Football: Fall-out for Gazza

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The Independent Online
OUTRAGED readers of Il Messaggero inundated the switchboard of the Italian capital's popular family newspaper yesterday to express their disgust at a front-page picture that appeared to show Paul Gascoigne's manhood flapping freely from his shorts.

Gascoigne's club, Lazio, has also been fielding calls all day as fans complained at what they saw as the latest example of the Englishman's lack of decorum during the match against Foggia on Sunday.

In a desperate rearguard action Il Messaggero has doused the erupting scandal, claiming the photograph is a horrendous optical illusion that in reality shows the folds and shadow from the player's shorts.

Unconvinced, the Lazio fans have been quick to express their opinion, from the masculine 'we always thought Gazza was a real man - now we know' to the female 'what a delusion. Why couldn't you have just let us fantasise some more.'