Australian Four Four Two - - UPFRONT -

A slap on the wrist­band

In June 2009, four Ira­nian stars were banned from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball af­ter wear­ing green wrist­bands dur­ing a World Cup qual­i­fier against South Korea. Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad had strongly ob­jected to the play­ers show­ing sup­port for his elec­tion ri­val Mir-Hos­sein Mousavi, leader of the re­formist Green Path of Hope move­ment (pic­tured in the poster above). It was later re­vealed that the in­ter­na­tion­als, in­clud­ing ex-Bay­ern Mu­nich mid­fielder Ali Karimi, had been ‘re­tired’ af­ter their ges­ture in Seoul. “I’ll never re­gret what I did,” in­sisted Karimi.

Price hikes irk tykes

In July 2014, an as­tro­nom­i­cal hike in foot­ball pitch fees ($3,600 to $10,000) around Liverpool saw hun­dreds of young play­ers, and their par­ents, gather at the Nether­ton Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre in Sefton to vent their an­noy­ance at the un­fair rise. “Per­haps Premier [League] clubs could give some of the money they earn to grass­roots foot­ball,” ar­gued one irate young­ster. He’ll be sug­gest­ing clubs cut ticket prices next next.

“Cli­mate change? We’d bet­ter use pa­per ones…”

Un­happy Ce­laya play­ers wore brown pa­per bags over their heads in a club pho­to­graph in March 2014, in protest at not hav­ing been paid for three months. Be­fore their Se­cond Divi­sion clash with CF Merida, an un­named player for the Mex­i­can Se­cond Divi­sion side said: “As well as no wages, we’re also fu­ri­ous that we of­ten have no run­ning wa­ter or heat­ing in our dress­ing room.” Amid a huge storm of na­tional in­ter­est, the own­ers mirac­u­lously switched back on the util­i­ties, and coughed up the cash within a fort­night.

In­jus­tice hard for Reed to stom­ach

In 1929, Leeds’ Ge­orge Reed went down with a se­ri­ously dodgy belly. It wasn’t the first time Reed had suc­cumbed to a tummy bug and, con­vinced he’d been poi­soned in the team’s can­teen, he boy­cotted the club’s grub. Think­ing Reed was be­ing “elit­ist and un­pro­fes­sional”, boss Dicky Ray threat­ened to drop him. It took Reed two months to end his half-ar­sed hunger strike, by which time he’d suf­fered a knee in­jury any­way. A ver­sa­tile ‘cook’, he’s also a dab hand at Su­per Noo­dles.

Bobo missed his BFF at


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