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3 June 2011 ~

Backstage intrigue at FIFA presidential elections is nothing new. In 1998 UEFA president Lennart Johansson was running against Sepp Blatter. One member of UEFA withdrew their support for Johansson at the last minute and backed Blatter instead because he had to promised to support their 2006 World Cup bid. Who were these Machiavellian schemers? Why, it was the English FA.

Badge of the week ~ KRL FC, Pakistan
When designing a badge for a new team, the main thing is to try not to duplicate a design that is already being used. If you have a centaur with a handbell in mind, then you simply trawl through your FA's handbook to check that no other team is already represented by that image. Even if a team is using such a thing, maybe their centaur isn't balancing on a coronet, attacking a hawk. In any case, there are many ways to ensure your design is seen to be original. KRL's designers went out of their way to make absolutely sure that they could not be accused of plagiarism, electing to avoid all mythical creatures, footballs, flying stars and the like, going instead with the description of the mathematical freefall parabola of a maraca (a word, incidentally, you don't see much in the singular, rather like "dancing girl" or "FIFA corruption denial"). The maraca is one of the more beautiful falling distributions in geometry, along with that of the Nightbus Drunk Inertia fall and the Dani Alves ankle-brush. Cameron Carter

from David Clapham
"WSC's previously expressed distaste for football poetry is borne out by this tribute to Barcelona published by the Independent. The first comment underneath sums it up."

Cost-cutting affects companies in all sorts of ways these days. Toy manufacturer Match Stars have been forced to use the same mould for both of these Chelsea players.

High excitement at Manchester City who have launched an Augmented Reality FA Cup app. "Innovation is important to us, and we look forward to delivering more later this year," says the club's head of digital media. The app will also be available in Arabic, of course.

Sales of Pro Vapor V-Neck Ignition Tops will surely fall now that their sexiest model has retired.

from James Morgan
Is this the only occasion where four brothers have played for the same team? Or the only occasion where four brothers have played for the same team while imagining they were superstars?

from Peter McLaren
"This report on the Champions League final begins by mocking pretentiousness but then pushes the football-as-art metaphor way beyond acceptable boundaries."

Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

Northampton Town home, 1992-93
A fine example of style over substance – other shirts may have achieved more for Cobblers, but few look as good as the classically tailored version from the 1992-93 season. The timeless block claret juxtaposes nicely with the only example (to my knowledge) of a club shirt featuring an exclamation mark as big as the crest – and for a home-town sponsor to boot. (Carpet Supacentre! still operates on the Wellingborough Road.)

For nostalgia fans there's a retro early-1990s ingrained swirl, not to mention the fact that this was one of the last shirts to be worn at the old County Ground. The sponsor was retained into the 1993-94 season and proved to be the club's good-luck charm, when, despite finishing rock bottom, Northampton miraculously escaped relegation to the Conference as Kidderminster Harriers did not meet the Football League's stadium requirements. Supa! Ross Gibson

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