Law and order: STFU (STupid Footballers Unit)
The John Terry trial continues to provide considerably more highlights than your average England campaign at an international tournament.
Terry's Chelsea and England teammate Ashley Cole was Wednesday's star witness. At first appearing reluctant as he took his seat in the witness stand, Cole soon warmed to his job. Told by chief magistrate Howard Riddle that the court would "prefer it if you stood", Cole said he would rather sit down.
Comfortably seated, Cole was shown footage of the exchange between Terry and Anton Ferdinand, who Terry is accused of racially abusing. He was asked why at one point in the footage his mouth dropped open.
"I was either very hot or not happy at the words he was saying," he said.
Asked to recall what had been said, Cole refused to say the word 'c---', insisting on spelling the word out.
Terry later took the stand and was asked to repeat a statement that he had caused him to be sent off four times in his career.
"Can you say, please, four times?" asked his QC, George Carter-Stephenson.
"Please, please, please, please," Terry said, demonstrating the sort of straight thinking that makes him an effective defender but also not the brightest bulb in the lightbox.
The London Evening Standard reported that "guffaws of laughter" broke out around the courtroom, prompting a confused look from Terry.
For no particular reason, the Circus feels like breaking out some vintage James Brown.
A Franc in the hand
Demur types of the Ashley Cole persuasion may want to sit down, because the Circus brings shocking news*. There may have been corruption going on at FIFA.
A Swiss prosecutor has published court documents which allege that former FIFA president João Havelange and senior executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira took huge bribes from the company to which FIFA awarded the 2002 and 2006 World Cup TV rights.
The documents state that FIFA was aware of the bribes, totalling 47 million Swiss francs (A$47m), under current president Sepp Blatter. However, FIFA successfully applied to have the case dropped after Havelange and Teixeira repaid a small portion of their bribes.
Havelange, now 96, was succeeded by Blatter in 1998. Teixeira resigned earlier this year on the grounds of ill health.
The Circus knows how it prefers to describe bigwigs who do this sort of thing, but, like Cole, it would never say it out loud in a courtroom.
When music goes wrong, part 36
Ever wondered what Czech punk rock sounds like? The chap with the black guitar is Tomas Rosicky.
The spoken word
- Alan Shearer, Iain Dowie and former Aston Villa, Blackburn and Leicester midfielder Graham Fenton re-enact a viral video. It being the silly season, after all.
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