Outside Edge (22/11/09)

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The Independent Online

In a week dominated by football and guilt, 'Edge' holds its hand up and apologises for too much football. But spare a thought for the poor players. As England forward Darius Vassell is turfed out of his hotel in Ankara, Turkey because his club Anakaragucu couldn't foot his bill, Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins has been taken to the High Court for not paying a "management company", NVA. They say he hired them because he kept going overdrawn – even though he earned £75,000 a week at Newcastle. They claim he would withdraw £40,000 from his bank at the weekends, then took out a further £25,000 on Monday. Lucky for him that he spent an hour and a half playing football on Saturdays.


Letters of rejection received by Andy Ballantyne for his applications to manage football clubs, a record certified by the Guinness Book of Records. Three clubs didn't reply, including Newcastle. Are they still considering his offer?

Wind-up of the week

A whiff of injustice on the football fields of Portsmouth, where Levi Foster was booked for breaking wind in the face of the referee while his studs were being checked before kick-off in the match between GOP and Apsley House. The official, Bunny Reid, wanted to give him a red card, before a heated debate saw the punishment reduced to yellow. He never looked back, and was named Man of the Match as GOP won 5-0. It was reminiscent of an incident last April in Manchester, when a Chorlton Villa player was booked for "ungentlemanly conduct" after farting as an International Manchester opponent was taking a penalty. He missed, but was told to take it again. He sniffed his chance, and scored.

Good week for

Michelle Wie, 20-year-old US golfer, won first LPGA tour title in Guadalajara, Mexico... Shakib Al Hasan, first Bangladeshi cricketer to sign for an English county, Worcestershire... and Washington Redskins, saw US Supreme Court throw out an appeal by six Native Americans that the NFL club's name was racist because they took too long to challenge trademarks.

Bad week for

Rashid Ramzi, Olympic 1500 metres champion was stripped of gold medal after failing a drugs test... Ronnie Noervig, must pay 900,000 kroner (£108,000) in damages after attacking referee Herbert Fandel during Denmark's abandoned Euro 2008 qualifier with Sweden... and Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver fined $20,000 for taking a dollar bill on to the pitch and pretending to bribe officials as they reviewed a catch against Baltimore.

Boxing match of the week

Even before the so-called "diplomatic rows" over Henry's Hand, there had been an exchange between the French Consulate and Ireland's Department of Diplomatic Affairs over a VIP box for French president Nicolas Sarkozy at the first World Cup play-off match in Dublin. The Irish thought they meant a box for the vertically challenged premier to stand on so he could see properly. If you like tall tales, go to irishsoccerinsider.wordpress.com. Serbian president Boris Tadic is due in court with his sports minister and FA boss for drinking at a game, which is illegal. He says he was only toasting World Cup qualification after beating Romania – and didn't actually drink anything. Now that's criminal.