World Cup Shorts

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The Independent Football

There's only one Manchester constabulary

There's only one Manchester constabulary

Manchester has won the Police Premiership for the force that prevented the most hooligans travelling to the World Cup. They obtained 151 banning orders on local yobs, pipping Staffordshire who managed 150. West Yorkshire was third on 89, with the Met trailing in fourth with 82.

Boxing gloves on, lads

Japan's manager Philippe Troussier has spared nothing in his efforts to ensure his squad remain focused. Not only has he banned any fraternisation with locals, but he has also ordered his players to refrain from having sex, had the blue movie channel in their rooms blocked, and arranged for the hotel's young female staff to be replaced with what one Japanese reporter described as "wrinkly old women".

The Nose of God

Legendary Argentinian cheat Diego Maradona, initially banned from Japan because of his history of cocaine abuse, is to be let into the country after all. He is scheduled to arrive on Monday – just in time, perhaps, to see his side eliminated.

England injury scare

England's robot football team face injury concerns over two of their automatons ahead of the World Robot Soccer Cup which begins on 18 June. According to England manager, Dr Huosheng Hu of Essex University, half of the squad is malfunctioning and need constant running repairs. Sounds familiar?

Not tonight, Sharon

The world's only maker of football strips for pets is enjoying a boom. Peter Birney from Newcastle makes them to fit various sizes of dogs, and has taken the precaution with ones in Korea's colours of adding a 'Please Don't Eat Me' message to the design.

Don't mention the score

As the French media sharpen their quills for an all-out assault on their team, China does things differently. After defeat against Costa Rica, an edict went out from the state central publicity department, warning sports journalists not to criticise the Chinese team. It did not want anything said that might anger fans – like pointing out that a country of 1.3 billion people was beaten by one of a mere 3.8 million.

This just in...

Indian football fans ransacked an electricity station after power cuts deprive them of World Cup telecasts ... Sales of Argentine wine fall 16 per cent in a week in England but rise in Scotland ... Afghan teahouse with 202 TV channels can't get World Cup games on any of them ... "World Cup" replaces "sex" as most popular search term on the internet ...