Off-target Gunners shoot themselves in the foot


Green Moon wins the Melbourne Cup in a canter … South Africans bok at the Gabba for first time since 1963 … Celtic stun Barcelona on their 125th anniversary … Joey joins the Silvertails.


Arsenal have bungled membership packages sent out to juniors aged between four and 11, which included a large image of former player Robin van Persie as part of the advertisement. The Dutch striker left Emirates Stadium for rivals Manchester United in the off-season and his inclusion in the latest round of membership offers has sparked an outrage from Gunners fans. The insult didn't stop with van Persie's inclusion, fellow former player Alex Song was also pictured as an Arsenal player despite joining Barcelona in the European summer. Arsenal have not confirmed whether Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp or David O'Leary will be included next year.


Forget doping, towels may be the new form of cheating as one NFL franchise has discovered. The NFL fined the San Diego Chargers $19,224 for not immediately handing over a towel that had a grip-enhancing substance on it. The towel contained an adhesive that allows players to better grip the football and has since been banned. Its use was not illegal at the time but the governing body still slapped the Chargers with the fine because of a lack of co-operation between the coaching staff and the NFL when the incident occurred on October 15 against Denver Broncos. ''The league has directed all clubs to not use the towel pending further notice. We are appealing the fine for failing to co-operate with a game official's directive,'' the Chargers said in a statement. ''Our staff member was unaware that the game official was trying to get his attention and he co-operated fully once he became aware.''


A US college women's football team has perfected the art of running the clock down. An Amherst College player took a throw-in and accidentally hit her opponent in the face. The ball goes out for another throw in and the Amherst player repeats the act with even more gusto, knocking the same opponent to the deck and inciting outrage from fans. Search: Women's soccer player throws ball at opponents face.


Japan's traditional sport is on life support after just

one youngster submitted an application to join the end-of-season competition in Fukuoka, bringing the total number of competitors to a record low of 56. It's the lowest participation rate since the Japanese sumo association moved to a new competition format in 1956 and has prompted the organisation to loosen standards imposed on wrestlers.


Bored Nothing. Bored Nothing. Give the kid from a Melbourne a go. Fuzzy, jangly lo-fi guitar noise.



Andrew Flintoff's debut bout should result in the head of the chairman of the British boxing board being dismissed, says promoter Frank Maloney. The promoter has called for chairman Charles Giles to be sacked for allowing the former Test cricketer to enter professional heavyweight boxing. ''Freddie'' met with his hero Mike Tyson this week as part of his documentary capturing his foray into the ring, but rival fighters and promoters have laughed off his chances against seasoned pros. ''They haven't named an opponent for Flintoff yet but even if they find some guy who's lost his first four pro fights, he will still be in against someone with amateur experience,'' Maloney said. ''It is a disgrace [the board] have given Flintoff a licence. I told the chairman, Charles Giles, that he should be sacked for approving this scandal.''


Central Coast Mariners striker Daniel McBreen has joined the likes of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono in making international headlines when the veteran was included in EA Sports FIFA ultimate team of the week. His hat-trick in the Mariners 7-2 win over Sydney FC in round five has earned him a place alongside Manchester United's Patrice Evra, Brazilian star Neymar and Inter Milan's Diego Milito in the video game's interactive team of the week. Thirty-five year-old McBreen became the first A-League player to be selected.


A footballer from Brazil's third division has been suspended for smearing his own blood onto the face of his opponent during a match. Cruz midfielder Chicao was elbowed in the face by Fortaleza player Esley and reacted by rubbing blood from his cut eyebrow into Esley's face. The clash sparked an all-in brawl and prompted Brazil's sports tribunal to ban Esley for five games, while Chicao got a two-match suspension, one more than the minimum.

This story Off-target Gunners shoot themselves in the foot first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.