Tag Archives: digital

David Luiz pictured in his youth

Can you work out which Premier League star this is from his childhood snaps

Rik Sharma


12:09 GMT, 3 April 2013



01:05 GMT, 4 April 2013

Scroll down for the answer

Who is this

Clue: Look at the hair in the first picture

Improvement: David Luiz has impressed this season after making several mistakes last term

Improvement: David Luiz has impressed this season after making several mistakes last term

Yes, it's Chelsea defender David Luiz!

Brazilian centre back posted this picture on his Instagram account on
Wednesday morning, a digital collage of images from his youth in
Diadema, Sao Paulo.

He was released by Sao Paulo FC at the age of 14 and signed for Vitoria, helping them achieve promotion to the second division.

In January 2007 he moved to Benfica and, four years later, signed for Chelsea.

Joker in the pack: David Luiz (left) larks around with Eden Hazard during Chelsea training on Wednesday

Joker in the pack: David Luiz (left) larks around with Eden Hazard during Chelsea training on Wednesday

His time in England has been tumultuous to say the least, but this season he has cut the glaring errors of last season out and impressed both in defence and in a midfield role.

Barcelona have been linked with a summer move for him, although at 25 years old, Chelsea would be loathe to sell him.

Luiz captained Brazil during their recent friendly against Italy and has been touted as a potential successor to John Terry as Chelsea skipper.

Spring cheer: 'I met some inspirational friends at the hospital today @GreatOrmondSt support these kids if you can they touched my heart #life #perspective.' Luiz said on Instagram

Spring cheer: 'I met some inspirational friends at the hospital today @GreatOrmondSt support these kids if you can they touched my heart #life #perspective.' Luiz said on Instagram

Mark Clattenburg uncomfortable with Chelsea players" visit

Race-row ref Clattenburg was 'uncomfortable' over Chelsea's visit to officials' room



23:53 GMT, 3 November 2012

Referee Mark Clattenburg’s report on last Sunday’s clashes at Stamford Bridge — when he was accused of racially abusing Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel by calling him ‘monkey’ — will centre on the visit Chelsea employees and players made to the officials’ room after the match.

And sources claim that the ‘extraordinary incident’ report will suggest Clattenburg was uncomfortable with what happened during that visit.

Contrary to some reports, Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay is understood to have played no part in confronting Clattenburg after the 3-2 defeat by Manchester United. One well-placed source claims that Gourlay actually ushered Chelsea personnel away from the officials’ room.

Claim: Mark Clattenburg allegedly racially abused Jon Obi Mikel (centre)

Claim: Mark Clattenburg allegedly racially abused Jon Obi Mikel (centre)

Clattenburg is the subject of ongoing
investigations by the Football Association and police into the racial
abuse accusation, which the 37-year-old has privately denied. He faces
the possibility of an FA charge, criminal action and the end of his
refereeing career.

But the possibility also remains that one or more
Chelsea employee could face FA action for their part in confronting the
referee. It is understood that statements from assistant referees Simon Long and Michael McDonough and fourth official Mike Jones will support Clattenburg’s assertion that he made no racially abusive remarks.

All three were able to hear and speak to Clattenburg throughout the game using an earpiece system which provides digital quality sound that cuts out background noise.

Flashpoint: Clattenburg sent off Fernando Torres

Flashpoint: Clattenburg sent off Fernando Torres

Chelsea have not disputed the fact that Mikel heard the claim he had been abused by Clattenburg only after the match when he was told by non-English-speaking team-mate Ramires.

His version of the exchange was translated from his native Portuguese by his Brazilian team-mate David Luiz. United’s players have been asked by the club whether they heard any abusive comments by Clattenburg during the match and none reported anything untoward.

United are particularly sensitive to the issue of racism after Patrice Evra’s experience in the Luis Suarez case and the John Terry affair involving Rio Ferdinand’s brother Anton.

Evidence is still being gathered in the latest case, but it is expected that the FA will have a clear picture of what happened within days and may be in a position to announce whether any individuals will face disciplinary charges by the end of the week.

No decision has been made over when Clattenburg can return to work. The final say rests with the match officials’ controlling body — the PGMOL.

Chelsea are also under investigation because of the behaviour of their fans at last weekend’s match. Further action against the club could result from their failure to keep sections of the crowd under control after coins, lighters and a seat were thrown onto the pitch during the game.

The club have been further embarrassed by photographs of Chelsea fan Gavin Kirkham apparently making monkey gestures towards United striker Danny Welbeck in the return Capital One Cup game last Wednesday.

