THE World Cup finally got underway this week with a clutch of Spurs stars playing for various nations in the month-long tournament in France.

But perhaps one of the most surprising omissions is that of the home nations own David Ginola who will not get a run out for his country.

The Spurs midfielder and arguably the Londoners best player of last season was left out of the French side by coach Aime Jacquet, despite showing some startling touches throughout the Premiership season.

What is puzzling from an outsiders point of view is that the French side, although abundantly talented, could struggle without somebody of Ginolas class.

He is not only a fine midfielder with wonderful vision but he can also score goals and many pundits are suggesting already that Frances main problem during the tournment will be a lack of firepower.

Arsenal star Nicolas Anelka has also been left out. He can score goals, as he proved in Arsenals double winning season, and he also has blistering pace, but Jacquet is convinced he can do without the 19-year-old.

Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit are part of his squad and it remains to be see how well they do without Ginola and Anelka.

But Ginola will be at the tournament as part of the BBCs World Cup team, commenting on all the action with Des Lynam and Alan Hansen.

Spurs representatives on the field of play include Scotlands Colin Calderwood, who stepped out against Brazil in the opening game on Wednesday afternoon.

He said: It is a tremendous honour to be able to step out for the first game and open what is the biggest football show on earth.

Alan Nielsen plays for Denmark and, of course, club skipper Sol Campbell will be at the heart of Englands defence with Arsenals Tony Adams and Martin Keown.

Spurs boss Christian Gross, who has already been fishing in the lake that is the transfer market, is also likely to cross the Channel for a look at the worlds best players and attempt to sniff out some bargains for next season.

He will also be hoping that those Spurs players who are involved do not get injured and give him selection headaches for the 1998/1999 season.

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