Drogba investigated over coin throwing
Chelsea’s great run this season has come to a halt in the fourth round of the Carling Cup against Burnley. While the fans are likely to dismiss the penalty loss as a minor setback, Didier Drogba may find himself out of action should the FA find him guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct.
Drogba is investigated for an incident when he threw a coin back at the crowd. The Ivory Coast forward was pelted with coins from the visiting Qq Poker fans’ stand after scoring the (ultimately futile) opening goal. He must have thought the Burnley followers had spent too much money and he threw one
coin back to the crowd, garnering it with an obscene gesture.
Drogba received a yellow card and immediately apologized, saying “it was an incident in the heat of the moment (…) a mistake and nothing more”.
The apology should be enough for if indeed he is punished for the incident one has to wonder how much the players are expected to take from the hooligans who threaten them with injury by aiming solid objects at them.
Ruud van Nistelrooy says adiós to the season
Real Madrid’s Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy will not be playing any more until next summer because of the surgery on his right knee proved to be more complex than expected.
Operated in the United States, Van Nistelrooy suffered a partially torn meniscus in a recent game against Juventus in the Champions’ League.
Last year Spanish top scorer will be sorely missed by Real Madrid, who are now relying on the young gun Gonzalo Higuaín and captain Raúl to provide most of the goals.
The Dutchman had already hurt that same knee in 2000 when he performed a clumsy move during a practice with PSV Eindhoven. He sustained an extensive ligament damage which ruled him out for ten months, but he returned in style and went on to enjoy a prosperous career with Manchester United.
Antonio Cassano in a scoring spree
At 26, Antonio Cassano is a true champion on the field, but under the sheets even more so. The controversial Italian international spoke openly of his eventful life to journalist Pierluigi Pardo, who penned Cassano’s biography called “Dico tutto” (I Say It All).
The book is bound to be a best-seller, since the Bari-born forward spoke of his turbulent childhood in the crime-ridden southern city and of his wonderful scoring streak since he became a professional footballer.
Scoring with women, that is.
Cassano admitted to having conquered between 600 and 700 girls, and we can forgive him for this approximation since it is must be hard to keep an accurate count after a while.
The fans only wish he had been nearly as prolific in front of goal and the confession will hardly amuse his current girlfriend, the 17-year-old waterpolo player Carolina Marcialis.
Antonio is also quoted as saying, “Sex and food – these are my two great passions, a perfect marriage.” At least the second part of this statement clearly shows on the size of his butt.
England to play in Spain next February
The friendly fixture between Spain and England is on after all, in spite of last month’s rumours emitted from the FA that the game would be cancelled due to Spain’s worrying racism record.
According to Marca daily, this week the Spanish FA (RFEF) received a conciliatory message from their English counterparts, confirming that a friendly would go on as planned on February 11th.
In October the FA alleged the February date was not suitable for them, making the Spaniards suspect England wanted to ditch the game altogether because of a number of racially coloured incidents that took place in their country.
Four years ago RFEF were fined by FIFA because of the infamous racist taunts against Ashley Cole, Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand, Jenas and Defoe.
In the meantime, the former national team coach Luis Aragonés alluded at Thierry Henry as a “black shit” and the Lewis Hamilton’s trips to Spain were also marred by insults.
Still, the FA now said there was a simple misunderstanding regarding the date, and that the fixture was never in question.
One of the major proponents of the friendly is Fabio Capello himself, who apparently lobbied with the FA leaders to go ahead with the game. The venue of the match is likely to be Valencia or Sevilla.
Corinthians back to the top flight at first attempt
Brazilian president’s favourite team, Corinthians of Sao Paulo, made sure of their return to the Brazileirao after one year in the second division.
With four matches remaining, Corinthians built a 13 points advantage over the second-placed Avai by beating Criciuma 2-0.
The Paulistas went down last year amidst the chaos that erupted over discoveries of corruption, match-fixing and money laundering.
Supported by a reported 13,2% of the Brazilian soccer fans, Corinthians won their last championship in 2005 thanks to Carlos Tévez and Javier Mascherano, whose signings were financed by the multinational investment fund MSI. The Brazilian Justice Department became interested in the MSI operations and issued an arrest warrant for the company’s chairman Kia Joorabchian, but last August the arrest warrant was suspended.
Real Madrid embarrassed in the Spanish Cup
Real Unión from the third division upset their somewhat more famous namesakes from Madrid by kicking them out in the fourth round of the King’s Cup.
The Basque team from the city of Irún went through on away goals rule by winning 3-2 at home and losing 3-4 in the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu.
The Spanish press has called the result the biggest disgrace in Real Madrid’s history, but the nine-times European champions had already been involved in a couple of resounding slip-ups in the domestic cup competition.
After winning their last Cup in 1993, Real lost to second and third division clubs on various occasions. In 1998, they were eliminated by Alavés, then in the Segunda División, also due to the away goals rule. Three years later, the surprise package was called Toledo, from the third division, who defeated Real by 1-0 in a single-leg tie of the the King’s Cup’s first round.
The following lower-league club to stun Madrid in the Cup were Valladolid in 2004/05, again thanks to having scored more away goals (0-0 at home and 1-1 at Bernabeu). Valladolid is incidentally Real’s next league rival and the word around Madrid is that coach Bernd Schuster may be sacked in case his team don’t win at the Zorrilla stadium next Saturday.