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Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Funny Old World Cup
Polish coach Jerzy Engel
Jerzy Engel could do a Mark Lawrenson
The quirky stories doing the rounds at the World Cup.


Hair today gone tomorrow?

It seems BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has started a new craze, if a promise made by Polish coach Jerzy Engel is anything to go by.

Lawrenson pledged to shave off his moustache if Bolton stayed in the Premiership and did so when they avoided relegation.

Engel has said he will do the same with his distinguished lip of hair if Poland beat Portugal on Monday.

What this says about Engel's confidence in his own team is unclear, but presumably losing the facial hair is designed to motivate the players in some way.


Language barrier

Costa Rica's Maurico Wright
Where have my dreadlocks gone?

On the subject of hair, the Costa Ricans are not impressed with the standard of Korean hairdressing.

The squad were possibly motivated by the flamboyant hairstyles of the Japanese players, David Beckham and Christian Ziege.

They visited a barber shop but were stopped in their tracks before they could say Vidal Sassoon.

"They didn't understand us and we didn't understand them so we ended up with bad haircuts," explained Rolando Fonseca.

There was only one solution: "We decided to have them cut off practically all of our hair."

Costa Rican defender Maurico Wright - the man who scored a goal with a misspelt name on his shirt - came off worst, losing his dreadlocks.


Russ-ing around

A Porsche 911 turbo will be roaring its way to teenage Russian striker Dmitry Sychev for his 35 minute show against Tunisia.

Sychev set up both his country's goal after coming on as a substitute and was voted man-of-the-match in a poll of Russia's football fans.

That earned the 18-yer-old the 60,000 sports car which an oil company says they will give to the best Russian player each time they win at the World Cup.

There is a slight problem - officials are not sure Sychev has a driving licence - but he will get the car anyway.


Hitch-hiker alert

The Republic of Ireland have been given a slap on the wrist after becoming the focus of the intense security at the World Cup.

They got themselves into trouble by giving a lift to fans into a stadium.

It meant they did not have to go through the expensive security measures set up which also includes walking through metal detectors.

Fifa head of security Walter Gagg said: "Ireland transported not only their players but also fans and we had to intervene.

"We need absolute full control to protect the teams."


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