Friday, November 18, 2016

Some of the Most Bizarre Red Cards in Football

After Edin Dzeko received one of the most bizarre red cards in the history of football last Sunday night, during Bosnia Herzegovina's World Cup qualifier against Greece, I decided to take a look back in time at some other 'unusual' dismissals over the years!

Edin Dzeko - Bosnia Herzegovina v. Greece (November 2016)

Firstly to last Sunday!
Edin Dzeko, formerly of Manchester City and now at Roma, was unhappy after an innocuous challenge in the corner.

Bosnia were leading 1-0 at the time, but Dzeko took exception to Kyriakos Papadopoulos stepping over him as he fell to the ground. The defender tried to grab the ball and Dzeko reacted by grabbing his legs, then pulling his shorts down. As Dzeko stood up, he tripped the Greek over, sparking a melee between both sets of players.

Referee Jonas Eriksson decided to send off both players. The incident was a key turning point as it sparked Greece into life, and Bosnia conceded in the dying seconds to draw 1-1.

Adam Lindin Ljungkvist - Järna SK v. Pershagen SK (June 2016)

Swedish footballer Adam Lindin Ljungkvist, 25 was sent off for breaking wind during a match – with the referee Dany Kako, accusing him of 'deliberate provocation' and 'unsportsmanlike behaviour.'

The player told a Swedish newspaper: "I had a bad stomach, so I simply let go! Then I received two yellow cards and then red. Yes, I was shocked, it’s the strangest thing I have ever experienced in football.

I asked the referee: "What, am I not allowed to break wind a little?" "No" he replied - "I don’t get it, but maybe he thought I farted in my hand and threw the fart at him. But I did not.”

Opposition striker Kristoffer Linde told the paper: “I was standing a good distance away but I heard the fart loud and clear. It’s the strangest thing I’ve seen on a pitch, and I’ve been playing football since I was eight years old.”

Hakan Unsal - Turkey v. Brazil (June 2002)

One of the most skillful and creative players of his generation, Rivaldo was once World Player of the Year, an icon for the Brazilian national team and a deadly forward for the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan and Olympiakos. But, there is one thing he will always be remembered for.

During the World Cup group phase match with Turkey at the 2002 World Cup, Rivaldo went over to take a corner kick – right under the linesman’s nose.
Turkey’s Hakan Unsal kicked the ball at the Brazilian’s legs, but bizarrely, Unsal, who had already been booked, was sent off for kicking the ball at Rivaldo, who was down on the ground clutching his face.

Rivaldo was actually fined by FIFA afterwards for his play-acting, becoming the first player to be punished under the crackdown on players pretending to have been fouled in order to get an opponent into trouble. Rivaldo, ahead of his time.

Ashley Vickers - Dorchester Town v. Havant and Waterlooville (March 2011)

Dorchester Town striker and player-boss Ashley Vickers was sent off in 2011 for rugby-tackling a streaker on the pitch.

The turf intruder - wearing nothing but a Borat mankini and curly wig picked his moment during a Blue Square Bet South clash at Havant and Waterlooville, but Vickers took mattered into own hands, grabbing him by the shoulders and wrestling him to the floor.

The stewards intervened - to the delight of a crowd of just 458 - but cheers turned to boos as Vickers was dismissed just moments afterwards, 'violent disorder' the verdict.

Havant and Waterlooville went on to win the match 3-1.

Pepe - Real Madrid v. Getafe (April 2009)

Real Madrid centre-back Pepe is renowned for his fiery temper, but he has done well in recent seasons to slightly curb that ill-side to him.

However, back in 2009 the Portuguese defender displayed one of the most erratic and ridiculous pieces of defending ever during a game against Getafe.

Running through on goal to deny Francisco Casquero a shot on goal, not only did he concede a penalty, but he actually started to kick at Casquero, twice, as he lay on the ground. It didn’t actually end there and after grabbing the opponent’s head, he then stamped on him, twice, as Getafe players did their best to pull him away.

After a couple of punches thrown at Getafe players, Pepe eventually walked off and was given a hefty 10-match ban.

Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer - Newcastle United v. Aston Villa (April 2005)

You don't expect to see a fight break out between two ‘team-mates’ on the pitch.

But that's exactly what happened on 2 April, 2005 as Newcastle midfield duo Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer got involved in a bust-up on the pitch.

Newcastle were 3-0 down at home to Aston Villa and already down to 10 men with just eight minutes of the game remaining, when Villa player Gareth Barry had to pull Bowyer away from the scrap before the pair were both sent off.

Dyer and Bowyer were forced to shake hands and publicly apologise after the incident under the instructions of Graeme Souness, Newcastle manager at the time.

Bowyer insisted the incident was a "moment of madness" sparked by a shared desire to win.

Eden Hazard - Swansea v. Chelsea (January 2013)

The Chelsea forward he made a fool of himself in South Wales as the Blues took on Swansea at the Liberty Stadium in the Capital One Cup semi-final. Hazard took exception to the actions of local ballboy Charlie Morgan, 17, who put his whole body on the ball when Hazard tried to retrieve it, earning a kick in the ribs from the player, with Morgan still rolling around in apparent pain.

Referee Chris Foy sent off the Belgian star.

The ball boy, who was uninjured, was interviewed by officers in the presence of his father and made no complaint about what happened.
Hazard later apologised for his behaviour saying: "The boy put his whole body on to the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball. I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologise."

But Morgan, it later emerged, had tweeted before the game boasting about his timewasting skills.
One pre-match tweet on his account reads: "The king of all ball boys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting."