Unacceptable: Gavin Kirkham appears to make a 'monkey' gesture

Unacceptable: Gavin Kirkham appears to make a 'monkey' gesture

Clattenburg has received staunch support from United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

On Friday the United boss said he did not believe Clattenburg had made a racist remark. In his programme notes on Saturday, he added: ‘I felt every sympathy for Mark Clattenburg last Sunday. He was pilloried and didn’t deserve it. The officials made two mistakes — one that went against us and one that did us a huge favour — and I don’t hold either error against them.

‘I would have thought Chelsea would have been grateful to the referee rather than going on to give him a hard time.’

Mark Clattenburg race row: Did referee use the word "monkey" at John Obi Mikel? Truth

Is the referee a racist Who is telling the truth Did Clattenburg really use the word 'monkey' at Chelsea's Mikel The answers the FA and the police must uncover as they begin probe



08:20 GMT, 1 November 2012

The events that unfolded at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening have created an unprecedented fissure in the English game, with a football club and match officials at loggerheads over alleged racist language.

The claim that Mark Clattenburg called John Mikel Obi a 'monkey' has shocked a sport that has been scarred by racist disputes for over a year.

NEIL ASHTON looks behind the allegations and conjecture to establish if there is any concrete evidence for Chelsea’s claim against the referee.

Mark Clattenburg race row


ALL four officials are able to hear each other speak thanks to a Swiss earpiece system. The sound is of digital quality and background noise is cut out.
Earpieces for the four of them cost 2,900.

SIMON LONG - Assistant referee

SIMON LONG – Assistant referee

MICHAEL McDONOUGH - Assistant referee

MICHAEL McDONOUGH – Assistant referee

MIKE JONES - Fourth official

MIKE JONES – Fourth official


Up to 20 cameras are used for a live broadcast, but not all of them are ‘on record’. Sky’s match director chooses the best shot, as witnessed by the razor-sharp cut to Mikel being booked in the 76th minute.

However, the footage of the incident broadcast on Sky shows the back of the referee as he raises a yellow card. Mikel is obviously unhappy, but his reaction appears to be that of a man who has been booked rather than that of the victim of a racial slur. Other camera angles may help with the dialogue but may not be conclusive.

Earlier in the match, with the score 2-2, tempers were running high when Clattenburg dismissed Branislav Ivanovic in the 62nd minute for, in referee’s parlance, ‘DOGSO’ (denial of goalscoring opportunity).

As United players prepared to take the free-kick, Clattenburg was in a dialogue with Chelsea winger Juan Mata. It has been suggested that, at some point in the game, the referee called Mata a Spanish t***.

Sportsmail asked a lip-reading expert to analyse this clip. The expert’s conclusion is that Clattenburg appears to tell Mata: ‘I know it’s b******s… but that’s not my fault’.

Mata appears to accept this, but Torres is listening more intently and looks on open-mouthed. Chelsea have accepted there was not enough evidence to take the Mata complaint further.

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint with the FA over the way in which Mark Clattenburg spoke to John Obi Mikel

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint with the FA over the way in which Mark Clattenburg (right) spoke to John Obi Mikel (left)


As a Newcastle fan, he is not allowed to officiate their matches because of his allegiance and cannot referee Sunderland matches because of the rivalry.

Sunday was Chelsea’s Kick It Out day — and both teams, plus the officials, wore ‘One Game One Community’ shirts to promote the initiative. Clattenburg wore the campaign T-shirt throughout his 30-minute pre-match routine.

He enjoys the celebrity that comes with officiating a high-profile sport. He adopts a matey attitude with players during matches, but some would prefer an official to act with more detachment.

Clattenburg is regarded by the PGMO as one of their top referees and is being considered by FIFA as the English representative at the 2014 World Cup.

Back in action: John Obi Mikel at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night

Back in action: John Obi Mikel at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night


Feelings intensified in the Chelsea dressing room. When Brazilian Ramires told Mikel he thought he’d been called ‘a monkey’, at least three members of the playing and coaching staff asked: ‘Are you certain’ Ramires was asked if, with Clattenburg having such a strong North East accent, the official had said: ‘shut up Mikel’, rather than ‘shut up monkey’, which has been alleged.

There is a popular assumption that Terry, serving the second game of a four-match FA ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, encouraged Chelsea to make a complaint. But according to dressing-room sources, Terry has given the dispute a wide berth.

Chelsea officials then joined in an increasingly heated conversation that travelled the short distance from the team changing area to the referee’s room.

Clattenburg and his officials prepared for the match in a room the size of a rabbit-hutch. It is the first door on the left when the officials walk down the tunnel from the pitch and is separated from the home dressing room by a mascot’s changing area.

In the normal course of events, a people-carrier would be available to take the referee to the Crowne Plaza on King’s Road, half an hour after the game. On this occasion, the vehicle would have to wait.

