Took my youngest daughter Kate to play football for her new team on Sunday. Great to get back into the swing of it. A new season, a new team-mates, new coaches and new competitive dads to stand next to on the touchline. Her, sorry our, team won 3-0, with Bealing junior putting in a solid performance at centre-back. Several hefty clearances with the boot, powerful headers into touch were accompanied by two crunching (but completely fair in my eyes) tackles, which led to two free-kicks being awarded against her.
Afterwards the coach congratulated her for her overall game, and said that although her didn’t mind the odd free-kick, warned her “not to get a reputation”. That’s my girl. In the car later I told her that a reputation was exactly what she should strive for, especially one of a tough, uncompromising defender.
Returning home in the guise of contented dad, I let myself dream of my daughter eventually becoming the next Norman Hunter, Roy Keane or Graeme Souness, albeit of the womens’ game. One girl in the U18s had already secured 3 England caps, so Kate had just 3 years to perfect her tackling and heading, perhaps turning herself into a Lampard-esque attacking midfielder (just hopefully with fewer hair products). Oh football isn’t such a bad game after all.
Then I started browsing the sports pages…
An assistant coach of Togo’s national football team has been suspended for three years after he took a group of imposters masquerading as the national side to play a match in Bahrain. Last week, Togo’s sports federation said it had no knowledge of a friendly that took place between a team representing itself as Togo’s national side and Bahrain on September 7.
Bahrain had been surprised by the ease of their 3-0 victory in Riffa on September 7, coach Josef Hickersberger describing it as “boring” and their opponents as unfit. “They were not fit enough to play 90 minutes; the match was very boring. “Basically it was not good for us because we wanted to get information about the strength of our team, especially playing with many of our professionals.” (Yahoo News)
Seems that they’re not the only ones pretending to be someone they’re not…
Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Apoula Edel has been interviewed by police over claims he lied about his age and identity.
Edel’s former coach and agent Nicolas Philibert, who claims that he is owed 30,000 euros by the player, is reported to have accused the 24-year-old of actually being a 29-year-old named Ambroise Beyamena. French magazine Le 10 Sport had published documents accusing the Cameroon-born Armenia international of lying about his age and identity, documents handed to the authorities by Philibert.
Philibert claims he coached Edel in Cameroon, lending him money and helping him move to Armenia, and that he is actually Benyamena. (Eurosport)
From imposters to would-be assassins…
A Turkish professional football match was suspended after the manager of one of the teams was stabbed on the touchline by his own brother. Mersin Idmanyurdu boss Yuksel Yesilova was watching his side play at Samsunspor in a first division (second tier) match on Monday when the incident happened.
Forty minutes into the match Yesilova’s older brother, Murat, jumped out of the crowd and attacked his brother, stabbing him six times in the stomach and hip. The match was immediately suspended and Yesilova was rushed to hospital. His injuries were ruled not to be life-threatening, and he was released from hospital on Tuesday. (Eurosport)
Meanwhile over in Honduras….
An angry Honduran goalkeeper shot at a journalist with an air gun at the weekend over criticism in the sports daily Diez.
In an act reminiscent of an incident involving Diego Maradona in 1994, Motagua goalkeeper Donaldo Morales shot at reporter Saul Carranza with an air gun over criticism of his performances in the sports daily Diez.
Carranza was interviewing midfielder Jorge Claros after a practice at the Estadio Nacional in Tegucigalpa when Morales appeared with a gun and shot at them, hitting the reporter twice and the player once, according to a weekend report in Diez. The paper said that Morales later asked Carranza to forgive him but the reporter refused. (Reuters)
Yes, it’s a lovely game, yer soccer. As happy as I am with the crowd chanting “Kate Bealing bites yer legs”, I’d rather she didn’t have to learn the art of manangercide. I wonder if I can persuade her to take up rugby instead ? I could go down the joke-shop for some blood-capsules. Or I could get her a fake Pakistani passport so she could ply her trade as a seam-bowler (there are likely to be one or two vacancies coming up). Or snooker ? Horse racing ? Boxing seems to be a straight-up sport. Motor-racing anyone ?