12 of football's most embarrassing excuses

Gordon Strachan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have both been at it after their respective nations' failure to qualify for the World Cup, blaming genetics and... erm, orange juice (naturally). FFT's Andrew Murray looks back at football's other poor excuses for excuses

Driving Villa mad

As if Aston Villa losing 6-0 to Liverpool in February 2016 wasn't bad enough, experienced stopper Joleon Lescott managed to make it worse by tweeting a picture of a flash Mercedes post-match. 

After apologising to Villa fans for the team's latest hapless display, Lescott added an apology for his ill-advised motor posting. "I would like to add that the tweet sent out from my account involving a picture of a car was totally accidental it happened whilst I was driving and my phone was in my pocket."

Those pesky gremlins have nailed the four-step process to tweeting...

Casper the overfriendly ghost

I made up the poltergeist, I didn’t want my wife to find out I was partying with some fitties

- Carlos Flores

If you’re going to lie about cheating on your missus, make a better fist of it than Peruvian top-flight pair Carlos Flores and Jose Carranza. The latter, a midfielder for Universitario, claimed he was abducted in 2003, while his wife Carmen was seven months pregnant, but had actually been with cheerleader Shirley Cherres (“It looked like he enjoyed his kidnapping to me,” cheered Cherres).

Six years later, CNI midfielder Flores was found tired, emotional, bleeding and naked in the street, claiming he was being chased by a ghost. He later admitted: “I made up the poltergeist; I didn’t want my wife to find out I was partying with some fitties.” Dignity saved...

Vashchuk goes hopping mad

Ukraine, 2006


There was only one logical explanation for Ukraine’s 4-0 defeat to Spain at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. “Because of the frogs’ croaking,” squealed defender Vladislav Vashchuk after a restless night at the Seminaris Seehotel in Potsdam. “We hardly got a wink of sleep.”

“There are also birds near our lake,” huffed a disgruntled hotel spokeswoman. “In the morning they wake up and start cheeping. Should we go and catch all the birds?” Well played.

Brolin's flying visit

Tomas Brolin had bird woes of his own. On his way to catch a Yorkshire-bound flight for the start of Leeds’ pre-season in June 1997, the heavy-set playmaker’s car hit a feathered foe, breaking his windscreen and leaving him too distraught to go any further (and denying rumours he ate it). Pictures of the damage – first thought to be the work of an elk – surfaced in the Swedish press, while a fuming George Graham left him out of the official team photo.