Written by Michael Simmonite

Monday, 4 March 2002

TheSpoof can reveal that the entire England football squad - led by 'Captain Goldenballs' himself, David Beckham - are on the verge of pulling out of this summer's World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea.

"They're going to spoil it for the whole nation," warned ex-England manager Teddy Vegetables. "After all we went through to qualify 'n all."

Amazingly for once, the row is not entirely centred around money. "We just wanna be treated fair, like," Beckham told us from his mansion.

"Me 'n the lads isn't getting up at five in the morning to kick a football around f 'no-one - right!

" 'Ah can anybody expect the boys to be playing football when they should still be out on the piss, or running up and down the hotel corridors in the nuddy wavin' their bits and scarin' the lives out of the chambermaids? Now come on, be fair to 'em!"

When we pointed out to The Duke of Manchester that this was down to the time difference and that the local kick-off times would in fact be normal for a World Cup, he didn't seem to understand.

We pointed out that the only inconvenience would be to the poor supporters back home in England, but it just fell on deaf ears.

"I'll tell y' what," he told us. "If they offered us night-shift allowance, we just might consider it."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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