10
Apr

Crawley Town defender in hot water after slapping fan

The Number 1 rule professional athletes must follow is about as simple as it gets, yet we see it broken way too many times:

Don’t. Hit. The fans.

Alas, the latest incident of an athlete getting into it with a fan comes courtesy of Crawley Town defender Paul Connolly. During a League One (Third Division) match at Brentford, the visitors looked to quickly re-start play with a throw-in when a home supporter chucked the ball rather forcefully at Connolly. The defender immediately lost his cool, visibly reaching into the stands to give him a slap in the face.

Though the referee took no action against Connolly at the time, we would be surprised if he doesn’t get a call from the Football Association. For his part, the culprit took to Twitter afterwards and tried to brush the whole thing off as much ado about nothing:

Yeah, not so sure the FA will look at it that way.

3
Apr

Game in Italy to be replayed after wrong twin is sent off

imageDon’t worry, Andre. You’re not alone (Image: Reuters)

Just a few weeks ago, veteran Premier League referee Andre Marriner caught flack for sending off the wrong Arsenal player against Chelsea, hilariously mistaking Kieran Gibbs for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Alas, it seems Marriner has started a terrible trend, because over in Italy, a referee in an amateur league game made a similar error, albeit slightly more excusable.

In a ninth division match against GS Alviano, SSD Castello’s Michele Rossi saw a red card for a foul actually committed by his twin brother, Matteo.

From The Guardian:

"The referee, purely due to error, in the 27th minute of the second half sent off SSD Castello’s No. 7, Michele Rossi, instead of their No. 9, Matteo Rossi," wrote Marco Brusco, the sporting judge of the Umbria regional league organization.

The striker Matteo, who had put Castello 2-1 up, committed a foul that led to a row erupting between the two sides.

Amid the chaos the referee, a Mr. Cirillo from Terni, mistakenly sent off Michele instead of Matteo.

"It was an error that had an undoubted impact on the game and as such the match should be replayed," added Brusco.

How silly is it that. When such a mistake happens in the Italian ninth-division, the match gets replayed, but not in the Premier League?

Go figure.

21
Feb

Monaco defender gets ultimate revenge

image

When Layvin Kurzawa took a thunderous cleat to the chest in the 83rd minute of Monaco’s Ligue 1 match against Reims, it looked like he might not be able to continue.

But after a minute of agony — and watching offending Reims player Aissa Mandi being sent off — Kurzawa soldiered on, and boy, did it pay off.

On what would be the final kick of the match, the 21-year-old scored the game-winner, securing a crucial three points in the race for the Ligue 1 title.

The lesson here: Don’t mess with Layvin Kurzawa.

Image courtesy of Getty

2
Dec

Standard Liege player sent off for donkey kick to the face

During Standard Liege’s 5-0 win over Lierse in the Belgian Pro League, French midfielder William Vainqueur was shown a late red card for accidentally donkey-kicking an opponent in the face.

After making an incredible mess of trapping the ball (first kicking it back into his own face), Vainqueur swung around one of his legs desperately looking to get a touch. Instead, he found his defender’s jaw.

Maybe Vainquer has been watching too many Zlatan highlights, or maybe he just got a really, really bad Charley horse at that very moment. Either way, maybe karate is more his thing.

26
Oct

Burnley mascot gets sent off for trolling referee’s assistant

Championship side Burnley FC made headlines on Saturday by claiming the league lead with a 2-0 win against Queens Park Rangers, but perhaps the bigger story from that match was a bizarre red card shown to Burnley’s mascot.

That’s right, “Bertie the Bee” was thrown from the game in the first half after handing a linesman a pair of over-sized glasses after a dodge decision. Sadly, referee Simon Hooper didn’t find the humor in it.

Police actually escorted Bertie Bee off the field and later, a picture emerged of the criminal locked up in a cell. This might be the greatest picture ever taken:

image

Mind you, this is the same mascot who once bravely tackled a streaker during a match against Preston years ago:

25
Oct

Kuwaiti soccer ref throws punch, kick then sends off bevy of players

The Kuwaiti Premier League is no place for bullies.

