Weird Week in Football: Shirt slips, halted hits, and a dreadful penalty

Updated: November 19, 2019

Every Tuesday, Sportsplay highlights the most outlandish moments from the wacky, sometimes daft, and perennially entertaining world of football. Here’s what made us smile – or cringe – on the pitch this past week.

Italian junior-team coach sacked for ‘disrespectful’ 27-0 win

Last time we checked in on the fourth-tier of Italian football, Grosseto coach Tommaso Casalini had just been sacked for some unsavory comments about teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

NurPhoto / NurPhoto / Getty

Staying in Grosseto, this time with youth side Invictasauro, manager Massimiliano Riccini was handed his walking papers after guiding the club to a 27-0 win over rivals Marina Calcio.

“The values of youth team football are antithetical to such a thing,” Invictasauro president Paolo Brogelli said post-match, implying that ethics in football is a thing.

Asprilla blocked Chilavert hit

Once-prominent links between the drug trade and Colombian football underscored by Andres Escobar’s murder in Medellin in 1994 are again in the news with a revelation from former Los Cafeteros striker Faustino Asprilla.


The ex-Colombia and Newcastle star told Colombian TV last week that he talked a hitman out of killing Paraguayan ‘keeper Jose Luis Chilavert after a World Cup qualifying match in 1997. “You will destroy Colombian football. What happens on the pitch stays there,” Asprilla told the hitman.

One of football’s unique personalities, Asprilla also has his own line of flavored condoms, “Condom Tino,” which has nothing to do with this story.

Bolton in the black, finally

Thanks to Saturday’s 1-0 League One victory against 10-man MK Dons, Bolton are in the black for the first time this season on one point. They started the campaign with minus-12 points after going into administration.

Daryl Murphy made up for a 90th-minute penalty miss to bag the match-winner deep into stoppage time. Remarkably, Bolton are just 12 points from safety, with three games in hand on the four teams immediately above them.

“We’re not going to win every game – if we do I think I might be Manchester City’s next manager, but that’s highly unlikely because I know the football land that I’m operating in,” Bolton boss Keith Hill said post-match, quelling a rumor that absolutely nobody started.

Lights out for Nuneaton’s Breeden

Every time Tony Breeden takes a penalty, an electrician gets a job.

Weird Week is back on the bad goalkeeping beat after Nuneaton Borough ‘keeper Breeden took a pen in a seventh-tier clash with Stratford Town. Luckily for Breeden, boiling water enthusiast Joel Kettle and Callum Powell scored later to guide Nuneaton to a 2-0 victory.

It takes a Villa to raise a master in sex education

Spanish striker David Villa announced his retirement last week, and if nothing else, it provides a chance to revisit the former Barcelona star’s sartorial choices. Basically, like wearing a diploma on your jumper. Show off.

Belgium’s Boyata caught in gear gaffe

Who says the international break is boring? Not “Weird Week in Football,” as Belgium defender Dedryck Boyata played the entire first half of Saturday’s victory over Russia wearing teammate Michy Batshuayi’s shirt.

Pole pounded by pacey policeman

Elsewhere in Euro 2020 qualifiers, Poland’s Tomasz Kedziora was in the wrong spot at the wrong time when a cop chasing a pitch invader went Granit Xhaka on the full-back during Saturday’s match in Israel.

Wales supporters rank Bale’s priorities

Gareth Bale is maligned by Real Madrid fans for struggling with Spanish and the misconception that the Welshman prefers golf to football, prompting cheeky Wales fans to sing “Wales. Golf. Madrid” following the 2-0 win over Azerbaijan.

Storm halts African qualifier

Shifting the focus to AFCON qualifiers, Eswatini’s visit from Senegal on Sunday was temporarily suspended when the End of Days briefly touched down in Manzini.

Albania supporters gifted free shower

Fans in southeast Africa weren’t the only ones to get drenched, as Albanian supporters in attendance for Sunday’s qualifier against France were the unsuspecting recipients of a free shower in Tirana.

Moonlighting managers

Finally, a Twitter thread worthy of all the plaudits:

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