Benitez appalled by keeper's conduct at memorial service

The Liverpool career of reserve goalkeeper Charles Itandje is over after TV cameras captured him laughing and fooling around at Wednesday's Hillsborough memorial service.

The 26-year-old Frenchman has been told he is not welcome back at the training ground after hundreds of outraged Liverpool supporters complained about his behaviour on internet message boards. His conduct was utterly at odds with the prevailing mood at the ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans. The keeper appears to be laughing and joking, simulating dance moves and trying to make team-mate and compatriot Damien Plessis laugh during the "Tragedy" song sung at the service. Plessis was clearly embarrassed by his team-mate's conduct, which he ignored.

A senior club figure who has viewed the footage described Itandje's conduct yesterday as "wholly unacceptable." Manager Rafael Benitez, who has seen the images, was also said to be appalled and moved swiftly to act. How Itandje could not have realised the significance of the occasion is unimaginable. Benitez spoke only this week about how touched he had been to have met a survivor of the disaster and other members of Liverpool's playing staff, including youth players, were praised for their dignified response to the day.

The prospect of Itandje continuing his Liverpool career is now inconceivable though Benitez's decision to effectively summarily dismiss him is one he would not have had to take with a heavy heart. The former Lens goalkeeper, who joined on a free transfer before the 2007-08 season, has struggled to make a positive impact and featured in just seven first-team games, with his most recent outing last season's FA Cup defeat to Barnsley. Itandje has retained a squad number but Liverpool have struggled to offload him since bringing in the Brazilian Diego Cavalieri. Moves to several clubs were mooted last summer, including Galatasaray, but the player's personal demands put paid to such a move.

Meanwhile, Andriy Voronin, whom Liverpool offloaded on loan, seems set to return to the Anfield when his deal with Hertha Berlin expires at the end of the season. The Hertha manager, Dieter Hoeness, said his club could not afford the Ukraine striker's transfer fee and salary, and Voronin said yesterday: "It looks like I'll be going back to Liverpool. It's a pity, I am little bit disappointed. But I can also understand the financial problems."

Voronin has scored 11 goals for Hertha this season, becoming known as "King Andriy" in the German tabloids. Only Hertha qualifying for the Champions League would make a permanent deal viable though that is up in the air. "Nobody knows now if we'll get there and I can't buy out my own contract," he said. Voronin's deal with Liverpool runs for another two seasons.

A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home