Why Did Algerian Player Attack a Female Reporter?

A nasty spat between an Algerian soccer player and an Algerian reporter took place Wednesday after the U.S. eliminated Algeria from the World Cup with a 1-0 victory.

Rafik Saifi Strikes Female Reporter

After playing in what may be his last international match with Algeria, 35-year-old striker Rafik Saifislapped the face of journalist Asma Halimi.

Halimi then returned the favor by reflexively slapping Saifi right back, cutting his lip with her fingernail. Saifi then stormed out of the media area after throwing a water bottle against the wall.

The international media has since done little to dig into why Saifi attacked Halimi in such an aggressive, seemingly bizarre manner.

The BBC reports:

The journalist, who works for Algerian newspaper Competition, said she had a disagreement with Saifi a year ago.

“I will make [a] complaint with Fifa and the police,” she added.

The BBC World Service’s Richard Connelly witnessed the incident in the mixed zone - an area where journalists and players congregate - after the match.

“Saifi took exception to an interview that she translated and published in her newspaper,” explained Connelly.

“There was a similar incident between the two last year.

Halimi says that Saifi threatened that she will come to harm in Algeria.

Dozens of similar reports of the incident have been filed, but none have spelled out what specifically motivated Saifi to attack Hamili.

Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports reports:

“I said nothing to him and he reached over and hit me,” Halimi said to Yahoo! Sports. “So I hit him back. I said nothing to him first.”

It is understood that Saifi and Halimi had previously had a difference of opinion over an article she wrote for her newspaper.

Reporter Halimi (apparently) hasn’t exactly been forthcoming in detailing what that “difference of opinion” was, but after investigating the matter today, I’ve dug up why Saifi was so upset. Read more…

Ohio St. Students: Vuvuzelas For Penn St. Game

The biggest home game for Ohio State this season may end up being when Penn State visits Ohio Stadium on November 13. So perhaps that is motivating a new Facebook group of nearly 2,000 Ohio State students called, “Vuvuzela Day for Penn State.

Vuvuzelas at Ohio Stadium

Ohio State student Dustin Stinson started the group and provided this inspirational message for Buckeyes fans:

Everyone bring a vuvuzela for the Penn State game and let’s bring some noise! We’re trying to get as many students as possible to bring them.

INVITE AS MANY PEOPLE FROM OHIO STATE TO JOIN AS YOU CAN!

Let’s do this.

As much as I poked around the Facebook group, it appears that Stinson and his brave, fellow students aren’t joking. (I messaged Stinson today about the group and await a response.) So I guess the idea behind the vuvuzelas is apparently to create a deafening din that would prevent Penn State from properly running its offense.

Before you dismiss the possibility of thousands of Ohio State students being allowed to do such a thing, check out this photo from the Iowa-Ohio State game last season at Ohio Stadium:

Vuvuzelas at Ohio Stadium

So there is precedent here. Read more…

Vuvuzelas: Nike Plot To Spoil World Cup By Adidas

Smoking gun right here:

Vuvuzelas: Nike Plot To Spoil Adidas World Cup

Read more…

Outrage: England Telecast Missed Brits First Goal

England gave away a possible World Cup win over the U.S.A. today thanks to a goalkeeper gaffe, but at least the Brits had one goal against America to cheer about in what ended a 1-1 tie.

England National Telecast Misses Brits First Goal

If only they’d seen it.

The United Kingdom’s national ITV HD telecast inexplicably cut to commercial just as Steven Gerrard scored England’s lone goal of the match.

Read more…

Week In Review: Bud Flips Bills The Double Bird

• Titans owner Bud Adams gives the Bills a double-finger salute - and gets fined $250,000 for it.

Tennessee Titans Owner Bud Adams Flipping The Bird In Buffalo 11/15/09 SPORTSbyBROOKS.com

• After Stanford’s stunning slaughter of ‘SC, Pete Carroll & Jim Harbaugh both want to know what the deal is. (And Pete won’t forget it.)

• But the real deal is Toby Gerhart. Just ask his swim team girlfriend, who says that the Cardinal RB is “one big muscle.”

• Speaking of girlfriends, Erin Dewes has been incorrectly labeled as Tim Tebow’s squeeze. But that’s not stopping her from covering her nude self in number 15’s body paint.

