everyone knows that, don't they?

The correct answer was Didier Deschamps. He was the man who led France throughout the World Cup in 1998 except for a Group C game when Marcel Desailly was captain against Denmark.

So somewhere out there in worldwide web land there is a site which happens to be saying that Lauren Blanc was captain on the day France won the World Cup.

Sorry, but it's wrong.

And obviously, having proved that point we should have been given a point.

We were diplomatic about it all, but, obviously, livid because that one point would have meant that at least we would have the same number of points on the evening as our keenest rivals.

But, I think, really, we could claim a moral victory.

And in the end we did abide by the rules, which stated that the quizmaster was always right, even when wrong.

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