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  Sunday, 26 January, 2003, 17:46 GMT
Masking jape
BBC Sport Online picks out some of the quirky, offbeat or plain daft stories doing the rounds.

Masking jape

Charlton fans did not get any chance to use their Zorro masks, which were issued to the 4,000 who travelled across London to watch their fourth round FA Cup tie against Fulham on Sunday.

The plan was the brainchild of the Addicks' supporters club as a mickey-take of Fulham striker Facundo Sava - the master of cunning disguise.

Sava puts on a mask pulled from his sock every time he scores, with Premiership fans first witnessing the celebration during Fulham's 1-0 win over Charlton in October.

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley, who insisted his staff wouldn't be joining in, said: "It will be nice just to see it if we do score, but it's just a bit of fun.

"Our fans have been fantastic this year and it will help make an atmosphere there."

The good news was that Sava didn't score - the bad news was that Charlton didn't either as they slumped to a 3-0 defeat.


Franziska van sea-sick

Five-times European swimming champion Franziska van Almsick has revealed she is scared of water.

Sea water, that is. The German claims she's not keen on taking a dip in the ocean because she doesn't know what's lurking underneath the surface.

Franziska van Almsick
Oh no, anything but the sea

Van Almsick, who won five golds at the 2002 European Swimming Championships, told German women's magazine, Gala: "I am terrified at having to swim in the open sea."

"I would never dare to go that far out from the shores, because I am dead scared when I don't know what's underneath my feet."

Speaking to German women's magazine, Gala, she added: "I get shivers already imagining that a slimy fish could touch or even attack me."

Van Almsick has just filmed a TV commercial which shows her swimming from Europe to the US.

It's amazing how a wad of cash can help soften the blow.

See also:

21 Jan 03 | Funny Old Game
18 Jan 03 | Funny Old Game
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10 Jan 03 | Funny Old Game
08 Jan 03 | Funny Old Game
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