Outside Edge: Warlord and midfield general
Sunday 20 February 2011
Hard on the heels of the Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, appointing Ruud Gullit as manager of Russian Premier League club Terek Grozny, the troubled region's leader has invited Brazil's 2002 World Cup-winning side to take on a team captained by himself.
According to the republic's sports minister, Khaidar Alkhanov, the presence of the 34-year-old former warlord "will be a powerful stimulus for the players".
Not to be outdone in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the neighbouring and similarly violent republic of Dagestan has lured former Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos to play for Anzhi Makhachkala on a two-and-a-half-year deal reputedly worth £8.4m. The samba boys should take care, not least if anyone asks them to play ping pong.
Zafarzhon Inomov was charged with possession of explosives in the Russian city of Taganrog after he played table tennis with a grenade that he had found in a cemetery. He thought that it was a piece of antique sports equipment... until it blew up.
Hours, minutes and seconds that Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat smooched in Pattaya, Thailand, to set a world record for the longest kiss on Valentine's Day, beating the previous best of 32hr 7min 13sec. Couples could go to the toilet but were supervised to make sure they kept up the snog in the bog.
'Physio' who massaged the truth
Bode Miller and friends may have raised an eyebrow when they saw that a 47-year-old grandfather from Haiti was taking part in the Giant Slalom World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Sadly, Jean-Pierre Roy came last in 99th place in the qualifying event, almost a minute behind the fastest time. But, having grown up in France from the age of two, at least he was a genuine skier.
Tina Roberts of Southampton has been jailed for seven years for fraud after falsely claiming to be the England rugby team's physiotherapist in order to secure £1.25m in loans. The 32-year-old masseuse said she got the job after saving the life of the son of former England coach Sir Clive Woodward by performing a pitchside tracheotomy at a school match. She also claimed to have worked for the British cycling team but she wasn't the wheel deal.
Nicolas Hamilton, the 19-year-old brother of Formula One's Lewis Hamilton who has cerebral palsy, will make his motorsport debut in the Renault Clio Cup after gaining his National B race licence...
Roland Garros in Paris will remain as the venue for the French Open after gaining 70 per cent of the French Tennis Federation's votes ahead of a site near Disneyland...
The cricket bat that Kevin Pietersen put up for auction to raise money for Australian flood relief was sold on eBay for £31,000 after an earlier sale was ruined by a hoax bid.
Jamie Redknapp, former footballer turned Sky Sports pundit, whose latest TV advertisement for a football game on Nintendo Wii Party features him telling his son Charlie to "smash it"...
Robert Fitzgerald was jailed for three months for assaulting Stevenage footballer Scott Laird after an FA Cup third-round tie out of "misplaced loyalty" to his girlfriend, who had previously dated Laird...
Sporteq's new punchbag depicting a silhouette of a "pole dancer image used as the striking target area" has been criticised by charities for encouraging domestic violence.
Countdown to the end of civilisation
So it has finally happened: the terminal has become the Terminator, and machines will soon take over the world.
A computer called Watson beat two humans on the American quiz show Jeopardy! – and not just any humans, they were the show's most successful contestant, Ken Jennings, who had a 74-show winning streak, and Brad Rutter, who has earned the most money on the programme (some £2m).
Meanwhile Countdown on Nintendo Wii revealed what computers really think of us when three-year-old Oliver Smith was trying to make a word out of the letters SHAHSITED and the machine suggested "shitheads". We always knew computers were clever, but surely we are still physically superior to a box full of circuitry? Maybe not for long.
The first-ever marathon for robots, called Robo Mara Full, takes place in Osaka, Japan this week. It will last for four days as they run 422 times around a 100m indoor track – unless they hit the firewall.
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