I feel a bit like The Grinch, or the spiteful older child telling their younger brothers/sisters that Santa doesn’t actually exist….allegedly! I still like to keep my options open just in case.

This is where it all began….Demba Ba is interviewed by Geoff Shreeves for Sky Sports and is asked to reveal  a secret about himself. After a bit of banter and thought, Demba reveals that he loves ‘Strawberry Syrup’ and can’t live without it. He has apparently been adding it to water and drinking it for ten years, having it every day.

Geoff Shreeves expresses his surprise at Strawberry ‘Syrup’(!!) and this has then set in motion a Carry On-esque chain of West End Farce proportions, with people getting the wrong end of the stick. You know the kind – the vicar walks in just as the housewife is asking the plumber to look in her ‘drawers’ type of thing.

When Demba Ba said Strawberry ‘Syrup’ he did mean ‘Syrup’ but guess what, in France ‘Syrup’ does mean ‘Syrup’ as in that very sticky gooey stuff that you might have on pancakes or ice cream….

BUT

…in France ‘Syrup’ (French – ‘Sirup’) also means squash, cordial, dilutey pop. So to the groans of the disappointed audience we can reveal that step back in amazement, Demba Ba likes to drink diluted pop and Strawberry is his favourite flavour, he doesn’t like to pour a gooey treacle like substance into a glass of water and drink it.

Cultural Lesson – In France, Syrup/Sirup is massive and comes in a huge variety of flavours, both as a pop as we would know it and also in alcoholic form, which is often added to white wine/champagne.

Obviously as a devout Muslim, Demba will steer well clear of the alcoholic varieties but you read it here first….DEMBA BA LIKES STRAWBERRY FLAVOUR DILUTED SQUASH!