Clattenburg was required, under FA rules, to remain 30 minutes after the final whistle to give managers a ‘cooling off’ period before they can approach the match officials. But there were few cool heads around during what happened next.

On entering the referee’s room, it is alleged Mikel had to be restrained from physically attacking Clattenburg. He accused the official of racially insulting him and demanded an apology. But a shocked Clattenburg flatly denied it, saying: ‘You must be f***ing joking’. The officials all witnessed the dramatic scenes. Nigerian-born Mikel speaks perfect English.


A complaint by Peter Herbert, the chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, triggered their investigation, even though he had no evidence.

He made his complaint based on press coverage and defended his actions by telling The Times: ‘We don’t need to be there to report an incident. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.’

He added: ‘Hate crimes cannot be tolerated and should be pursued through the official channels with vigour.’


Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay blustered his way through a talkSPORT interview two weeks ago over John Terry and his hot-headed approach in the corridor on Sunday is surprising.

Chelsea released a statement two hours after the final whistle. No one had a chance to cool down and rationalise the alleged events. Instead, a club that has been involved in a protracted racist row steamed in to another one.

Clattenburg filed an ‘extraordinary incident’ report on Sunday evening, which was picked up by the FA’s governance department on Monday morning. There was very little detail, a tactic referees use to avoid charging players for post-match incidents.

Distraction: Ramires scored for Chelsea against Manchester United on Wednesday night but appears key to the whole case against Clattenburg

Distraction: Ramires scored for Chelsea against Manchester United on Wednesday night but appears key to the whole case against Clattenburg

However, Chelsea’s complaint to the match delegate Nick Cusack means the referee and his assistants now have to provide a thorough report on the incidents on the field and the heated post-match row with Mikel.

Clattenburg has told friends he wishes he hadn’t sent Torres off. Despite FA and police enquiries, he is also willing to speak with the media about his experience. He says he has nothing to hide, is comfortable with his conduct and will co-operate fully with the authorities.

After the fevered atmosphere had calmed down on Monday morning, Chelsea brought in lawyers to interview players and advise the club whether to advance a complaint to the FA. They have interviewed players, managers and executives. They will instruct Chelsea on the chance of meeting the FA’s civil standard of proof — ‘balance of probabilities’ — in an independent commission hearing. After Chelsea’s experience with John Terry, this is a massive call.

This is a case that will turn on a player’s grasp of English, interpretation of a referee’s regional accent and the technology used by match officials.
Chelsea will have to provide sufficient evidence that Clattenburg used the word ‘monkey’, and must be confident the club can present a case that does not backfire on them spectacularly.

How Twitter has conquered sport

Sir Alex thinks it's a waste of time but Rio disagrees… how Twitter conquered sport



21:32 GMT, 1 July 2012

We have tweeted our way through a World Cup and Euro 2012 and, in 25 days’ time, we will experience the inaugural ‘Twitter Olympics’.

At a time when some athletes operate on a financial plane so alien to most, their stream of 140-character messages make them seem more accessible than ever.

Like it or not, Twitter has taken a powerful hold on sport: it’s the way many of us watch, listen, cover, read about and debate it. Sir Alex Ferguson may consider it a ‘waste of time’, but its influence has become impossible to ignore.

Main men: Lewis Hamilton and Rio Ferdinand are both avid tweeters

Main men: Lewis Hamilton and Rio Ferdinand are both avid tweeters

Fernando Torres’ goal for Chelsea at the Nou Camp last season prompted a record 13,684 tweets per second as millions of people all over the world discussed Barcelona’s exit from the Champions League. Manchester City connected fans using the hashtag ‘#together’ as they won the Premier League title.

It feels very different to having a chat with your mates in the pub but the network is just another platform for people with similar interests. National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern calls Twitter the ‘digital water cooler’ but its novelty is that you will probably never meet most of the people with whom you are exchanging views. Some would argue this is a little bit sad — a social network that requires no social skills — but others revel in Twitter’s power to connect.

This is why England players were not banned from tweeting during Euro 2012 and the British Olympic Association have told athletes to let their ‘personality shine through’ in a set of social media guidelines for the Games. The BOA have also advised that ‘correct spelling and grammar where possible’ may not be the worst idea.

Stuart Mawhinney, senior communications manager at the FA, said: ‘Other nations were saying no social networking (during the Euros) but we wanted our players to be open, positive and engage. It might only take 10 minutes but it can touch millions of people.’

This is my life: Lance Armstrong (left) reveals all about his lunch

This is my life: Lance Armstrong (left) reveals all about his lunch

When the first tweet was posted in March 2006, little did we think that, six years later, we would have a former England captain giving us his instant reaction to ITV’s This Morning. But Rio Ferdinand did just that a few weeks ago.

