The secret semaphore-like messages given by footballers taking corner-kicks have finally been deciphered by a team of top code breakers from MI5.
For years soccer fans have been intrigued by the significance of the single raised arm gesture from a player just before he takes the corner kick. Sometimes he would raise his left arm, sometimes his right; then the code grew yet more complex when players began occasionally raising both arms. Yet despite years of analysis, the secret meaning of these puzzling hand signals remained unknown to all except the players’ team mates. Until now, when the greatest mathematical and psychological minds have finally emerged from years spent studying recordings of Premiership football matches, and cross-checking the messages with the subsequent strategy of the players.
‘We have cracked it!’ announced the excited MI5 agent known only as ‘K’. ‘The code was based on a complex cryptographic algorithm, but now we can share it with the outside world. If a player raises his right arm it means ‘I am going to kick the ball into the penalty area.’ If he raises his left arm it means ‘I am going to kick the ball into the penalty area.’ And if he raises both arms it means, I am going to kick the ball into the penalty area. Try and score a goal.’
There was dismay in Premiership players that the secrets had been made public and now an entirely new secret code will have to be devised. During training for their forthcoming FA cup semi-final, Manchester United players were seen practicing for corners, making the shape of a tea-pot before the kick, as well as banging their fists on their foreheads and doing the dance from the Birdy Song. Then they kicked the ball into the penalty area.
The code breakers have already set to work all over again.