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Suspicions of a conspiracy, petty and vindictive Italians. Sounds like a sneak preview of "The Sopranos," but these are just a couple of news items from the World Cup.

Some questionable refereeing clouded South Korea's magical run to the semifinals, while Perugia's boss sacked Red Devils hero Ahn Jung-hwan after he scored the golden goal against Italy in the Round of 16.

It's hard to tell which strange stories are true at the world's greatest sports event, so Page 2 is testing your knowledge with a special World Cup edition of Bizarre and Bogus.

Below we've compiled five strange-but-true sports-related stories and one that we made up. Guess which one you believe is fake, then click here to see which item isn't true.

Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan

  • No. 1 Poland's chef was so unhappy at his team's showing after it lost its first two matches that he refused to cook the players their favorite food, zur soup.

  • No. 2 A man set himself on fire in Seoul in an attempt to help South Korea's soccer team by becoming a phantom 12th player before the Red Devils' first-round match against Portugal.

    Luiz Felipe Scolari
    Luiz Felipe Scolari

  • No. 3 Britney Spears became such a fan of this year's tournament, she's trying to have her staff set her up on a date with 20-year-old U.S. star Landon Donovan.

  • No. 4 Sapporo stadium officials would not allow a couple and their son into the Germany-Saudi Arabia match because they did not have a ticket for the 8-month-old baby.

    Jose Antonio Camacho
    Jose Antonio Camacho

  • No. 5 Brazilian officials sent a batch of pornographic materials, which had been supplied to the team because coach Luiz Felipe Scolari had banned sexual activity during the World Cup, back home to avoid a scandal.

  • No. 6 Spanish journalists bought a puppy from a market where it was being sold as meat and gave it to Spain's coach, Jose Antonio Camacho, to use as the team's mascot.


    Complete 2002 World Cup coverage

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: May 21, 2002

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: May 9, 2002

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: April 11, 2002

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: Feb. 27, 2002

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: Feb. 11, 2002

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: Jan. 31, 2002

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: Jan. 22, 2002

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: Nov. 27, 2001

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: Nov. 2, 2001

    Bizarre & Bogus questions: Oct. 12, 2001

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