UnNews:Scientists dampen World Cup enthusiasm by concluding football really is just 22 men running around a field chasing a ball

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11 June 2010

England Manager Capello struck by the existential quandry

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Oxford University have chosen the opening day of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to report the findings of their ten year study. It confirmed what millions of women and near-women have long suspected: football really is just twenty-two men running around a field after a ball.

The theory was first posited in 1927 by a perfectly-attractive-given-her-circumstances northern housewife, Annette Sprain, whose husband had insisted on going to see his beloved Grimsby team play a match, instead of having prolonged sexual intercourse with her. She was to utter the immortal words "Why would you want to do that? It's just a daft lot chasing ball, that's all it is.".

Her comments - whilst repeated often by undersexed women - were ignored by the scientific community who were persuaded by the commonly-held view that millions of people would not be interested in watching men run around a field and that Sprain had properly just had a long day.

Sky Sports pioneer 22 men running around a field in 3D

Scientific interest in the subject was only awakened when in 1981, Bill Shankly commented: "Football is not life and death; it’s more important than that." Leader of the Oxford Study, Professor Scratch remembers how the scientific community reacted to this statement,:"We’d previously believed that football was less important than life and death, due to people dying from death and not from soccer, so this really made us stand-up and take notice. All of a sudden money became available to look into Sprain’s claim."

Head of NFL Players Association, Dez Bryant claims that his sport of called-football-in-America was ahead of even Sprain in realising the true nature of football. "From the start of called-football-in-America, we wanted to avoid soccer’s[sic] inherent weakness, which is why we decided our sport should decrease the amount of time spent running around a field after a ball, by continually interrupting it for long periods of time with standing around not chasing a ball. These continual breaks in play made describing our sport in any meaningful and simplistic way impossible."

Head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter on hearing the news, refused fans' calls to offer refunds to all those who have bought tickets for World Cup 2010 pointing out a clause in the small prints on the FIFA website: "Clause 12, subsection 69, states clearly that 'Though football may be interpreted as sport, FIFA make no claims for Association Football amounting to any more than 22 men negotiating an area of grass occasionally interrupted by a ball,'" he claimed in a hastily arranged news conference.

Whilst many people involved in other team sports are said to be nervous about future studies, the world's second most popular team sport - cricket - is thought to be safe after Harvard University abandoned their research. "We got to the end of the the second day of a match, and they said there could be another three."