The Football Association today launched an inquiry into what it described as ‘very bizarre’ wagers placed with bookies regarding recent matches.

The FA spokesman, Brian Crosse-Barre, 97, said, “After bets were placed on Sutton United’s substitute goalkeeper eating a pie in the 83rd minute, we asked bookies whether there had been any similar incidents. We were amazed at the response.”

Roger Fleecer, 34, of said that he was aware of at least four similar incidents. “Last week, several bets were placed on the referee in the Rochdale v MK Dons having a sneezing fit in the 27th minute. We gave odds of 15/1 and lost several hundred pounds, mostly to a man wearing black shorts and a yellow shirt who came into our Rochdale branch just before 3pm on Saturday.”

He said that they weren’t suspicious at first. “Then we spotted that the week before a large bet was placed at 20/1 on the chances of an otter running onto the pitch in the last ten minutes of the game between Arsenal and Hull. We paid out over ten grand on that one, and another six after Andy Carroll performed excerpts from Riverdance to celebrate winning a throw in.”

The final straw was a bet of £10,000 at 15/2 on Chelsea centre back Tim Cahill defending a corner through the medium of modern dance. “Actually we’re still not sure about that one – after studying previous games, it may be kosher.”

Crosse-Barre was asked what penalties could be imposed but he’d fallen asleep.

Get monthly highlights in your inbox