Zack Greinke is a real winner this week. Not only did the Royals pitcher grab the Cy Young award, he’s also tying the knot with former Miss Daytona Beach Emily Kuchar.

Read more…

Obvious Handball By Henry Dooms Ireland (Video)

Thierry Henry is one of this generation’s legends of European soccer. The 32-year-old striker has been a member of the French national team since 1997 and has scored over 50 goals for Les Bleux - to say nothing of his nearly 230 goals in club play. He was one of the faces of Gillette shaving products stateside and has also been featured in innumerable soccer advertisements here and overseas. He’s also, as FOX SPORTS notes, guilty of one of the most flagrant uncalled handballs in the history of international play; step aside, Maradona.

Thierry Henry Blatant Handball
(Yeah, you’re really, really not allowed to do that.)

What made this play especially egregious is that it happened with 13 minutes gone in extra time of a World Cup qualifying playoff between France and plucky Ireland. Though Ireland led the match at the time, the aggregate score was 1-1, and it was essentially a “next goal wins the World Cup berth” situation. Stage set? All right.

So with time winding down in the first overtime and a ball about to sail past Henry, the Frenchman stuck his hand out, knocked the ball down (which, we might remind you, is about as legal as playing atop a motorcycle), kicked it to teammate William Gallas, and watched as Gallas headed the ball home to give France the bid to South Africa in 2010. Oh, and just for good measure, he admitted he did it on purpose.

Video (with bonus uncalled offsides!) is after the break.

Read more…

Fearless Models Will Strip For World Cup Tickets

Has it always been your dream to travel to South Africa to watch soccer? My condolences. But hey, it’s the World Cup. And if you’re from Chile, it’s something special to see your team compete on the world stage. So three enterprising Chileans have cooked up a wacky scheme to earn the dough to make the trip.

Oh, did I mention they’re models? Natalie Ortiz, Erika Romero and Cati Olivos will get naked, as many times as it takes, in order to earn money for a sojourn to see the Chilean National team play in Africa. Of course here in the U.S. you get arrested for stuff like that. But in Chile, it’s full steam ahead.

Yeah, yeah … a couple more photos after the jump. Read more…

Helpful Advice From Maradona On How To Suck It

So Diego Maradona’s advice to all of his critics on Wednesday, specifically on how they “can suck it, and keep on sucking it,” seems to be sweeping the globe. One profane outburst to unite us all.

Diego Maradona

Argentina’s embattled national coach got his squad into the World Cup on Wednesday, with a 1-0 win over Uruguay. And afterward he had some choice comments for the assembled press, which has been critical of the FIFA co-Player of the Century ever since he took control of the team this past November. FIFA’s disciplinary committee is looking into it, and there may be sanctions.

But Maradona is unapologetic, and is even having some fun with this. Check out the video following the jump, in which he demonstrates to supporters just how he’d like his critics to suck it. Read more…

Honduran Coup Leader Invites Bornstein To Lunch

It’s not every day that the leader of a Central American political coup invites a U.S. soccer player to his (recently acquired) country for a little celebration. But the U.S. National team’s Jonathan Bornstein received that honor on Thursday, after his equalizing goal in stoppage time against Costa Rica propelled Honduras into the final automatic World Cup qualifying berth.

Jonathan Bornstein

It will be Honduras’ first trip to the World Cup in 27 years, and that nation is understandably going nuts, even by Central American soccer standards. Bornstein is now a national hero there; just take a listen to radio call of his goal, YouTubed following the jump. “Goal! Goal! Goal! GOAAAL! Que Noche Senores!” Read more…

Speed Read: Wait - WSU Cougar RB Almost Died?

It’s not often that injury news takes us completely aback, but that’s absolutely the case over in Pullman tonight. One slightly mentioned aspect of last weekend’s game pitting Washington State against Southern Methodist was WSU’s tailback, James Montgomery, suffering an apparent knee injury. Not that those aren’t serious, but, y’know… they happen.

James Montgomery WSU

But one thing that doesn’t usually happen is a potentially fatal injury that nobody recognizes immediately. That’s what apparently befell Montgomery during the game; after the game, he reported increasing discomfort with the knee, and went in for surgery on Sunday morning. It probably saved his life.

Read more…