IAN COLE’s round-up of the week’s sport in quotes, with lots of reaction to the News of the World’s spot-fixing allegations, Jose Mourinho on Harry Potter, Harry Redknapp on wheelers and effing dealers, and Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan on Twitter
“A lot of them are just looking for money, women and food” Mazhar Majeed, the cricket “agent” at the centre of the News of the World‘s spot-fixing allegations, during a taped interview with the paper’s undercover reporters.
“Cricket has to use this crisis to re-examine its priorities. Time and again it has shown itself to be a greedy, grasping sport. From the administrators who cram itineraries to bursting point, to international players who hold counties and even their countries to ransom. It has become a sport where integrity is in short supply” Michael Atherton, the SJA Sports Journalist of the Year, writing in the News of the World about the Pakistan spot-fixing scandal.
“I feel the pain and upset of cricket fans personally. Neither my team, nor I, will rest until we have done everything possible to ensure the game is clean” Sir Ronnie Flanagan, head of the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit.
“Maybe the anti-corruption unit should be disbanded and they should hire the News of the World to do their investigations” Darrell Hair, the former international umpire.
“No, I’m not a wheeler and dealer. Fuck off. I didn’t make my name as a wheeler and fucking dealer. Don’t say that – I’m a fucking football manager” Harry Redknapp takes exception to introductory remarks by Sky Sport’s Rob Palmer after Tottenham’s latest Premier League match. Spurs lost 1-0 at home to Wigan.
“I am a coach not Harry Potter. He is a magician. Magic is fiction and I live for football which is real. I’ve only been two months in Madrid. Do you know how many training sessions I have had with everyone together, including the new signings? Not even 10” Jose Mourinho after his Real Madrid side drew their opening La Liga game at Mallorca.
“Off to Aussie to film a tv commercial for Betfair… For the ashes.. Quite ironic with what’s been going on..” Michael Vaughan does irony via Twitter @VaughanCricket.
“Yep.. Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too.. Its a fuck up!! Surrey have…” Kevin Pietersen announcing that he’d been dropped from England’s one-day squads via his Twitter account, @kevinpp24
“The Twitter thing came out in a way I obviously didn’t want it to. It was just a mistake. It was a direct message to friends, so I must apologise that it ended up in the public domain. I also apologise for the language I used. I would never ever swear on Twitter when going out in the public domain, so this is a big apology” Pietersen, on Surrey’s TV channel.
“I don’t like that kind of language. I don’t follow Twitter and that kind of thing. Writing columns in newspapers makes a player open to making questionable statements and I see Twitter as being in the same boat” Geoff Miller, England’s chief selector and a noted after-dinner speaker in his spare time.
“You create the god and you create the monster. I live the same when you write well of me as I do when you write badly of me” Fabio Capello.
“I have to make team selections to win the game. I don’t do things for effect” Stuart Pearce, the England Under-21 coach, rejects criticism for leaving out the squad’s most experienced player, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, because of his involvement in a night club scuffle.
“This guy’s had to do 100 metres breaststroke over from Corfu to get here” John Toshack, the Wales manager, objects to a Greek, Anastasios Kakos, as referee for the European Championship qualifier in neighbouring Montenegro.
“If ever the players who have given statements to police are found guilty in court or by cricket authorities, I hope that the following is taken into account in the case of Mohammad Amir. Only 18, and from an impoverished background, Amir would appear as much victim as perpetrator, a teenager whose head was easily turned” Derek Pringle, the Daily Telegraph‘s cricket correspondent.
“My heart is hardened against the sentimental, weak-minded bleating of those who say that Mohammed [sic] Amir is so talented, and so young (he is 18) that he should not be punished too severely. This is drivel” Simon Heffer, associate editor of the Daily Telegraph, published the same day as Pringle.
“I didn’t deserve to go to the 2006 World Cup. I hadn’t played in the Premier League and hadn’t justified being there at all. This time, well, the form wasn’t there. I was trying to be there and had a feeling I could be there. But I had to look at myself and go and prove people wrong on the pitch” Theo Walcott.
“Dani is my best friend. He’s known me since I was 15. We used to play doubles together. He knows my game well and watches all my matches on TV. He also knows me well as a person. I wouldn’t say he is coaching me. He’s just helping out” Andy Murray exits the US Open in round three with Venezuelan Dani Vallverdu at his side.
“Who knows what is going to happen after this? I am not the player I was two tears ago. My tennis is not where I want it to be” Anne Keothavong, the former British No 1, slumps to 142nd in the world and considers her future after a US Open defeat to Jung-jan Chan of Taiwan.