THE latest transfer of Reading-based soccer star Mitchell Parker may have left the Football Association a little confused, even embarrassed.

When going through the official registration channels, Bracknell Town were told they needed international clearance as the 25-year-old forward had played in Portugal seven years ago.

That came as something of a shock as in recent seasons Parker has played for several clubs, including Highmoor Ibis, Reading City, Flackwell Heath, Basingstoke and Hartley Wintney.

It appears that none of them received international clearance before signing him, an offence which carries a hefty fine.

The need to acquire the rubber stamp was down to the diligence of Bracknell secretary Ricky Simons.

Parker seems to have gone under the FA radar, as last November they appointed him as captain when they sent a representative team on an ambassadorial trip to the Falkland Islands. They played two games against an Island side and a British Forces South Atlantic XI, with Parker scoring in one of them along with Liam Ferdinand, a Bracknell player at the time.

When Simons recently raised Parker's selection with an FA official, he was told they were only friendlies.

After suddenly leaving Southern League Premier South club Hartley Wintney last month, prolific-scorer Parker has kept himself sharp by training with Bracknell while waiting for the all-clear to play.

THE Rugby World Cup is now well underway in Japan and there is a comprehensive guide well worth keeping close to the TV as it includes the tournament schedule, along with in-depth analysis on all the countries, players to look out for and much more.

It's packed with facts and figures about the oval-ball game in general as well as about the host country.

The author is Berkshire journalist Graeme Copas, the former sports editor of the Maidenhead Advertiser, and the research he put into the book has to be admired.

With more than 300 pages to read, it's the type of book you can keep picking up over and over again – right to the final on November 2.

Priced £12.95, 'Everything you need to know about the Rugby World Cup' is published by Meyer & Meyer Sport.