A high court judge has granted an injunction against any press reporting of England's forthcoming football match against Bulgaria. In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Kenneth Penn said it was essential to prevent the reporting of potentially embarrassing revelations about the players’ performance on the pitch.
Although the judgement comes too late to prevent TV and radio broadcasts going ahead, ITV and 5 live have agreed not to reveal individual identities. Players will wear gimp masks and will simply be identified by the number on their shirt. It is understood that a number of the players already possess gimp masks while others were excited at the thought of a gagging order, but no further details can be disclosed.
Manager Fabio Capello has said that given the lack of any real individuality among squad members there was little need to disguise identities, but has accepted the judgement, admitting that public scrutiny of players at the recent World Cup had been deeply upsetting for them.
Commentators are said to be looking forward to the opportunity to be use even more colourful language than usual in the absence of names. The choice of goalkeeper has not been finalised but is not expected to be Butterfingers or The Old Bloke. Womanising Head Case may be missing at centre half through injury but Violent Whining Love Cheat is expected to play in the hole, his favoured position, behind It’s Not My Fault in the lone striker position.
In a late announcement it has been revealed that Wembley National Stadium Limited has also obtained an injunction preventing any reporting of the embarrassing state of the freshly laid pitch. ITV will superimpose an image of a normal football pitch over the actual pitch for the duration of the match, while radio commentators will be fined for use of specific words such as divot or pasture.