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)

3
May

Guingamp fans travel to French Cup final in tractors

imageImage: Twitter/

Forget planes, trains and automobiles. For supporters of French club Guingamp, all you need to get from A to B are … tractors!

Living up to the club’s nickname - ‘The Farmers’ - hundreds of Guingamp fans traveled to Paris for their Coupe de France final against Rennes in the super-slow-moving vehicles. Obviously, this made for some hilarious scenes on French highways:

The trip from Guingamp to Paris takes about four and half hours by car, so you can only imagine how long and uncomfortable that journey must have been. In fact, according to Metro, some fans feared it might take them so long, they reportedly left for Paris a day early and slept in the tractors overnight!

Thankfully the Farmers won the final 2-0 over Rennes for their second-ever cup triumph. Had they lost, that would have made for one miserable drive back!

H/T Metro

20
Apr

Idiotic! Hearts captain knocks down opposing manager after scoring

Here’s a bizarre incident from the Scottish Premier League’s relegation group: Hearts captain Jamie Hamill celebrated his penalty goal against Ross County by literally steamrolling opposing manager Derek Adams on the sidelines!

Yeah, good luck trying to figure out what was going through Hamill’s mind here:

The oddest bit? He doesn’t even appear to be cognizant of what he had just done. Actually, he seems rather pleased with himself:

Truly one of the weirdest red cards we’ve ever seen.

H/T 101GG

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

18
Mar

Galatasaray fan feeds Chelsea jersey to lion

Aslan is not only the name for the lion in “Chronicles of Narnia,” but also one of the nicknames for Champions League club Galatasaray. It means: “the lion.” (What a coincidence!)

So, naturally, one Gala fan went to a local zoo and fed one of the lions a Chelsea jersey in the lead-up to Tuesday’s Champions League clash between the two teams. And a Turkish TV station was there to film it for us. Naturally.

H/T 101GG

16
Mar

Mexican team stages paper-bag protest

image

Is this the most bizarre team photo of the season? Of all time?

Players of Mexican second-division side Celaya posed for their team photo against Merida with brown paper bags over their heads in protest of non-payment. Celaya has reportedly not paid their players for more than two months. Many of the players drew dollar signs onto their bags, while some wrote “págame,” or “pay me.”

In the States, we often see fans of the very worst sports teams wear paper bags on their heads after stretches of putrid, literally “unwatchable” displays. Now, we’re seeing that athletes can deploy them for their own protests as well. Ah, the many uses of a paper bag!

Image and 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

image

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

9
Feb

Lisbon derby suspended due to damaged roof

imageImage via Twitter/@BetVictor

The derby between Lisbon rivals Benfica and Sporting has been postponed after loose pieces of roof padding at the Estadio da Luz began flying down toward the pitch due to high winds.Yes, this is the same Estadio da Luz that is scheduled to host this year’s Champions League final.

About 60,000 fans were sent home after a 30-minute delay. According to Benfica’s Twitter, the roof was damaged by bad weather:

Bing Translation: “The bad weather damaged the covering of the Estádio do Sport Lisboa.”

H/T KickTV and 101GG