Disgraced Urugarian footballer Luis Suarez is actually a massive psychological experiment conducted by Facebook and Harvard University. A paper in the journal ‘Behavioural Studies and Morality’ explains how the social media giants created the South American superstar to see the effects of positive and negative stories on Facebook users status updates. A researcher explained ‘We wanted to test our theory that people respond to good news with positive status updates and vice versa. Hence we created a cultural icon who oscilates between two forms of extreme behaviour and monitored the results on Facebook. What surprised us the most, however, was that there was no relation between Luis breaching the cultural norms of society and subsequently experiencing rejection. Quite the opposite in fact. For example, we programmed him to racially abuse a fellow sportsman, and he found his image adorning t-shirts that were worn by his peers. Then we made him bite an opponent for the second time and within a year he was given a massive pay rise. Subsequently, there was a third biting incident which we blamed on gravity and Photoshop, and suddenly he is wanted by one of the most popular football clubs in the world. Most peculiar. It really has confounded all our theories on modern society.’
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Russian manager – ‘Would it be really cheeky to pick someone from the Crimea? It may be too soon for some but I have to start planning for Euro 2016 qualification.’
FIFA use ‘Hearts and Minds’ approach to defend Qatar World Cup award – ‘Over 500 poor Indian migrants have died building these facilities. How would their families feel if those stadiums never hosted a match?’
Organisers deny stadium shaped like an actual white elephant will become a metaphorical white elephant.
New report suggests the trade in illicit Panini World Cup stickers is now worth more than £10 billion, leading to an endemic gang culture with own it’s language (‘packing a piece’ means ‘I`ve got 3 Joe Harts’), insignia (a teardrop tattoo meaning ‘I`m having trouble getting Nigeria’s reserve left back’) and music culture (in the hip-hop song ‘Straight Outta Compton’, Ice Cube raps that he only needs to get the Canadian holding midfielder Compton Smith to complete all the teams in Group C, only to be told by Easy E that he had it the other day but swapped it with Dr Dre for Steve Hodge).
‘There’s far more to Brazil than most people realise’ said Carla de Faria, the Secretary of State for Tourism and Investment as I interviewed her in Rio. ‘We’ve got Michelin-starred restaurants, world-class museums, great hiking, and we hope that the World Cup will provide an opportunity for people to discover it for themselves.’ Mrs de Faria, who was born in the middle-class district of Rocha, which is only 10 miles from poverty-stricken favelas where street kids dream of becoming the next Pele, went on to say ‘For example, the Sao Paolo Museum of Modern Art is currently running a new reading of the curator Paulo Herkenhoff which features, amongst others, works by Mary Vieira, Alberto Teixeira, and Raul Porto, as well as an oil on canvas by Leopoldo Raimo and two works by Maurício Nogueira.’ I gazed past her, and saw local Cariocas flirting and enjoying a Caiprinha in a beach-side bar. The politician, who was educated at Oxford and Harvard and was clearly wearing nothing but a candy-floss bikini under her Chanel suit, unfortunately had to cut the conversation short. ‘I’m expecting the vice-President of Deutsche Bank here in 30 minutes and I have to prepare my presentation’ she said apologetically. As I left and drove to the airport, I felt great joy at having met my very own ‘Girl From Ipanema’.
Hours after Arsenal’s disastrous defeat to Everton, their major shareholder and Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov has called on the Foreign Office to act courageously and ban him from entering the country as a warning to Vladimar Putin. He said ‘The Government in England needs to send a message to Putin that his actions in the Ukraine are completely unacceptable. The best way to do this is to ban Russians such as myself from being anywhere near London. It’s not too much to ask is it, surely? Just from now until pre-season friendlies start again in July. I really won’t mind, honestly, I can go to a nice Caribbean island where they don’t have Sky Sports. Please do this for people in the Ukraine. And for goodness sake make sure it happens before the FA Cup Semi-Final on Saturday. ‘
God. The all-knowing one. The creator of all. The Divine Being. But there is one thing he doesn’t understand, which he explained to a local journalist today ‘Richard is a fine name. A fine, upstanding name. So why now, in the 21st Century, do people still shorten it to Dick? I’m fine with old-school 1950s entertainers, your Dick Van Dyke, your Dick Emery, even your Dick Whittington. But nowadays, your hard-nosed modern day business leader? Richard Law, chief transfer fixer for Arsenal, the man you want by your side when negotiations with a Bundesliga club turn tricky. Or Dick Law, easily confused with a low-grade low budget adult film? Richard Pound, former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the perfect networker and deal maker who gets things done. Or Dick Pound, accidentally mistaken for the star of a low-grade low budget adult film? And don’t even get me started on the American Footballer Dick Butkus.’
Adidas have announced they are releasing an old-school style kit for the Red Devils which which bring back memories of the glory years when they only finished 8 points behind Chelsea. It’s available in long or short sleeves and can be customized with names of favourite players from that era who swept all before them as the Pride of Manchester secured that treasured second spot in the League and the gap between them and Mourinho’s West London giants was only single figures.
Disgrace former Sunderland AFC manager has set up his own Public Relations firm. ‘I will take on clients who want to mend their image, who want to tweak it slightly, who want to project themselves in a new light.’ The hot-headed Italian said ‘And my advice to them – carry on doing what you’ve always done. Say a football coach comes to me and says ‘Hey Paolo, these idiots at my last club, they know nothing about football, they sack me and say it’s due to my man management, that I can’t look after the players, that my temperament is all wrong. What do I do if I want another top-flight job?’ My advice is – say as many disparaging things about your old players and club as possible. Nothing subtly suggests ‘I have learnt from my mistakes, please West Ham get rid of that idiot Allardyce and help me save you from relegation’ as calling your old players cowards for no reason.
His new company has just taken on Justin Bieber.