The violent scene from Al-Arabi against Al Nasar, where a group of enraged Al Nasar players took special exception to a penalty being called, can attest to that.

In an effort to presumably change the referee’s mind, Al Nasar players crowd around the official in a furor. It should be noted that we have no recollection of this type of persuasion ever being effective, but let’s continue.

To his credit, the ref does what he can to pacify the situation before finally snapping. He reels off what appears to be a left-handed jab that grazes No. 11 of Al Nasar. The player, probably acting on soccer instinct, falls to the ground like Mike Tyson just stuck him with a haymaker.

As tensions continue to escalate, No. 11 makes a miraculous recovery and resumes confronting the ref, who throws a kick quick at the player before remembering he literally holds a trump card for this situation.

The referee begins doling out red cards like he’s playing blackjack, managing to even send a Sheikh to the stands before it’s all said and done.

Finally, in the ultimate display of sportsmanship, Al Nasar’s No. 9 drills the ball at the referee following Al-Arabi’s successful penalty attempt.

No. 9 was shown red, but escaped any physical punishment.

(h/t WhoAteAllThePies)

13
Oct

Edgar Davids elbows opponent in the face, victim left needing skin graft

Image courtesy of Reuters

He’s always been a little temperamental, but Edgar Davids has taken it another step this weekend.

Not one to hide from the limelight, Dutch maestro Davids joined struggling side Barnet, who languish in the lower echelons of English league football. He couldn’t save them from relegation that season but, to much surprise, remained with the club in his player-manager capacity.

In one of his not-so-finest moments however, Davids lost his cool during a 20-man brawl against Wrexham on Sunday.

Image courtesy of Reuters

Deputizing at centerback, Davids — who insists his Barnet players call him “Mister”, and has ensured that he wears the no.1 shirt at the club — swung a wild elbow at former Liverpool defender Stephen Wright, leaving the victim needing a skin graft.

Despite a career littered with red cards, tough tackles and combative play, perhaps ‘Pitbull’ has gone a little too far this time.

8
Sep

Josip Simunic sets Croatia-Serbia relations back 20 years with brutal foul

There are few football rivalries — if any — that are as deep-rooted and ferocious as that between Croatia and Serbia. The feud on the pitch obviously pales in comparison to the bitter wars in the Balkans, yet fighting between soccer hooligans from both countries drew world attention in the early 1990s and became part of the bigger picture.

This past March, Serbia played its first competitive game against Croatia as an independent nation, the first of its two World Cup qualifying duels.  In that match, Serbian fans were banned from traveling to Zagreb as a safety measure, (as were Croatian fans on Friday), reporters at the game overheard a distinct “Let’s kill the Serbs” chant, and Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic was accused of nationalist gestures during a goal celebration.

Needless to say, tempers were frayed on Friday to begin with. But then Croatia’s Josip Simunic, with the score tied 1-1 late in the match, unleashed a horrendous challenge on Serbia’s Miralem Sulejmani. Simunic deliberately took out the Benfica forward in a full speed collision, trying to prevent a clear breakaway and sending Sulejmani a good 4-5 yards in the air.


Simunic was appropriately sent off, and showered with boos and several missiles by the home crowd. The match ended in a draw, knocking Serbia out from the World Cup qualification process.

26
Aug

Kung-fu kick halts match in Paraguay

A player in Paraguay responded to a series of red cards for his teammates by kung-fu kicking the referee straight in the face!

In a regional league match against Coronel Romero, Porvenir player Aldo Olmedo was rightly sent off for an atrocious tackle in the 71st minute. The referee was then angrily approached by two Porvenir players who somehow thought Olmedo’s tackle was defensible. Bumping into the ref  earned both players straight red cards as well (again, pretty straightforward).

Suddenly down to eight men, the rest of the team promptly converged on the official, with one (No. 11 shirt) going so far as to unleashing a textbook kung-fu side kick right into the referee’s grill. At this point, the police quickly entered the fray to prevent any further fighting, and the match was halted with Coronel Romero up 2-0 (though Porvenir probably didn’t have enough players left to continue anyway).