Matt McClure - Tranmere v. Wycombe (March 2015)

Make an impact! That's what substitutes are told in those precious seconds before they enter the field of play. Wycombe's Matt McClure certainly took that to heart at Tranmere on 4 March 2015, when he was sent off just 3.7 seconds after coming on.

Following an aerial challenge with Tranmere’s Adam Dugdale he was shown an instant red for throwing an elbow into Dugdale's face.

Keith Gillespie - Reading v. Sheffield United (January 2007)

Within 10 seconds of coming on as substitute Sheffield United's Keith Gillespie was heading back down the tunnel after being shown a red card by referee Mark Halsey, for throwing an elbow in the direction of Stephen Hunt.

As Gillespie headed down the tunnel he threw another punch at Hunt, and as tempers rose, backroom staff from both sides became involved.

Reading coach Wally Downes was sent from the touchline for shoving Blades' boss Neil Warnock, who followed him to the stands.

Walter Boyd - Swansea v Darlington (August 2000)

The Jamaican star was red-carded by referee Clive Wilkes for elbowing Darlington's Martin Gray. Boyd came on as a substitute seven minutes from time after Swansea were awarded a free-kick, but referee Wilkes dismissed him for his attack on Gray before it was taken.

Wilkes had stopped the game to send off Darlington's Steve Tutill for a foul on Steve Watkin.
By the time the official turned around, Gray was lying face down on the ground clutching his head.

Wilkes, who was alerted to what happened by the assistant referee, confirmed he had not restarted his watch before sending off Boyd. FA statistician Ray Spiller confirmed: "This will go in the record books as nought seconds as the match had not been restarted."

Neymar - Santos v. Colo Colo (March 2011)

Before Neymar’s fame, glory and goals at Barcelona, he was a young teenager at Brazilian side Santos attracting plenty of attention for his fantastic ability.
However, an incident back in 2011 failed to get many people smiling and instead raising eyebrows, after he was sent off after scoring a brilliant solo effort for Santos in a Copa Libertadores match.

Celebrating his fine strike, Neymar ran over to the touchline and put a mask on his face, albeit upside down, but the referee was not impressed and gave the young starlet his second yellow. If it was any consolation to Neymar, his red card sparked fury and eventually the game ended with four more sending offs.

Kieran Gibbs - Arsenal v Chelsea (March 2014)

When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stuck out a hand to help Eden Hazard's apparent goal-bound shot miss the mark he could have fully expected to see a flash of red from referee Andre Marriner.

The card was produced, but was shown instead to his bemused team-mate Gibbs, who protested his innocence to the referee before accepting his fate and trudging off the pitch.

Arsenal went on to lose the match 6-0 but avoided a further setback as both Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain were cleared of wrongdoing, while Marriner issued a sincere apology to Kieran Gibbs.

Joey Barton - Manchester City v. Queens Park Rangers (May 2012)

Barton has never been one to shy away from trouble and like Pepe’s one, he really should have stopped when he had the chance.

With Queens Park Rangers looking to stay up on the final day of the 2011/12 season, the QPR man clashed with Carlos Tevez off the ball. Referee Mike Dean spotted it and sent him off, but the damage was not finished.
Barton then walked over to Sergio Aguero following the red card and kneed him in the leg, before attempting to headbutt captain Vincent Kompany.

Eventually after trudging off and leaving his side with a big task, he was given a 12-game ban which went stayed with him as he joined Marseille on loan,

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Babe of the Month - Football Freestyler Indi Cowie

Indi Armstrong Cowie was born on 24th September 1994 in Boca Raton, Florida, United States to Scottish parents, and is a global superstar in the world of freestyle football, and is famous around the globe for her amazing videos and incredible talent.

As well as being an official Nike Athlete and a USWNT ambassador, Indi is also a social media phenomenon, with a current reach of 3,000,000 followers across her platforms.

In 2012 footballer Lionel Messi selected indi as the EA Games "Street v Street" world freestyle champion, and she has appeared on Ellen DeGeneres, ESPN, Good Morning America, The Today Show and was featured in the New York Times "Talented Youth of America" edition.

Cowie’s impressive resumé has also seen her travel across the world, performing at high-profile sporting and corporate events for clients such as Microsoft, SAS and Lenovo.

Indi's talents have also given her the opportunity to meet and connect with the biggest names in sport, performing a half-time show in front of 76,000 Manchester United and Chelsea fans at Old Trafford and staring in a Sony PlayStation commercial made for the UEFA Champions League which was played in 58 countries worldwide. Indi got to see it on the jumbotron in at the 2010 Champions League Final in Madrid. It was never aired in the USA.

She also took part Mia Hamm’s Celebrity Soccer Challenge with former Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant and former FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich and current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Oh, and she has skills on the pitch as well, playing for Celtic Ladies and the U17 Scottish women's national team during 2010/11, and for the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2012.

However in Spring 2013 Indi tore her anterior cruciate ligament during an exhibition match and her chance to play football professionally was delt a huge blow.
As she was getting back from her knee injury, she made the decision to continue with freestyle and go pro with that, although she also works as an assistant football coach for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

From the age of 12 Indi's biggest goal was to become a Nike Athlete. After eight years of hard work and dedication her dream came true!

She was inspired to take up freestyle football after observing a demonstration by John Farnworth. Cowie practices her skills up to three hours per day.

In 2015 Indi travelled to Brazil where she competed in The Red Bull Street Style Championships, to China to compete in a national TV Game Show and to Canada for The Women's World Cup.

In 2015, Cowie became the first woman to do a octuple revolution - eight full circles around the soccer ball with the foot while it is still in the air.

You can follow Indi on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and on her YouTube channel