Confusion over stabbing

Ghana international John Painstil has denied he stabbed his wife in the eye after being arrested on Friday for the alleged incident.

The Hapoel Tel Aviv defender was suspected of stabbing his wife Richlove at their home in Accra, and subsequently arrested, with police and medical reports confirming an assault.

However, the defender’s spokesperson, Ebenezer Aidoo, has denied the the incident involved a stabbing, and claimed the couple were now living ‘peacefully’ again.

“John in his right frame of senses and cannot take a knife and stab (his) wife,” Aidoo told Joy FM.

Ghana FA spokesperson Ibrahim Sani Daara, meanwhile, also denied the police report, stating: “We want to state for the record that there was no stabbing.

“I want to tell the press not to get ahead of time in reporting this matter. We (GFA) are disappointed in some members of the media for their reportage without confirming an aspect of the report claiming there was stabbing in the incident.

“Yes, there was a domestic affair and domestic incident, but there was no stabbing. Richlove is fine, John is fine, they have reconciled. So, as and when we have any further information, we (GFA) will inform you the media.”

Crime pays

Several months ago we reported the story of Maxim Molokoedov, a Russian man serving three years in a Chilean prison for drug trafficking, being granted permission to play for Chilean second-division club Santiago Morning during the final year of his jail term.

Twenty-five-year-old Molokoedov was released on Friday, but is being allowed to remain in the country to play professional football.

During a ceremony at the National Stadium, Justice Minister Juan Ignacio Pina said that an order to expel Molokoedov from Chile has been revoked.

”Maxim has been able to prove that reintegration and rehabilitation are possible,” Pina said.

Molokoedov was arrested during a stop at the airport of the Chilean capital of Santiago in 2010, carrying about 6 kilograms of cocaine that he planned to smuggle to Europe inside children’s books.

Molokoedov says he is now only thankful to those who are giving him a second shot at life through soccer.

”I’m very happy and I want to thank all the people who helped me push forward and have the chance to triumph in Chile,” Molokoedov said during his last training session under custody.

His talents were first noticed by fellow inmates during kickabout games in the prison yard. Prisoners began offering him deodorant and soap in exchange for him demonstrating his football skills.

During his last day in jail, he said farewell to other inmates and the warden, who began letting him leave the prison grounds to play football as long he was accompanied by a guard.

Word about ”El Ruso” reached Franklin Lobos, a former professional player who volunteers at prisons and who vouched for the Russian.

”We’re giving out a very clear message in this country,” Lobos said during the ceremony. ”Second shots really do exist.”

Pop Idol

Former England captain David Beckham sprinkled a little of his legendary stardust on French football on Sunday night when he made his long-awaited league debut for Paris St Germain.

It was only a brief cameo appearance during the 2-0 home victory over Marseille, but Beckham’s arrival on the pitch overshadowed pretty much everything else that happened on the night.

The crowd greeted the former England international’s appearance warmly and were rewarded with Beckham’s being involved in the second PSG goal. His involvement mattered little, although it helps to maintain the illusion that this was a deal struck not solely for commercial reasons, but for sounds football ones too.

The warmth of the greeting emanating from the stands was mirrored on the field of play, where one or two of Beckham’s new team-mates seemed genuinely thrilled – and not a little overawed – by the prospect of sharing the pitch with him.

France midfielder Blaise Matuidi was thrilled to play alongside Beckham, one of his childhood heroes.

“It’s true happiness. When I was a kid, I was one of his fans,” the 25-year-old said. Which will certainly make Beckham feel each of his 37 years.

Meanwhile, midfielder Marco Verratti has claimed he hopes to steal the secrets to David Beckham’s longevity. Regular injections of Botox, I would have thought.

“During the weeks and months to come, I want to steal his secrets and learn more about him,” the Italy youngster was quoted as saying by le10sport.com.

Teammate Lucas Moura was also quick to praise the former England captain, describing him as a “master” of his profession.

“Beckham is a master, a star. It is a pleasure to play with him,” he said. “All the young players on the team will learn a lot from his qualities.”

Indeed, when it comes to dealing with the media, to promoting one’s image and to mastering the art of making a little go a long, long way, few can match Beckham.

Inter racial abuse

Mario Balotelli was subjected to racial taunts by fans of his former club Sunday, as Inter supporters waved inflated bananas and whistled at the Milan striker.

He was facing Inter for the first time since transferring from Manchester City to Milan last month.

The normally combustible Balotelli retained his composure, at one point during the second half, holding a finger to his mouth to signal for quiet.

