Offside coin sparks debate
A commemorative coin issued for this year’s London Olympics with a diagram explaining soccer’s tricky offside rule has fallen foul of referees who say the explanation is out of date and confusing. The shiny ￡0.50 coin, one of a set of 29 produced for the Games and Paralympics, and each featuring a different sport, shows a player with two passing options in front of the goal, one marked offside and the other not. The offside rule has long been a challenging concept, even to many soccer fans, and the coin immediately became the talking point that the Royal Mint had hoped it would be. “Sadly, it’s totally out of date,” Referees Association member Mal Davies told the Guardian on Friday. The offside law was overhauled in 1995, as a measure to limit stoppages, with the revised version stating that it was “not an offense in itself to be in an offside position.” A player in an offside position is penalized only if deemed to be involved in active play when the ball is played by a teammate. Otherwise, the game can continue uninterrupted.
Naked rampage goes awry
A professional skateboarder has been accused of ripping pictures off the walls at a New York City hotel in a naked rampage. Jereme Rogers was arraigned on Friday on a charge of criminal mischief. Prosecutors say he was found naked in the hallway of his hotel. Broken glass and ripped paintings were strewn around him and he had cuts on his hands. Rogers is accused of causing at least US$2,500 damage at the Affinia Shelburne Hotel. Rogers is 26. He retired from the sport in 2009 to become a rap artist, but announced in a YouTube video a year later that he was making a comeback.
Snow stalls Andes stage
The Dakar Rally had an unscheduled rest day on Friday when organizers were forced to cancel the sixth stage because of summer snow in the Andes. Organizers were left with no choice but to call off the 394km run from Fiambala, Argentina, to Copiapo, Chile, containing 247km of timed special after the frontier was closed. The event was to resume yesterday in Copiapo for the 573km (with 419km of timed special) seventh stage. France’s Stephane Peterhansel currently leads the car category, with Cyril Despres top of the motorcyle standings.
Round-the-world record set
French skipper Loick Peyron set a new around-the-world sailing record in the Jules Verne Trophy, beating the old mark by nearly three days to win the race for the first time. Peyron and his jubilant Banque Populaire V crew arrived late on Friday night in the French seaport of Brest in a time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds. Peyron’s brother, Bruno Peyron, won the Jules Verne three times in his illustrious sailing career. French skipper Franck Cammas set the previous record of 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes, 52 seconds two years ago aboard his multihull vessel Groupama 3. The Jules Verne Trophy is a prize for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew.