Chelsea’s pre-season plans have been hit with the news that Mohamed Salah may be recalled to Egypt to carry out mandatory military service. It won’t be the first time the army’s gotten in the way of football, with conscription a common occurrence in the likes of Italy up until recently - with Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro del Piero amongst the conscripts doing their duty for their country.
More recently, Finnish midfielder Teemu Tainio had to return from a trial at Manchester United after his father forced him home to carry out national service. We have a look at some other strange reasons for players missing games.
With rumours circulating that Joleon Lescott is already unsettled at West Bromwich Albion – after just four weeks with the club – we look at other players who’ve beaten a hasty retreat shortly after signing for a new team.
A host of talented fillies and mares take each other on in the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes over 1m1f at the Curragh on Sunday (3.45) – a race that has thrown up some juicy winners at 5/1, 7/1, 9/1, 12/1, 4/1, 5/1 and 7/1 in the last nine years.