After Norwich were forced to apologise to Italian Serie D club SC Vallee d'Aoste for claiming to have trounced 'them' 13-0, James Calder recalls other incidents of character confusion...
1) Baltic balls-up
Heads rolled at the Czech FA after officials confused visitors Lithuania with Baltic neighbours Latvia ahead of a Euro 2008 warm-up match in Prague. The embarrassing mix-up saw the match programme emblazoned with the Latvian flag and a photo of the national team, while bemused Lithuanians were confronted with the Latvian anthem when they lined up before the game. Accepting his part in the “inexcusable” cock-up, FA spokesperson Vaclav Tichy stood down, with his second in command also clearing his desk.
2) Keane to be known
Let the caption do the talking here.
3) Sibling love
Real Madrid playmaker Guti had his sexuality called into question when he was surreptitiously snapped puckering up to a mystery “man”. Rumours of the player’s alleged homosexuality spread after Spanish gossip mag Cuore published the grainy photos. Threatening legal action, a fuming Guti set the record straight through his agent Zoran Vekic, who revealed that the short-haired object of his desire was none other than the player’s pregnant sister.
4) Kill Barry
Barry Fry’s popularity took a nosedive round Dagenham and Redbridge way after a newspaper reported he had sat on an FA tribunal allowing 2002 Conference champs Barnet to take their place in the Football League despite alleged financial shenanigans. Daggers fans, whose side had finished runners-up to the Bees, were incensed at the decision and death threats were issued to Fry, though it was later revealed they had got the wrong Barry: Kent FA blazer Barry Bright had chaired the committee in question.
5) Ersatz Wolves
Wolverhampton Sunday league team Oxbarn Sports and Social Club were out of their depth on a 1973 tour of Germany after being erroneously billed as “Wolverhampton Wanderers” ahead of a game in Mainz. Turning up to find the town’s full-strength second-flight side as their opponents and a five-figure crowd in place, the Black Country amateurs informed their befuddled hosts of their real identity before bravely fulfilling the fixture, which ended in a 21-0 hiding.