2
Jun

Colombian town stages sheep soccer match to celebrate World Cup

image"Neymar" embarks on a scintillating run down the touchline (Image: AP)

The Colombian town of Nobsa celebrated the imminent start to the World Cup by staging a soccer match played entirely by sheep.

Split into two teams — one representing Colombia and the other World Cup hosts Brazil — the sheep were dressed in customized jerseys and named in honor of the actual stars that will take the field in a week’s time.

According to the AP, roughly 500 “beer-soused” spectators showed up to watch the four-legged footballers, who were “trained for two weeks to recognize and kick a foam soccer ball through a rustic goalpost made of wooden logs.”

Judging from the AP’s “official” match report, the sheep could have benefited from a longer training camp:

The hard work was little in evidence, though. Sheep are highly social animals, seeking safety from predators in large herds, and their shepherd handlers had to keep pulling on ropes tied to the animals’ necks to keep the bleating players scattered and moving so they wouldn’t end up munching lazily on what grass remained on the improvised pitch.

Thankfully, The Guardian has dug up footage of this sporting spectacle, which the Colombia sheep won, 4-3:

Let’s hope the real action we’ll see in Brazil won’t be this baaaaaaad.

(h/t The Big Lead)

29
Mar

This might be the strangest pitch invader yet

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes Betty Boop.

During Marseille’s 1-1 draw with Sochaux, a fan interrupted Mathieu Valbuena while he set up to take a corner kick.

Why would someone would bring this doll into a soccer stadium? You know what, don’t answer that. We probably don’t want to know.

H/T 101GG

8
Mar

Australian women’s pro team joins Under-15 boys league

imagePhoto: Getty Images

Forget ‘men versus boys.’

In Australia, it’s now: women versus boys. Literally.

A week after losing the W-League’s grand final to the Melbourne Victory, the Brisbane Roar have made the unusual choice to compete in Queensland’s Under-15s boys league. The reason? With a regular season that lasts only three months, the Roar would like to develop their players by providing them with more consistent playing time.

From The Guardian:

“We wanted to put them in a competition where physically they are able to compete and also able to play football and develop as players,” says head coach, Belinda Wilson.

What the boys have in strength, especially as they develop over the season, the women have in smarts, she says. “That’s the major difference. They are probably a lot stronger than us in the physicality, so we have to adapt our game so we can be competitive in that environment. In terms of footballing sense, the girls are a little bit more game aware and have more ability from a tactical point of view, because of the level they’ve been playing.”

She’d like to be competing with the under-16s boys, but with so many of her players away on national duties for long stretches of this season, the decision was made to go down an age group. But, she says, “we’d never, ever, ever play against the under 18s, because physically we can not compete against an under-18 boy. Or man.”

Wilson believes the regular off-season schedule will help the team be “bigger and better” next season. We’ll see.

H/T The Guardian 

25
Feb

Parma surprise visitors with random gifts during pregame handshakes

Fiorentina drew 2-2 at Parma on Monday night, but their players left town with much more than a point. Thanks to Parma kit sponsor Vorwerk, each Fiorentina player got their very own free vacuum during the pregame handshake line!

Turns out, it was all an attempt by the household appliance company to take part in Parma’s centennial celebration, and La Viola were the lucky beneficiaries from the gesture. (Parma’s players also received a vacuum, of course). Not that many of the players seemed particularly thrilled by the gift.

Embracing the randomness of the situation, Parma CEO Pietro Leonardi acknowledged “it is an unusual way to celebrate the first century of our team, we are sure.”

Unusual? Maybe just a little.

H/T DT

13
Feb

Four players on Iran’s women’s national team found guilty of being men

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Forget random drug testing.

Female soccer players in Iran will now have to undergo mandatory, random gender testing after several top players — including four from the women’s national team — were found guilty of being men.

Medical examiners will now turn up unannounced at training sessions of teams playing in Iran’s Women’s’ Premier League and indoor league on the lookout for possible Juwanna Manns. Clubs will also be forced to carry out medical examinations on all new players before signing them to contracts, according to Ahmad Hashemian, head of the Iranian football federation’s medical committee.

From The Telegraph:

"Those unable to prove they are female would be barred from taking part in the women’s leagues until they underwent medical treatment," said Hashemian.

