Everton v Southampton - Premier League

Referee Mark Clattenburg investigated after Southampton say he ‘abused and insulted’ Adam Lallana


Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg is no stranger to controversy, and it seems as though he’s about to be questioned once again.

Late in Southampton’s 2-1 defeat to Everton last Sunday, Saints skipper Adam Lallana felt Antolin Alcaraz handled his cross and his team should’ve had a penalty. That resulted in protests from Lallana and his teammates which saw Clattenburg in a heated debate with the Saints’ captain and the incident in question occurred.

It’s been revealed by the Daily Mail in England that Southampton Football Club have lodged a formal complaint to the referees association that Clattenburg’s behavior was ‘not what you might expect of one of the game’s top officials’. Saints have also asked the Premier League that Clattenburg doesn’t referee any of their games in the future and referees chief Mike Riley is currently heading up the investigation

(MORE: London police open investigation into allegations against Mark Clattenburg)

What was said is still unclear and Southampton’s assistant manager Jesus Perez refused to clarify the situation in the teams press conference on Friday morning. But given Clattenburg’s previous issues with players and his forthright style of refereeing, this isn’t the first time he’s been embroiled in controversy.

Last season Clattenburg was accused by Chelsea of racially abusing midfielder John Mikel Obi during a feisty clash with Manchester United. An FA inquiry found Clattenburg didn’t act incorrectly and after spending time away from referring, he was soon back in the thick of things in the PL.

Time will tell how this one pans out, as Southampton apparently want an apology from Clattenburg for the way he treated Lallana.

Was this a case of disrespect from a referee towards a player? Or something more sinister?

ON Saturday Clattenburg is penciled in to referee Arsenal’s FA Cup home tie against North London rivals Tottenham, and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger hopes that’s still the case despite this controversy.

“I would be disappointed if he isn’t the referee,” Wenger said. “You are innocent till proven guilty.”

Cisse arrested in sex tape investigation

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Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.

The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.

[ MORE: Klinsmann sends Johnson home ]

Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.

According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT future ]

Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.

Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?