THE long-running, infuriating fiasco over the Millennium Dome may be over now that agreement has been reached to turn it into a 20,000-seater sports and concert venue.

But the even longer-running and increasingly infuriating fiasco over the new national stadium remains a long way from its conclusion.

England is supposed to be the home of football, and a nation which craves sporting glory.

And yet this is a country which can't seem to make a decision on whether football should have a home and, if so, where it should be.

"Football's coming home," echoed the chorus of the Euro 96 anthem in the days when Wembley's twin towers still stood.

These days, the lyrics would require alteration along the lines of "Football's not coming home - because no one has a clue where its 'home' is."

We all thought yesterday would bring an announcement that the desperate dithering was finally over and Wembley would be redeveloped at a cost of £715m.

Instead, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and the Football Association only managed to add to the confusion by revealing that Wembley was still the preferred option, despite the fact that it is a long way to travel for most fans and the building costs are prohibitive.

On the other hand, the stadium might still end up in Birmingham, or there might not be a national stadium at all. Who knows?

Our belief is that there are enormous benefits in bringing football into the regions such as the North-East, increasing the access to the national team, and inspiring new generations of fans, rather than spending vast sums on a stadium which is remote for the vast majority of the population.

But one way or another, it is time to stop the uncertainty before our reputation as a country capable of getting its act together on the sporting stage slips further down the world rankings.

The Millennium Dome represented an embarrassing own goal. The national stadium is fast becoming another.