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Once wed, footie is the only alibi

If you can say one thing for certain about men, it's that we're not very good at cheating. When it comes to cheating on women, men still think they can call their bluff.

This thought struck me recently while trying to organise a reunion for a group of mates who, through various reasons -- marriage mostly -- have let the annual meet-up drop off the calendar.

It used to be a fairly harmless affair (no pun intended). We'd pick an Irish town, any town, so long as there were enough pubs to warrant a crawl and a hotel with a liberal take on the term "residents' lounge".

The pattern of behaviour was predictable and, thankfully, because of the beverage intake, we always avoided getting into trouble because women would avoid us.

We diverted from the norm once when I suggested going to see The Who in Liverpool -- though few of the usual suspects turned up -- but the excitement of foreign shores did lead me to propose Amsterdam a few years ago.

Since then, all trips have mysteriously been off. Even the fear of mentioning the sin city to the missus was enough in some minds to bin the whole idea. But at least it would have been an honest trip, if you wanted to look at it that way.

Which is more than you can say for the guys who go off to the Grand Prix in Monaco, golfing weekends in Puerto Banus or poker tournaments in Las Vegas, convinced their partners think they are going to just watch cars go round in circles, go for long walks with a ball and a stick, or blow a load of cash and get wasted having a blast for 48 hours non-stop at a card table. (You can tell which I'd find more appealing.)

The logic at play in men's minds is they think there will be safety in numbers. But apparently, women have broken men down into three cheating categories.

There's the recreational cheater, who sees infidelity as a bit of sport; the seasonal cheater, who feels he should be rewarded once a year with a weekend fling for being faithful for the other 363 days; and the opportunistic cheater, who will only cheat when an opportunity presents itself. And on weekends away, women tick all three boxes.

Now, you can blame Tiger Woods, but you will no longer sell a golf trip to the lady of the house. Financial concerns will rule out Monaco and Las Vegas. But football trips are different. Because when men think about football they think about nothing else. And the ladies know that. Liverpool here we come.