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.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?