"If these people can solve their problems through surgery and be in a position to receive the necessary medical qualifications, they will then be able to participate in [women’s] football," Hashemian, a qualified doctor, said in remarks quoted by IRNA, the state news agency.

According to the IRNA, seven players have already had their contracts terminated under the federation’s gender test directive.

While pre-marital sex and homosexuality remain strict taboos in Iran, sex change operations have been legal in the country since 1979, when the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a religious ruling saying they were acceptable.

Photo provided by Getty Images.

H/T Dirty Tackle

2
Feb

Lionel Messi and Roger Federer star in bizarre Gillette commercial

Roger Federer as a sumo wrestler? Lionel Messi as a cricket player?

We’re not exactly sure what is going on here either, but anytime you have two of the greatest sportsmen of our time in the same commercial it’s a must-watch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

14
Dec

Fenerbahce plays match in front of women and children only

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Have you ever wondered what a football match looks like with no men in the stands? Well, Fenerbahce found out, and apparently it’s not a big deal. At all.

The Süper Lig leaders banned all male adults for one match after drawing all kinds of negative attention for their expletive-laced chants, but the absence of testosterone clearly didn’t affect the outcome. In fact, the fairer sex may even have helped Fenerbahce’s cause, as the home side ran out easy 4-0 winners against Akhisar Belediye on Friday.

Take a look at the incredible scenes below (image courtesy of 101GG):

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Still a larger crowd than half of the teams in Serie A can lay claim to.

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And to think, this wasn’t the first time that Fener hosted a match filled with just women and children. Back in 2011, Fener distributed free tickets before a friendly after the Turkish FA banned adult males in result of fan violence during a preseason match against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Respect!

14
Dec

Mario Balotelli gets blue contact lenses, Micah Richards laughs at him

We haven’t heard from Mario Balotelli in a while, which is worrisome. Thankfully, he took to Twitter on Friday with a suprise for us all. Sporting blue contact lenses, Balotelli asked his followers what they thought of his new look.

Micah Richards, his former teammate at Man City, was the very first person to respond:

Unperturbed by his friend’s cold reaction, Mario just had this to say:

You smell that, Micah? Smells like a deep burn!

What do you guys think? Is Balotelli going to charm his opponents to death with those bright blue eyes, or will they just ROTFL?

11
Dec

CFR Cluj submit weirdest goal of the year

In football, we occasionally encounter golazos scored from 50 yards out, or see unthinkable fails from just a few feet away. But have you ever seen both happen in just a matter of seconds?

On Monday, CFR Cluj fans went from stunned to downright flabbergasted after defender Vasile Maftei whiffed at a ball in the six-yard box, only for his teammate Damjan Dokovic to inexplicably score from forty yards just moments later.

After Maftei’s brutal miss, Cluj got the ball back out around the halfway line. Dokovic seemed to simply try to boot it back up-field into the danger area, but his ball ended up taking a generous hop and bounced over the goalkeeper for an incredibly lucky opening goal.

Profiting from this bizarre twist of fate, Cluj went on to beat Sageata Navodari rather comfortably, 6-1.

H/T Pies

16
Nov

Championship club Yeovil Town becomes first soccer team to get its own girl band

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Yeovil Town is new to the second tier in English football, and despite currently being dead last in the standings, they’re making their presence felt. Firing off a warning shot to cheerleaders everywhere, the club is joining forces with a record label to become the first football club to launch its own girl band.

In an attempt to attract a new generation of supporters to the small-town club in Somerset, Yeovil is planning to have its band — to be based on the Pussycat Dolls — perform at home matches for the rest of the season.

Club spokesman Adrian Hopper said:

"Yeovil Town are delighted to get involved in this new innovative project. We feel sure the unique chance to have a girl band linking with us as a club will not only launch the group but also help to spread the word of Yeovil Town Football Club to a whole new section of the community, whilst at the same time helping charity from sales of the record."

According to The Guardian, auditions for females aged 18 and over will be held at Huish Park on Dec. 4, and the successful girls — a lead singer and a group of south west-based dancers — will work with The Famous Company to record a single that will be released on iTunes. The record will raise money for Prostate Cancer UK — the Football League’s official charity.

Don’t bet on Yeovil Town’s girl band to be disappointing, either. The club has had success foraying into the music industry once before. “Yeovil True,” a 2004 song released by the club made it to Number 36 in the UK charts: