Ref abandons match in Peru after 5 players fake injury at the same time

There’s poor sportsmanship and then there’s just blatant game manipulation.

The latter appeared to be the case in a Copa Peru semi-final match between Defensor Bolivar and Defensor La Bocana.

According to local media, five players from Defensor Bolivar all feigned injury at the same time in an apparent attempt to get the game — which they were losing 4-1 — abandoned.

The referee had already sent two of Bolivar’s players off and with eight minutes left on the clock, he was forced to call the match. If the five players faking injury had left the field, Bolivar would have only four men on the pitch, and teams are required to field at least seven players.

The second leg of the cup tie is now in doubt and officials are trying to decide how to punish Bolivar. The winner of the series goes on to national competition.

Even better: Defensor La Bocana uploaded video of their opponents’ antics to YouTube. Check it out.

(h/t The Guardian)


Ex-Fulham captain reveals that Clint Dempsey punched out a window


U.S. men’s national team fans are pretty familiar with Clint Dempsey’s passion for the game. But maybe they didn’t know how far the captain’s emotions could take him.

Fulham’s former captain Danny Murphy has some insight.

In a interview with talkSPORT, Murphy discussed a ‘horrible moment’ where Dempsey was so angry he punched through a glass window, tearing up his hand in the process.

According to Murphy, Dempsey was furious after being told he wouldn’t start the Europa League semi-final in 2010 just hours before the match. 

He was being replaced by Bobby Zamora, who had been in doubt due to injury.

"Basically half his finger was off and you could see his tendon. Glass shattered - it was some punch by the way. Blood was going everywhere. This was all because he wanted to play of course," said Murphy.

After calming down, Dempsey was bandaged up and came on a substitute for Fulham’s 2-1 win over Hamburg.

But based on Murphy’s retelling, it was a scary moment he won’t soon forget.

(h/t Daily Mail)

(Image: Getty)


Neymar addresses his legion of fans after World Cup heartache

In Brazil’s potentially World Cup 2014 defining moment vs. Colombia on Friday, Neymar fractured his vertebra that essentially ended his glittering tournament.

As their top goalscorer and standout performer, the 22-year-old Barca star was Brazil’s engine who are hoping to finally win a World Cup on their home soil.

Neymar will do his best to lead them through, though. In an incredibly emotional video, Neymar addressed his millions of fans, promising them that his World Cup dream is not over, just postponed.

"Brazilian people, players, coaches and fans, this is a very tough moment. It’s hard to express my thoughts in words.

"I want to tell you that I’ll be back on the field as soon as possible. I would like to thank you for your support and affection expressed through the messages that have been sent to me.

"My dream is not over yet, it was interrupted due to a move but it is still alive. I am sure my team mates will make sure I can achieve my dream which is to be champion.

"Another dream of mine was to play on a World Cup Final but I won’t be able to do it now – although I’m sure that my team mates will win and be champions along with me and we Brazilian people will be celebrating this achievement.

"Thank you all, hugs."

A touching sentiment, and one that could well inspire Brazil to go on and reclaim the biggest trophy in international football as a result.

Best of luck on your return, big guy.


Rip Hamilton on a mission to convince Clint Dempsey to wear a face mask


NBA star Rip Hamilton is on a mission to Brazil.

His goal is to convince Clint Dempsey to wear the plastic face mask to protect his broken nose.

He even posted a picture with a call out to Dempsey:

"On my way to Brazil to watch @clint_dempsey and Team USA at World Cup . @clint_dempsey if u need to borrow my mask I’m bringing them in my carry on bag.#MaskChangedMyCareer #TeamUSA #WorldCup#BrandJordan #BrazilPack #HugeFanOfSoccer #holdat”

Hamilton started wearing a mask in 2002 and turned it into a fashion accessory; he continued to wear one throughout his career.

Maybe Dempsey, who has so far avoided the plastic shield, would be more inclined if it got the hockey goalie mask treatment?

(h/t SB Nation)

Image courtesy of Getty.


Fans help pay for non-league player’s rehab after horrific injury

Chippenham midfielder Rob Dean suffered a horrendous career-threatening injury last month. He dislocated his knee, twisted his tibia and ruptured ligaments 30 minutes into a match against Hungerford that was eventually abandoned by the referee because of the severity of the injury.


Dean in the hospital a few days after the injury. (Image: @Phillo11)

Surgery was successful, and Dean is on the mend now, but as a non-league player with just a regular day job, he’s not exactly raking in the cash. If he ever wants to play again — and doctors have told him his career is likely over — he’ll need extensive rehab to get his leg back to full strength.

So Chippenham fans rallied behind him to help pay for it:

The £1,000 given to Dean by the club’s supporters will hopefully help him realize his dream of playing again. Despite what the surgeons have said, he’s determined to prove them wrong. Dean told This Is Wiltshire,

“It’s so far away anyway, so there was no point in really thinking about it. I want to get myself walking and month-by-month, set myself little targets. Then you never know — people have proven surgeons wrong and hopefully, down the line, I can be one of them. Never say never.”

(Story via Gazette and Herald, BBC Sport)


Colombian kid bursts into tears upon meeting idol Radamel Falcao

Warning, you might want to get your Kleenex handy before watching. This video will surely make your heart melt.

Adding reason No. 1,234 why we love Radamel Falcao to the list.

Falcao, who tore his anterior crucial ligament back in January, is currently in Madrid rehabbing his left knee and remains hopeful of returning for Colombia before this summer’s World Cup. Yet, Falcao’s hectic schedule didn’t stop him from helping make a young fan’s dream come true.

Thanks to the Revel Foundation, Michael Steven, a 13-year-old aspiring footballer from Bogota, Colombia, met with the Colombian superstar in an emotional meeting that made the Monaco ace himself come to tears.

Michael, who admits to having over 130 photos and newspaper clippings of Falcao in his bedroom wall, cried uncontrollably upon setting eyes on “El Tigre” and refused to let go of his soccer idol with his mighty grip. Emotions run deep later in the clip when Michael touches Falcao’s knees (2:32), wishing for the striker’s speedy recovery to help Colombia’s World Cup hopes.

Pause. Reach. Grab. Tissue.

H/T: fundacionrevel.net


Neymar leaves Barcelona match with ankle injury


When Neymar went down in the 23rd minute in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey match against Getafe, Culés held their breath and feared the worst.

The rising Barca star was down for several minutes being tended to by the club physios after awkwardly rolling his ankle. He needed assistance off the pitch, clearly unable to put much weight on his right ankle.

Barcelona confirmed the initial reports that Neymar sprained a tendon in his ankle, but more tests will be conducted on Friday. Hopefully it’s nothing worse, and the injury won’t keep him sidelined for too long. Until then, Barca fans and Brazilians will continue to hold their collective breath:


Sandro sends terrifying warning to Charlie Adam

This tackle by Stoke’s Charlie Adam has Tottenham midfielder Paulinho sidelined for up to a month. It’s not the first time Adam has seemingly gone after Spurs players, including a couple of incidents involving Gareth Bale.

Adam took to Twitter to clear the air:

Paulinho’s fellow Brazilian teammate, Sandro, had a message for Adam as well, using his own Twitter and Instagram accounts to send a menacing warning:

imageCharlie Adams - THE BEAST IS WATCHING YOU!!! - @sandroraniere

Adam may be a little more cautious next time he takes on Tottenham.


Javier Zanetti gets hero’s reception in Inter’s comeback win vs. Livorno


Last April, we feared it was the end for Javier Zanetti. The Inter and Argentine legend ruptured his Achilles tendon in a late-season match at Palermo, and at age 39, many thought his career had come to a tragic close.

Boy, were they wrong.

Six months after vowing he would return, Zanetti made his long-awaited season debut in front of Inter’s home fans. Coming on in the 82nd minute with Inter leading Livorno 1-0, Zanetti received a standing ovation from the San Siro crowd. It would be “Pupi’s” 604th Serie A appearance (second most all-time behind Paolo Maldini), all for Inter.

And here’s some real fan footage, minus the cheesy background music:

The now 40-year-old Zanetti had the fans back on their feet just minutes later, when he started the move that led to Yuto Nagatomo’s stoppage-time clincher. This time, everyone went nuts:

Image provide by Getty.


Lloris incident proof that BPL needs to rethink protocol on head injuries


Hugo Lloris should never have stayed in the game.

The Tottenham goalkeeper was momentarily knocked out cold after his head violently collided with Romelu Lukaku’s knee, but incredibly returned to see out the match in favor of substitute Brad Friedel.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas defended his decision to keep Lloris on the field to Sky Sports after the match:

The medical department was giving me signs that the player couldn’t carry on, because he couldn’t remember where he was. But he was quite focused and determined to continue, so when you see this kind of assertiveness it means he is able to carry on, and that is why it was my call to delay the substitution… The call always belongs to me. Brad [Friedel] was ready to come in but the person Hugo is, there were enough signs for him to continue.

That is simply the wrong answer. Concussions cannot be taken this lightly.

All efforts by Lloris to stay on the field should have been thwarted by the Spurs’ medical staff, his manager, his teammates, the referee, anyone. The fact he was allowed to play on is not only an indictment on Villas-Boas for failing to protect his player, but also proof that the Premier League needs to rethink its policy on head injuries.

Currently, the BPL’s policy is as follows:

Any Player, whether engaged in a League Match, any other match or in training, who having sustained a head injury leaves the field of play, shall not be allowed to resume playing or training (as the case may be) until he has been examined by a medical practitioner and declared fit to do so.”

Sunday’s incident proves that this policy is utterly worthless. As Villas-Boas said, the medical team did not want Lloris to continue. It was his call.

How can the Premier League allow this to happen? A new policy, and indeed a league-wide education on head injuries and its serious short- and long-term effects, needs to be put in place.

Perhaps they should take a page out of Major League Soccer’s book. Per MLS rules, any player who suffers a head injury such as Lloris’ would immediately be substituted. He would then have to be deemed symptom-free and cleared by a neuropsychologist before resuming any type of activity.

Former MLS star Taylor Twellman, who suffers from post-concussion syndrome, was one of the first to call for change via Twitter:

Twellman is right. Players will always try to play through injuries, whatever the type - it’s how they are wired. In cases of head injuries, it’s the job of the managers and the doctors to prevent them from doing so. And it’s the league’s job to make that a requirement.


Images by Reuters