Twelve months of sporting horror
As 2017 nears the end‚ we take a look at some of the ugly moments that marred sports over the past 12 months.
January 4/5: Spiteful accusations by South African national cricket coach Russell Domingo and Cricket SA chief executive Haroon Lorgat are made against Proteas players Rilee Rossouw. Rossouw and Kyle Abbott accepted Kolpak contracts with Hampshire‚ thereby eliminating themselves from selection for the Proteas.
February 7: A Portuguese football team Canelas branded “thugs” and “butchers” have risen to the top of their amateur league after a string of default wins because opponents are too afraid to play them.
February 11: A day after Springbok great Joost van der Westhuizen’s funeral was held at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria‚ a riot breaks out at the stadium when Orlando Pirates fans storm onto the field during a match against Mamelodi Sundowns. Sundowns were leading 6-0 at the time‚ the second time in the season that Pirates had conceded six goals (after a November 2016 when they lost 6-1 to Supersport United). Some fans pull out the TV cables‚ shutting off the feed to viewers. Some think it’s an SABC trick‚ during the reign of Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ not to show violence.
February 20: Football fans invade pitch at Gander Green Lane after Arsenal beat Sutton United 2-0 in an FA Cup fourth-round match. A bottle is thrown at Arsene Wenger and another aimed at Paul Doswell‚ the United coach. Neither hit their targets. Sutton United’s 46-year-old reserve goalkeeper‚ Wayne Shaw‚ is seen eating a huge meatpie while sitting on the bench. It turns out it was a publicity stunt for a betting company. Before the match‚ Sun Bet tweeted an offer of 8/1 on Shaw eating a pie during the match. Shaw resigned the next day.
April 22: Ilie Nastase‚ the captain of the Romanian women’s tennis team‚ is banned from courtside after a foul-mouth outburst in a match against Britain. Nastase was also accused of making a racist comment about Serena Williams‚ who was pregnant at the time.
May 29: Tiger Woods is arrested for driving under the influence but insists he was heavily affected by prescription medication and police photographs afterwards do not show a pretty face.
July 5: Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev throws coins at the umpire in his second-round Wimbledon match after he’d lost to Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans.
July 29: Two people are killed during a stampede ahead of the off season Carling Black Label match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium leading to a commission of inquiry by the Minister of Sport and Recreation Thulas Nxesi.
August 18: Jockey Davy Russell‚ 38‚ punches a horse on the back of the head before a mares' handicap hurdle at Tramore race track in Ireland and he was given a four day ban.
August 26: Two Villagers rugby players beaten up during a Western Province club match against Violets at Kenwyn and the matter is reported to the police.
September 2: Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini is kicked out the US Open o after making foul-mouthed comments to an umpire in his first round match. The 30-year-old Fognini lashed out at female umpire Louise Engzell with a series of misogynistic insults during his first round loss in singles to fellow Italian Stefano Travaglia.
September 20: Mark Sampson‚ coach of the England women’s football team is sacked‚ following “clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach” while he was at Bristol Academy. September 28: Ben Stokes and Alex Hales are not considered for England’s cricket team tour for the Ashes after they were involved in an incident near a Bristol nightclub. Stokes faces the possibility of being charged with assault‚ a police investigation is not yet complete.
November 1: South Africa's football boss Danny Jordaan‚ 66‚ breaks his silence to deny raping singer and ex-MP Jennifer Ferguson nearly 24 years ago.
November 2: Patrice Evra is sent off after kicking one of his own team's fans in the head before Marseille's Europa League defeat at Vitoria Guimaraes.
December 10: A fracas erupts in the tunnel at Old Trafford after Manchester City’s win over Manchester United.