The Rundown

Top 10 sporting no-shows

The Rundown

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Jose Mourinho was nowhere to be seen at the Camp Nou on Tuesday which has inspired our look at the top 10 sporting no-shows of all-time.

These guys could take a leaf out of Gael Monfils's book. The French tennis player turned up for his match against Juan Monaco at the Madrid Masters on the same day as the Clasico despite suffering from the symptoms of his cheese allergy.

The Frenchman fought on gamely before finally retiring when 6-2 3-0 down in the second set.

But anyway - let's get on with our list.

Jose Mourinho at the Camp Nou - 2011

Real Madrid coach Mourinho, banned from the touchline, preferred to watch the match from his hotel room rather than the stands. Rumours are already circulating that Mourinho was illegally contacting his bench via iPad and text message - but then we can't prove that, now can we? What with him being safely out of view. It didn't do much good though as Real Madrid could only draw their Champions League semi-final second leg with fierce rivals Barcelona 1-1, meaning they lost 3-1 on aggregate.

Estonia against Scotland - 1996

The Scottish fans sung "One team in Tallinn" as this European qualifier was abandoned after only three seconds. During training the night before, Scotland complained about the quality of the floodlights at the ground and got FIFA to move the match to the afternoon as opposed to its original evening kick-off. Estonia complained about the decision and decided against turning up, meaning Scotland kicked off without any opposition. Scotland thought they would be awarded the match 3-0 but, upon further investigation, FIFA decided the match should be replayed at a neutral venue. It was eventually played in Monaco and Scotland could only draw 0-0 - but they still managed to qualify for France 98 so no harm was done.

Middlesbrough against Blackburn - 1996

Middlesbrough were relegated at the end of the 1996/97 season but would have finished outside the drop zone if it wasn't for a three-point deduction they received for failing to fulfil a fixture with Blackburn in December. Boro cancelled the match as they had 23 players absent through illness or injury. The club insisted manager Bryan Robson simply could not field a team but the FA didn't buy it and an XI that contained the likes of Fabrizio Ravanelli, Emerson and Juninho went down in the same season they reached two cup finals.

Sol Campbell at Arsenal - 2006

During a match against West Ham in February 2006, Campbell asked to be subbed at half-time after being at fault for two goals. He then left the stadium and was not seen or heard of by the club for several days with nobody quite sure of what was wrong with him. Team-mate Robert Pires said at the time that Campbell had a "big worry" in his personal life but no details ever emerged. He returned to the club five days later but it would be 10 weeks before he played again - and that summer he left the club.

Arash Miresmaeili at the 2004 Olympics

Iranian world judo champion Arash Miresmaeili was favourite to win gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics but turned up for the event four pounds over the weight limit. It turned out that it was a deliberate move so he didn't have to compete against Israeli Judoka Udi Vak in an act of 'solidarity' with Palestine. Iran's Ambassador to Athens Mehdi Mohtashami congratulated Miresmaeili for what he called a "courageous move to refuse to compete with a judoka from the Zionist regime".

Bobby Fischer against Boris Spassky - 1972

The 1972 World Chess Championship was more a battle between two countries at the height of the Cold War than a mere struggle between two men. The contest was held in Reykjavík, Iceland and at one stage it looked like eccentric American Fischer wouldn't turn up as he made a series of erratic demands. He eventually did show but lost the first match and then refused to play the second unless the television cameras were removed. His appeal was rejected and the Soviet Union's Spassky won the second match by default. In the end Fischer won the championship 12 ½ to 8 ½ and his no-show was declared a "deliberate masterstroke" by another former world champion Anatoly Karpov, who speculated that Fischer made a calculated decision not to turn up for the second match so as to unsettle Spassky.

Patrick Beckert at the 2010 Winter Olympics

German speed skater Patrick Beckert missed his shot at gold at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver because he had his mobile phone switched off. The German was fourth on the list of replacement entrants for the men's 1,000-metre competition. After twice gold medallist Enrico Fabris withdrew from his race an hour before it was due to start, organisers could not get in contact with any of the three racers ahead of Beckert on the list. Once German officials became aware that their man was next in the pecking order, they mounted a frantic search party after several calls to the 19-year-old's phone went unanswered. By the time Beckert returned one of the many missed calls, there were only 17 minutes to go until the race began, making it impossible for him to reach the venue from the Olympic village in time.

The Stan Wright Trio at the 1972 Olympics

At the 1972 Olympics in Munich, three American sprinters Eddie Hart, Rey Robinson and Robert Taylor, all coached by Stan Wright, relaxed in front of the television and watched what they thought were highlights from the first round of the 100m event which they had safely qualified from. However, they soon realised that what was before their eyes was actually the quarter-finals that they were meant to be competing in. They rushed back to the stadium but only Taylor arrived in time to make his race - he would go on to win silver, losing to Soviet Valery Borzov in the final. It turns out that Wright had told his athletes the wrong time for the races and later blamed an outdated schedule given to him by US Olympic officials.

US-led Olympics boycott - 1980

In the run-up to the Moscow Games in 1980, controversy reigned as the United States led a boycott of the event due to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan the previous year. At the height of the Cold War there was pressure on others to follow and in the end only 81 countries would compete in the Games. One of those nations was Britain who sent a team against the wishes of the Government. Britain ended up taking home 21 medals, including gold for Scotsman Allan Wells in the 100m - the first time a Briton had won that race since 1924.

Soviet-led Olympic boycott - 1984

Not surprisingly the Soviet Union decided to return the favour in 1984 when the Olympics were in Los Angeles because they believed "chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria (were) being whipped up in the United States". Fourteen Eastern Bloc countries and allies decided against showing up at the Games and were joined later by others including East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Cuba. A 'Friendship Games' was held by the boycotting nations in the Soviet Union instead. Interestingly Romania did compete in Los Angeles - the only Soviet ally to do so.

Have we missed any out? Leave your favourite sporting no-shows below.

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