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Date: 28/06/17

Ice On The Line

One of the things about the Universe that makes it worthwhile sticking with it as a concept is its ability to toss little gems of baffling delight into one's lap from unexpected directions.

Last night, I went to UEFA's website to find out how The New Saints - our nation's all-conquering perennial champions of the most boringly predictable league in Europe - were getting on in their first Champions' League qualifying game.

Having seen that they were losing (and, indeed, went on to lose) at home to a club from Gibraltar (I mean, Gibraltar? They've only been putting clubs into European competition for three years!), I wondered where the match officials were from.

Scrolling down the page, I found that they were all from San Marino. I then saw something that I couldn't quite believe. So I refreshed the page, but there it still was:

List of football officials, including that of one 'Salvatore Tuttifrutti'

This might still turn out to be a rather over-contrived prank by the people who run the UEFA website, but speculation will have its way regardless. Is Signor Tuttifrutti the proud scion of Dogana's first-ever gelatiere? Or did the name emerge from the family's favoured diet? Does he have counterparts elsewhere? Is there an English ref called Nick Arbocker-Glory? Or maybe Wales' first female linesperson, Nia Politan (the Pride of Cwmsgwt)?

I didn't dare research any further, for fear either of spoiling the joke or - more worrying still - that I might just be right.

Some things are best left in their pristine state, I think.