Where's Your Tino Gone?

Last updated : 03 September 2002 By Clive Jones
When it comes to Columbia, about all I know is that coffee and fifty per cent of all the world's processed deadly drugs emanates from the place. And as one that never drinks cawfeeeeeee and has never dabbled in narcotics (socially or in any other way or sniffed anything harder than a vic nasal spray), I have to say that the mosquito infested place has hardly registered on my attention scale above perhaps two or three.

So, when Darlington eventually gave up the ghost on trying to attract Colombian super star Faustino Asprilla to the Feethams it came as not too much of a shock to me. After all, things Colombian leave me in a state of total apathy generally.

However, the thing that did suprise me, was that the Quakers managed to get a work permit for the somersault striker, better known in yester year for his antics at Newcastle. Now if you're yer average asylum seeker, fleeing persecution or merely looking to find a better lot in life for yourself, than cooking rice or Yak stew on fire made out of cow droppings, yer chances of getting a work permit to clean my windscreen at the next set of traffic lights are nil.

But, it would seem that if your a mate of the well connected Darlington chairman, anything is possible upon appeal to the Department of Employment. Before going on, I would like to make it absolutely plain that I am sure that the specified criteria became as plain as the nose on Mike Gatting's face after missing a straight one from Waquar Younis, even if it was at the second time of asking and in front of a different set of civil servants.

The fact that Asprilla had not played in seventy five per cent of Columbia's international matches within the last two years, which is normally the accepted requirement to qualify for a work permit to play football in this country, providing you're not a resident of the EC or have walked a Yorkshire Terrier on the street within the last two years or even looked at a picture of the old queen (And that's not Boy George - although you never know these days!), hardly seemed to matter.

A work permit they wanted and a work permit they got...! Ahhhh, yes of course, he was probably injured during that time and would have played but for that. How silly of me. There's always a logical reason for everything.

Now Asprilla says he never was going to play for Darlo and the whole thing was a right laugh. Not enough money Mr Darlington chairman, apparently. No smiles up in the North East I hear. But as for me - well I pee'd myself.....!