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Paper Monitor

12:43 UK time, Wednesday, 16 June 2010

If ever evidence were needed of the growing power of the vuvuzela, people need look no further than today's Daily Star. For days the little horn has been hogging the headlines (including the Magazine's Can TV mute the blare of vuvuzelas), but now it has done something that would have been considered utterly impossible and downright ridiculous this time yesterday. It has knocked a story involving 36 scantily-clad women at a football match off the Star's front page. Paper Monitor kids you not.

The story is about ITV's football pundit Robbie Earle being sacked after the women, wearing little orange dresses to allegedly promote a Dutch beer, got into the stadium with match tickets allocated to him. Fifa saw the stunt as "ambush marketing" and the women were ejected from the stadium. ITV saw it as a red card for Earle and he has been ejected from the studio sofa. As far as the Daily Star is concerned, the story has it all - lots of blonde women, skimpy dresses, football and - and - beer. Nevertheless, news that the vuvuzela will probably be at a football stadium near you by next season has won the battle for the front page.

Please pick yourself up from the floor.

Those left wondering if there are any certainties left in life anymore - will day follow night? will Victoria Beckham ever wear dangerously high heels again? - the Sun rides to the rescue. The orange-clad women are splashed across its front page with the puntastic headline "Tout of Africa".

Posh is also pictured inside wearing platforms on a family day out rock climbing. So rest easy.

The Guardian reveals the women could get up to six months in jail for the stunt as ambush marketing is a criminal offence in South Africa, even though there was no logo on what they were wearing - the dresses were just orange. Columnist Marina Hyde quite rightly wonders:

"What sort of prison stretch is one looking at for taupe?"

And finally, after seeing the look on a Kiwi colleague's face as rank outsiders New Zealand equalise with Slovakia in the 93rd minute of their first World Cup game in 28 years, Paper Monitor now understands the sentiments behind the New York Post's widely sniggered-at headline "USA wins 1-1" (Monday's Paper Monitor).

The little face, all lit up... bless. And it's a look no doubt replicated throughout that far-off nation of some four-and-a-bit million souls that doesn't even have its own professional league.

Whether you love the World Cup or hate it, it's always sweet when an underdog pulls one out of the hat.

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