”Balotelli did very well not to react to the provocations, I’m just sorry he wasn’t able to score,” Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. ”He had a great first half. Let’s not forget that he’s 22 years old and he was playing against his former squad. It’s to be expected that he felt pressure for this match.”

Balotelli played for Inter from 2006-10, helping the club to three titles in his final season with the team. What short memories these people have. Although, judging by their behaviour in the San Siro on Sunday, that is the least of their worries.

In demand

Michael Laudrup’s success at Swansea this season has not gone unnoticed in Spain, where he has been voted by Real Madrid fans as the coach they would like to replace Jose Mourinho, should the Portuguese leave the club at the end of the season.

Swansea’s 5-0 win over Bradford City in Sunday’s Capital One Cup final at Wembley, consolidated a wonderful first season in English football for the Dane and ensured his name would figure prominently when the Real Madrid position becomes vacant.

Laudrup, who enjoyed great success as a player with both Madrid and their arch-rivals Barcelona, was named by 73% of fans polled by AS, ahead of Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti and Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez.

But, the Dane, who guided the Welsh club to their first major trophy in the Capital One Cup, says he has no intention of leaving the club before his contract expires in 2014.

“To be in front of two huge names like Rafa Benitez and Carlo Ancelotti – both have won league titles in Italy and Spain and the Champions League – I’m very grateful,” Laudrup told Sky Sports News.

“I have been part of this football club [Real Madrid] since the beginning of the 1980s. I know it’s like that, I know that probably have a lot of questions about this from now until the end of the season.

“But I can’t really say anything more. There will always be rumours – at this time it’s positive rumours about one club or another. I can only sustain what I said before: my intention is to stay here. One more year [on my] contract, and that’s it.”

No ‘I’ in team

Laudrup took responsibility for the embarrassing bust-up between Nathan Dyer and his team-mate Jonathan de Guzman that took the sheen off Swansea’s Wembley triumph.

Dyer scored the first and third of Swansea’s rout over their League Two opponents, but he was desperate to complete a hat-trick when they were awarded a penalty kick during the second half with the Premier League side 3-0 up.

Dyer and De Guzman were involved in a heated exchange over who was to take the spot-kick.

Laudrup accepted blame for the row saying he should have made clear who was the designated spot taker before the Wembley showdown.

Laudrup said: “That’s the first penalty we have had this season. I forgot to designate someone. I’m sorry, my mistake.”

Dyer said: “I had two goals and it’s not every day you get the chance for a hat-trick at Wembley so I wanted the third but I didn’t get the chance and that was that.”

Goal of the day

A cross from the right is converted on the volley by Granada’s Odion Jude Ighalo in their 2-1 defeat to Celta Vigo.

Quote of the day

“I prefer to stay with the lessons we have received in the past from Barcelona. Lessons in sportsmanship, how to be in football. Not talking about the referees, not surrounding them, trying to get opponents booked. And, of course, giving lessons on how to play football, they do that very well. They would be well advised if they humbly followed that line.”

Jose Mourinho mocking Barcelona? Must be clasico time again.

Technological breakthrough

A third goal-line technology system has been approved and granted a licence, making it eligible to be considered for use at the 2014 World Cup, FIFA has confirmed.

The German-manufactured Cairos system uses magnetic fields set up around the goals to determine whether or not the ball has crossed the line.

A fourth system, also developed in Germany, is also under consideration.

The systems previously approved are Hawk-Eye, which is used in tennis and cricket and is based on optical recognition with cameras, and GoalRef, which also uses a magnetic field with a special ball.

FIFA approved the use of goal-line technology last year and confirmed last week that the technology would be used in Brazil at the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup after a successful trial.

European football’s governing body UEFA, led by football’s very own King Canute, Michel Platini, has yet to adopt goal-line technology, preferring to employ an extra linesman behind each goal.

Finally…

A 17-year-old Corinthians fan has confessed that he fired the flare that killed a 14-year-old Bolivian boy in a Copa Libertadores match last week.

The teenager, whose name has not been published, made the confession to a Brazilian television channel late on Sunday. He was expected to turn himself in to local police later today.

His confession comes as 12 Corinthians fans remain in custody in Bolivia after being arrested following last Wednesday’s match.

The teenager claimed he was not aiming the device at the Bolivian fans on purpose when it allegedly went off accidentally, hitting Kevin Beltran Espada on his right eye and killing him.

As a minor, the Brazilian teen cannot be extradited to Bolivia to face charges for the crime. He may face community service in Brazil.

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