FIFA remain remarkably confident that all the players named in their World XI will be present at London's Royal Festival Hall for the Best awards on September 24.
This is despite Cristiano Ronaldo pulling out of UEFA's equivalent ceremony in Monaco during the Champions League draw just hours before the event.
Ronaldo couldn't accept his former Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric being the Player of the Year choice. So he snubbed the Grimaldi Forum ceremony even though he was due to be presented with Goal of the Season and top striker awards.
The FIFA Best player shortlist of Ronaldo, Modric and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah is the same as the UEFA one and Modric is strongly fancied to win the top individual honour again.
FIFA, having attracted all the Best team to London a year ago, are desperate to repeat that coup — especially as footage and pictures of the billion-pound team on stage attract worldwide publicity.
But it was an easier task in 2017 as diva Ronaldo collected the main individual honour.
FIFA know they can't lean too heavily on Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes to ensure his client turns up.
Mendes spent more time in Monaco complaining about Modric being preferred when Ronaldo had 'carried' Real Madrid in the Champions League than persuading him to attend.
It is now expected that Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, after taking more than six weeks to make up his mind, will finally accept AC Milan's offer to join them within the next few days.
It was bizarre that the press release from the ECB over the availability of centrally contracted players for the rest of the domestic season should include Jimmy Anderson being free to play for Lancashire in this weekend's T20 finals when he hasn't played a T20 match for more than four years.
Anderson will be at Edgbaston, but only as part of the BBC commentary team.
One of the changes that the BBC are expected to make after the shambolic 2017 Sports Personality of the Year is to announce the shortlist at a later date.
This is to avoid minor sport campaigns gathering steam like the one that propelled Jonathan Rea, world superbike champion, into second place last year.
ECB's Hundred botch
The England Cricket Board used outside sports consultants Hanover to help them negotiate the hugely acrimonious PR battle following Kevin Pietersen's banishment from the England team.
And Hanover are working again for the ECB — through their PR subsidiary The PlayBook — on perhaps the most toxic issue since KP's exile: the introduction of the troubled Hundred competition.
The latest Hundred faux-pas saw the ECB move forward Friday's start time of the women's pilot games at Loughborough from 3.30pm to 2.15pm.
They told the media: 'You may miss the beginning — apologies — but there'll still be plenty of action.'
An ECB spokeswoman said they had concerns about the weather.
It's being claimed that progress was made at Friday's summit over the Football League's insistence that they receive an appropriate proportion of the proposed Wembley sale.
But the FL are not budging from their entrenched position that their share of the proceeds is delivered through their 72 clubs.
The Ageas Bowl's groundsman Karl McDermott, as Sports Agenda first indicated, has been appointed to take over at the MCC, succeeding the legendary Mick Hunt, who tended the Lord's pitches for 49 years.
McDermott's closest challenger was Gary Barwell, from Edgbaston, who may not have helped his chances by being outspoken on occasions on social media and revealing his sensitivity to how umpires mark his pitches.