Thursday 26 April 2018

Football loco: YouTube sensation flips out after second howler

BEING a YouTube sensation sometimes isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Just ask Khalid Askri.

The Moroccan goalkeeper, who plays for FAR Rabat in his native country, made international headlines recently when he saved a penalty in a shootout, but made the fatal mistake of assuming that the ball had stopped dead as soon as he saved it.

It hadn't and it promptly rolled over the the line at the same time that Askri was indulging in a spot of chest-beating and badge-kissing. It was dubbed the funniest penalty in history although Askri's team-mates were probably not laughing as they ended up losing the shootout 7-6.

Now, Askri has had a Rene Higuita moment by trying to beat an opponent in his penalty area before losing the ball and watching helplessly as the striker slotted home.

No doubt aware that another horrendous mistake would soon be broadcast around the globe, Askri decided he'd had enough, took off his jersey and ran straight towards the tunnel, removing his gloves along the way. We're not really sure yet whether the goalkeeper's decision to walk off the field in such dramatic fashion means curtains for his actual career, but whatever happens, Askri has already gone down in footballing folklore.

African award struck by hoax

AFRICAN football has found itself at the centre of another hoax.

Hot on the heels of the fake Togo team which travelled to Bahrain recently for a friendly match, it was revealed this week that a shortlist for the African Footballer of the Year awards, which was widely circulated in the media, was bogus.

For starters, the so-called shortlist consisted of 17 nominees instead of the usual five. And one or two of the names were conspicuous either by their absence or for the fact they have hardly played any football this year.

Chelsea's Michael Essien was one of the nominees even though he missed the World Cup through injury, while Sevilla's Frederic Kanoute, also on the list, retired from international football with Mali at the start of the year.

In contrast, Andre Ayew, who had a fine World Cup with Ghana, didn't appear at all.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) says it has no idea why the list, normally published in November or December, appeared.

We await the next instalment in the wacky world of African football.

Irish Independent

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