Bayern player gets three-match ban for scratching opponent’s face

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Look: we know things get heated on the field. Insults are flying just as often as tackles and forearms, and players really have to be aware of their surroundings.

If they aren’t, they’re liable to get cat-like scratches across the face.

And so it goes that Bayern Munich’s Rafinha will miss his next three Bundesliga matches after this incident against Borussia Dortmund detailed by our friends at Soccerly.

After a somewhat suspect tackle on (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan, the Dortmunder jumped back to his feet to take exception to the foul. It appeared that was a bit of a verbal spat going on, and then Rafinha pounced in digging his hand into Mkhitaryan’s face. Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer decided to make light of the situation:

“I’m not sure if he had a little extra lotion on his face, and wanted to give some of it away to him (Mkhitaryan).” Sammer did go on saying, “We accept the red card. At 91 minutes, though, the game is over. If I’m an official, I would walk over and say ‘Rafa, that’s usually a red.’ Then I would have shown the yellow.”

Oh, okay. Nothing like deciding the severity of a foul by the time on the clock.

Sammer’s quote is essentially like something coming out of The Onion. Honestly, before writing this thing I was preparing to make some sort of joke regarding what was so attractive on Mkhitaryan’s face. Just look at the photo. It looks like one of those times your mother, aunt or grandmother licked her hand to get food off your face. Bizarre.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
AP Photo/Martin Rickett/PA
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.