Maradona courts controversy
Diego Maradona is back in Argentina and, as usual, his return has been surrounded by controversy. The soccer legend arrived late on Tuesday from Dubai with his new girlfriend — Rocio Oliva — on his first visit to see his new son, Diego Fernando, who was born three months ago to his former partner Veronica Ojeda. Several media reports on Wednesday said that Maradona, on the road from Buenos Aires’ international airport, stopped his car in the road and threw stones at photographers who were pursuing him. He is also reported to have kicked at least one photographer. Maradona, 52, was fired as Argentina’s national coach after the 2010 World Cup and, although he remains a national hero, his stature has declined with his name often attached to erratic behavior.
Black Cats put hols on hold
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has told his players to put their holiday plans on hold after Sunday’s final game of the season at Champions League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur. The Italian told reporters he had ordered his squad, who have already secured their Premier League survival, to return to the north-east for a couple of days after the match and only then would he decide whether to release them. “If anybody has booked a holiday for Monday, they are going to lose some money. Why would they book a holiday on Monday? They are not being serious, they have to ask me,” newspapers quoted him as saying yesterday. “I will see what happens on Sunday, then we will come back together, and I will tell them when their holidays start,” he said. “I told them we can win, draw or lose with dignity, respecting the club’s name and the fans who follow them, but if not, I will reduce their holiday.” Di Canio said he wanted to change the mentality of players at the club and had already fined a number of them for failing to sign shirts for charity auctions.
Remy accused of rape
QPR’s France striker Loic Remy has been bailed after he was arrested on suspicion of rape, police said yesterday. Remy was held by Scotland Yard’s sex crime squad along with two other men after a 34-year-old woman alleged three men raped her on May 6 in west London. Although police did not name Remy, it was widely reported in the British media that the 26-year-old was one of the three men that police said they had arrested and QPR said they were aware of the allegations against him. Scotland Yard said yesterday that the three men had been bailed until September.
Martin strikes at Lord’s
New Zealand’s Bruce Martin took one wicket and came close to another as England reached 56-1 at lunch on the first day of the first Test at Lord’s yesterday. Left-armer Martin, the only specialist spinner in the side after New Zealand left out Doug Bracewell from what would otherwise have been an all-seam attack, struck with his seventh ball to remove Nick Compton for 16. He should have had another when Jonathan Trott, then on 0, miscued a drive only for Martin to drop the caught and bowled chance as he went to his right. England captain Alastair Cook, who won the toss, was 30 not out and Trott, who got off the mark to the 18th ball he faced with a boundary off Martin, 4 not out at lunch.