A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
31 July 2015 ~

Michel Platini, the "reform" candidate for the FIFA presidency, has gained the backing of the FA, who have been outspoken against Qatar staging the 2022 World Cup. This is the same man who voted for the Gulf state as hosts. Even Sepp Blatter didn't do that.

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Naft150Badge of the week ~ Naft Maysan SC, Iraq
Years and years ago, before anyone even thought of filming cats doing ridiculous things, there lived in Persia a mighty hero named Ashwa who roamed the forests and plains fighting evil in all its forms. As a robust youth of 20 he encountered his first demon in the form of a slight girl of eight with weak ankles. Ashwa vanquished this demon by shouting at it and making it cry – crying apparently being just the kind of thing a demon would do to persuade you it wasn’t a demon.

Encouraged by his success, he carried on roaming (his wife and family seemed rarely to ask after him) and in time moved on to slightly older girl demons and a boy in a leg-brace who looked at him funny. Ashwa grew emboldened by his conquests and, finding himself alone one day in the middle of a teeming forest, encountered and overcame a starving dog demon that had difficulty rising to its feet to resist.

Emerging from the trees, he carried his vanquished foe to the nearest settlement and was disappointed by his lukewarm reception from the villagers. An ungovernable rage filled him and he set to laying waste to the entire village. Although he was overcome at the first house by two 12-year-old boys armed with baby marrows. This incident marks the end of the recorded exploits of the wandering champion but it is rumoured he went on to do rather well on the Mighty Hero After-Dinner Speaking Circuit. Cameron Carter

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from James Sellers
“Ever wondered what happened to Uriah Rennie?”

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from Matt Howell

“Eastleigh's preparations for the new season take an unexpected turn as they sign famous striker ‘Own Goal’ (shirt number TBC).”

OwnGoal500

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from Ross Adams
“It’s not news that Cristiano Ronaldo is showing off again but this is an extreme case.”

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They may not be a stranger sending-off all season – Dinamo Zagreb’s Paulo Machado is red-carded after being substituted in the Champions League.

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Also in the news this week
Sporting of Lisbon’s naming preference
Exeter fans help Torquay
Lee Bowyer: carp fisherman

Michel Platini goes for the big job

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