Weird Week in Footy: Curse words, crotch shots, and hefty Hazard

Every Tuesday, RunSportBet highlights the most outlandish moments from the wacky, sometimes daft, and perennially entertaining world of football. Here’s what made us smile – or cringe – on the pitch this past week.

Assault with a corner flag

Matt Ritchie has an issue with corner flags. The Newcastle winger doesn’t like them, or at least it appears that way. Ritchie had his latest trademark run-in with one upon celebrating Isaac Hayden’s stoppage-time winner against Chelsea at St. James’ Park this past weekend.

Ritchie darted for the corner in pursuit of Hayden, and promptly booted the flag directly into the crotch of a jubilant Magpies supporter.

It’s nice to see that Ritchie, who hasn’t scored a goal for the club since April amid an injury-blighted spell, can still hit the target.

Hoffenheim take dig at basement boys

Bundesliga side Hoffenheim shipped midfielder Lukas Rupp to Norwich City for a reported €500,000 fee, and as a parting gift, took a shot at the lowly Canaries, calling the last-placed side “basement boys.”

From a training camp with Hoffenheim in sunny Marbella – a popular retreat for English fellas from Norwich named Jezza – to the crisp environs of Norwich itself, Rupp says the transfer is “a childhood dream.” No need for a polygraph test on this one.

At least Serie B side Pescara’s notoriously cheeky and self-deprecating Twitter account was there in a show of solidarity for fellow bottom dwellers Norwich. Misery needs company.

Gasperini curses Fiorentina fans

Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini was none too pleased when a chorus of Fiorentina fans labeled him a “son of a b—-” during a midweek Coppa Italia clash.

Emilio Andreoli / Getty Images Sport / Getty

“I have never insulted anyone,” Gasperini said, before insulting quite a few people. “My mother was in the war to give freedom of speech to those idiots who chant ‘son of a b—-‘,” Gasperini added. “They are the sons of b——.” Touché.

Hazard confesses to holiday heft

Bulky Belgian star Eden Hazard arrived at Real Madrid looking rather chunky following a €100-million move from Chelsea last summer, and naturally, the always levelheaded, never hysterical fragment of Los Blancos fans who are perpetually online grabbed their pitchforks.

Quality Sport Images / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Perhaps that explains the slow start to life in Spain. Now that he’s dropped more timber than Jair Bolsonaro, Hazard has admitted he was out of shape prior to his Bernabeu switch.

“I put on five kilos in the summer,” he said. “I’m one of those people who puts on weight very quickly then loses it very quickly.” Who among us?

Birmingham City go away to Birmingham City

Third-tier Coventry City will host Championship side Birmingham City in the fourth round of the FA Cup, and with the former now couch surfing at the latter’s St. Andrew’s digs, Birmingham City supporters have been allotted around 9,000 tickets to sit in the away stand of their own stadium.

Michael Steele / Getty Images Sport / Getty

“Both Coventry and ourselves hope that all supporters will embrace the uniqueness of the game and make it a memorable show of unity in football,” Birmingham’s statement read. The magic of the FA Cup knows no bounds.

Hare-y business at Cambridge United

“I was left hopping mad,” Cambridge United groundskeeper and purveyor of puns Ian Darler said after rabbits chewed through the bottom of a net at the Abbey Stadium ahead of Saturday’s visit from Stevenage.

Nils Petter Nilsson / Ombrello / Getty

According to Darler, the holes and scattered droppings cost the club £250, though for a goal-starved and out-of-form side like Cambridge United, the greatest expense was the online mockery. “At least the rabbits actually found the net,” said one fan. Shots fired. Might need to burrow that one.

Luckily for Darler, he’s both resourceful and the most English person ever. “Luckily, I have been watching a program about Cornish fishermen mending their nets, and thought, ‘I can do that.'”

Third time’s the charm in Turkish third tier

In the third tier of Turkish football, Utas Usakspor shot-stopper Ersin Aydin saved a 90th-minute penalty against Ergene Velimese SK, but was swiftly brandished a yellow card for coming off his line early. Aydin stopped the second attempt, but again came off his line, resulting in his marching orders. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Up steps Usakspor defender Levent Aktug, who thwarted Velimese’s third effort in Usakspor’s thrilling 2-0 victory. Congrats, Levent Aktug, you’re miles better than Loris Karius.

‘Love Island’ signs non-leaguer on loan

Reality shows and football have forever been intertwined. Who can forget the time Nathaniel Clyne was embarrassed on an episode of “Love & Hip Hop: Miami?” And the Oscar goes to …

On the topic of televised slop, sixth-tier side Oxford City FC were down a defender when Finn Tapp jetted off for the sixth season of British reality spectacle “Love Islandwithout giving the club a heads up.

In the end, Oxford City got in on the fun, presumably hoping they could sell some kits to a bunch of Brits named Emma, Emily, and Emmaly. Now, let’s check on Tapp’s progress on the archipelago of all things amorous … Ahhhhh, nevertheless.

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