The Highlight Reel: What's wrong Wayne?

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The Independent Football

Freddie Shepherd, the former Newcastle owner who was one of the founders of the Triple S agency that represents Wayne Rooney, was spotted yesterday indulging the delights of Bloemfontein's waterfront with none other than Paul Stretford, Rooney's agent. Nobody within earshot could decipher if they were contemplating why their man has had such a poor World Cup.



Keep smiling

Sticking with the killjoys, Fifa officials last week told a restaurant owner in Port Elizabeth that he faces jail, or a £900 fine, for writing "2010" on a football which decorated one of his window displays. There are copyright issues arising, you see. The South African man replaced the "2010" with a smiley face.



Hand in glove?

Is Highlights Reel alone in thinking that it's a curiously pleasant coincidence that Andy Murray ended up starting his match at 20.00 on Saturday – just as half time approached in the game between Ghana and the US, screened on ITV? It's true that Britain's biggest commercial broadcaster has had a shocking World Cup campaign so far, but collusion* between the Beeb and the All England Club is pushing rivalry a bit far.



Baiting Britannia

Never let it be said that we Brits are alone in indulging in a bit of enemy-baiting before a game between England and Germany. Michael Schumacher, who personifies the ruthless efficiency common to all great German sports stars, wrote a letter to Bild, the German tabloid, exhorting his men to "push them [England] out of the way" – just as he did with Damon Hill. You can't imagine mild-mannered Hill saying that. But then, maybe that's why he kept losing to Schumacher.



Loud and clear

Fifa have finally accepted the Jabulani may be suspect, following endless complaints. "We're not deaf", said a spokesman. Somebody tell Sepp Blatter.

* completely unproven

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