Vatican team qualifies for World Cup

THE national side of the Vatican, led by player-manager Pope Francis, has beaten Romania to win a place in the World Cup finals.

The team put four goals past their play-off rivals in the second leg, with His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato finishing his hat-trick with an overhead bicycle strike from 30 yards.

It completes a remarkable comeback for the smallest country in the world, which was at the bottom of its qualifying group under former manager Pope Benedict XVI before his shock resignation.

Pope Francis said: “I’m confident that with Latin America’s 483 million Catholics rooting for us we can go all the way in Brazil, and if they support any other team they will be cast into Hades and burn eternally.”

Pope Francis’s emphasis on a slick passing game is a marked contrast to his predecessor’s tactic of hoofing the ball up from the back while strikers knelt and prayed for God to guide it into the goal.

Opponents claim that Vatican City’s strip gives them the unfair advantage of hiding the ball under their cassocks, and have criticised officials for allowing incense burners in the technical area.

Fanatical Holy SeeBees fan Stephen Malley said: “Seeing Franny command the midfield really renews your faith in papal infallibility.

“It takes me back to Mexico 86, where we beat West Germany in the final thanks to an absolutely miraculous performance in goal by Pope John Paul II.”

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Miliband ‘urged Co-op boss to buy more crack’

ED Miliband told former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers to buy ‘as much crack cocaine as he could possibly afford’.

The Conservative Party last night said it was now clear that Flowers and the Labour leader had regular discussions about drug-fuelled, rent boy sex parties with Miliband ‘egging on’ the Co-op chief to ever greater levels of depravity.

It is claimed that in one email exchange Flowers, a Methodist minister, asks Miliband ‘how much crack you should buy if – let’s say – you were organising a sex event?’.

According to senior sources, Miliband replied: “When it comes to crack, you should always take your initial estimate and double it.

“And get plenty of meth, otherwise you’ll feel like you’re at a sex party with your parents.”

Flowers emailed: “Thank you so much Ed. I hope you know that even though the Co-op gives money to the Labour Party I didn’t expect you to give me crack advice. So this is really kind of you.”

Miliband then replied: “Don’t be silly. Have a great time with your male prostitutes.”

Conservative Party chairman, Grant Shapps, said: “This not only answers the vital question of ‘how much did Ed Miliband know?’, it also answers the obvious follow-up question of ‘how eagerly did Ed Miliband encourage rent boy crack orgies?’.”