Havoc is allegedly being wreaked deep inside Camp Germany ahead of their World Cup quarter final collision with France as a flu virus bulldozes its way through die Mannschaft.
The rumourologists reckon that up to seven Nationalelf superstars are bed-ridden courtesy of the incurable illness.
Coach Joachim Low has moved to dispel this as mere mischief making and dismissed it having any effect on his sides’ 6/4 favouritism to best Les Bleus.
Nevertheless, all eyes will be seeking the first sweat-soaked German star wringing out his shirt one minute, shivering the next and downing a Beechams in the first drinks break.
Debilitated or otherwise, the Germans will be out to avoid the same fates that these sporting factions suffered when a viral outbreak devastated their ranks:
Spurs were on the cusp of Champions League qualification in 2006, needing only to beat a deckchair-bound West Ham on the final day to ensure they pipped Arsenal to a top-four finish.
However, after chowing down on some dodgy lasagne the night before, the bulk of the team spent the pre-match hours dashing to the toilet and, sapped of energy, they went down to a 2-1 loss that subsequently cost them their seat at Europe’s top table.
Boro attempted to get a game at Blackburn postponed in 1996/97 when the clutches of the flu virus were draining the very life from their squad.
The FA okayed their request so Bryan Robson’s men vetoed the match, only to be controversially fined and deducted three points in the aftermath for failure to fulfil the fixture – the season ended in relegation for the Teessiders, by a two-point margin.
The All Blacks and their star-laden line up lost the 1995 Rugby World Cup final 15-12 to hosts South Africa, with totally impartial defeated coach Colin Meads citing ‘spiked’ milk as mitigation.
Meadsy makes no suggestion that the huge bender he took his players’ out on just FOUR DAYS prior to the final (the reason they drank the milk was to soothe their dinosaur-felling hangovers) may have been at fault for their loss.
A bout of ‘spontaneous diorrhea’ is said to have simultaneously gripped the entire Hungarian outfit, mid-game, no less.
The players were forced to dash from the field in unison, though fun-spoiling conspiracy theorists have moved to suggest their hurried departure was an act of protest over unpaid wages, not mass defecation.