Something For The Weekend: 28/08/2010

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The Independent Online

Squeaky bum time for...

Roberto Martinez

Played two, lost two, conceded 10. Times aren't great at the DW Stadium.

Not even the champions Chelsea coming to play could persuade more than 14,500-odd Wigan fans into turning up and watching the 6-0 slaughter. So, Señor Martinez, one of management's bright young talents we were led to believe, time to turn things around. Fortunately it's an easy trip to Spurs today. That's the Spurs who beat you 9-1 last season, Jermain Defoe scoring five. That's the Jermain Defoe who declared himself fit yesterday.

We applaud you wholeheartedly

Fifa tells it to you straight

Fifa has done what journalists the Western world over repeatedly fail to achieve: get the big scoop from North Korea. Football's superpower threatened sanctions against the nearly nuclear superpower after rumours circulated that Kim Jong-il's henchmen had punished North Korean players and officials for not winning the World Cup. But after extensive digging Fifa is convinced that reports of the coach being sentenced to hard labour and the players receiving a public dressing-down are "baseless". What's more, Fifa has revealed its source – a letter from the North Korean FA. That's settled then.

And...stories you might have missed

Commonwealth exodus

With India's former sports minister playing Pied Piper, New Delhi could be a ghost town when it hosts the Commonwealth Games in October. Mani Shankar Aiyar, a staunch critic of the Games' expense, will spend their entire duration abroad, while schools, colleges and offices in the Indian capital will be closed. Ticket sales are slow as locals plan to flee the road closures and security worries of the event (something similar is happening in the Notting Hill area of London this weekend). But it's not all bad – organisers are optimistic, "because the tendency in India is to buy tickets closer to the event."

How not to 'pull a sickie'

We've all heard stories of the foolish colleague who "pulls a sickie" only to appear on prime-time TV in a Batman costume, lager in hand, at a Headingley Test match (why did I take my mask off?). Sonny Bill Williams, Kiwi rugby league-to-union convert, certainly has, so the Canterbury player went to the last place anyone would look for him – skiing. Only thing is, Williams wasn't technically pulling a sickie, because he was, believe it or not, injured at the time. He has been "reminded of his responsibilities".