Find somewhere interesting to watch the World Cup final, the Sports Editor asked. The Stade de France, I suggested. Somewhere interesting to watch the game on television, he said. How about Rio? Somewhere interesting and cheap was the final briefing.

I must confess that my heart was never in this assignment. It is weighed down, still, with post-France 98 tristesse. For you, Tommy, the World Cup was over with the march back from the Stade Geoffroy Guichard in St Etienne, the night the fabled Scottish defence crumbled against Morocco.

Watching the remaining games on television back home has been a fixation rather than a delight. Denmark and Croatia lifted the spirits with performances against Brazil and Germany. It was very cheery to see Holland progress to the semi-final and a Rangers player sent off at the same time. (Yes, the World Cup let's-be-nice-to-Rangers amnesty is officially over.) But there was much tedium as teams played backwards and made Scotland look like reckless buccaneers.

I blame Brazil, who were supposed to be the best team in the world but who only scored when they were drawing. If they are so good why didn't they entertain the crowd by scoring five goals in each game before retreating into boring the crowd?

The tristesse these last two weeks has been made much worse by being back subjected to the Enger-lish media: News at Ten telling us that Sol Campbell's goal against Argentina was disallowed because Alan Shearer ''nudged'' the goalkeeper. Nudged, as in nearly took his head off.

Scanning the schedules for World Cup final day, we find the British Broadcasting Corporation chose to intrude an EastEnders special with a storyline which sent sundry thick and oafish characters to Paris. The reality is they would have been turned back by the police at the channel ports. The reality, also, is that we are paying licence fees to promote the strident and unacceptable voice of Engerland.

Something of an antidote was the Three Tenors which followed. The Three Tenors did their concert in front of the Eiffel Tower, or The Pylon as Scottish fans christened it. The Three Hundred Francs fairly murdered You'll Never Walk Alone but it is always worth hearing Pavarotti belt out Nessun Dorma which, I seem to recall, was the philosophy of the Tartan Army in France.

The final EastEnders segment, only minutes before the final started, interrupted a rather entertaining preview from Des Lynham and the pundits.

Des can actually do the business rather well when he is not playing the Engerland card.

In the absence of Paris or Rio, I sought alleviation of the tristesse in the kind of food and drink that had sustained me through the Tartan Army campaign. But there was no French restaurant I could find in Glasgow where I could dine and take in the match.

Our banker was the Cafe du Sud in Maryhill where chef Fabrice Bresulier offers a Provencal-style menu. But Fabrice had chosen to forsake his kitchen work to watch the game himself. This is typical of the lack of commitment we've come to expect from the French. The answer was to have a meal with some chums who had been to France 98.

The game itself was brilliant because France played to win and Brazil had to try and match them. The French fans finally showed passion for football.

Even Michel Platini, there in the stand in his august capacity as president of the organising committee, was wearing a French top under his suit. Very Rab C Platini.

Not even John Motson, the British Broadcasting Corporation commentator, could ruin the night despite his constant references to England: like Chelsea and Arsenal (Leboeuf and Petit) being latterly at the heart of the French defence. Or Petit, who had won the double with Arsenal, scoring the third goal. Is it too much to ask of the British Broadcasting Corporation to get a wee bit more international in its outlook?

But it is time to quaff some champagne and sing a verse or two of Le Marseillaise. It was a great end to World Cup 1998. It was a victory for the Auld Alliance. France won the cup. Scotland won the prize for best fans. English readers, please forgive the MacJingoism.