The Manchester United defender, 33, is as likely to share his love of crunchy apples or EastEnders as his thoughts on the FA’s new blueprint for coaching with his near three million followers. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong once tweeted about having lentil soup and salad Nicoise for his evening meal.

‘Why should we care’ is the obvious response. It plays to these high-profile athletes’ egos but their willingness to share the mundane, everyday details of their lives seems to narrow the gap between them and us. They are normal, after all. You might have been on the sofa watching the Eurovision Song Contest but so was Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Lewis Wiltshire, Twitter’s head of sport for the UK, said: ‘Never before have fans had such direct access to their sporting heroes. Athletes answer questions, respond to “good luck” wishes, talk to fellow players and share behind-the-scenes perspectives. Twitter helps fans get to know athletes.’

Nothing to say David Beckham has yet to take to the world of Twitter

Nothing to say David Beckham has yet to take to the world of Twitter

Some, however, would prefer to keep their sporting heroes on their pedestals. Jack Wilshere had a whinge about the cost of nappies, milk and food for his son, Archie, and was immediately harangued for being ‘out of touch’. The Arsenal midfielder has since closed his account and called in police after accusations he had taken cocaine.

‘It’s a nightmare,’ said one communications expert. ‘Your clients need to have a presence on social media but you have to be very careful. Do we really want to spoil the illusion by telling people this famous sports star is popping out for a pint of milk You need to strike a balance.’

The most notable Twitter absentee is David Beckham. He has a Facebook page, which has attracted 19.4million ‘likes’, but leaves his wife, Victoria, to engage with her 3.9million Twitter followers.

Beckham has thought about joining, but lacks the time and inclination to commit to it properly. His four children and age — Victoria tweeted a picture of his cake for his 37th birthday in May — also mean he is less likely to join than, for example, Lewis Hamilton or Andy Murray, who are not fathers of four and have grown up with social media.

Yet Hamilton and Murray have ensured rocky relationships with Twitter. It can be time-consuming and distracting. Both have also encountered abuse, ranging from people accusing Murray of not ‘being British’ to sick messages about the tragedy in Dunblane, from where he hails. Murray was eight when Thomas Hamilton burst into his primary school and killed 16 children and a teacher.

Dark side: Andy Murray has suffered abuse over the Dunblane shootings

Dark side: Andy Murray has suffered abuse over the Dunblane shootings

The Scot told ShortList magazine: ‘There’s a lot of negativity and people can say anything. But if they saw you the next day they wouldn’t walk up and say what they said online. I don’t understand people going on there just to slam others.’

This slamming, though, is impossible to ignore if you look at your ‘mentions’ to respond to fans’ questions. Stan Collymore regularly flags up racist abuse he receives, Everton midfielder Darron Gibson closed his account after two hours and Sportsmail’s David Lloyd had a prolonged sabbatical after getting fed up with all the expletives.

After England’s Euro 2012 exit, the FA criticised the ‘appalling and unacceptable’ abuse directed at Ashley Young and Ashley Cole. Double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington spoke of her anger and frustration at internet trolls making hurtful comments about her appearance. You can understand Beckham thinking: ‘Why should I bother’

One source said: ‘They will get heightened praise and there’s a heightened level of vitriol, neither of which are healthy. Twitter needs to do more to moderate abuse and find a way to block users permanently.’

Yet athletes continue to set up accounts. So is it just another tool to line their pockets It is not uncommon to see a wily PR girl’s enthusiastic endorsement on a client’s Twitter page. Liverpool’s feed featured birthday wishes for captain Steven Gerrard in French and Thai ‘to communicate with #LFC fans across the world’. Andrew Flintoff often uses Twitter to promote his latest TV venture.

Free speech: Mark Cavendish (right) will not be told what to tweet about

Free speech: Mark Cavendish (right) will not be told what to tweet about

Phil Hall, chairman of PR agency PHA Media, said: ‘I think Twitter has huge commercial benefit. Look at the following some of the guys have: there’s a great opportunity for products and sponsors.’

But it’s a fine line. Plug too many products and you lose what is behind Twitter’s success: the feeling that two people, probably strangers, are speaking directly to each other. This is why 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Mark Cavendish has vowed never to ‘commercialise’ his site.

‘I won’t ever let anyone tell me what to write,’ said Cavendish. ‘Everything is just me. The accessibility appealed to me. Cycling is a sport where you can touch the athletes. You’re not in an arena watching these gladiators. I got benefit from it because, with the trappings and success when you’re young, you can get a bad reputation. But Twitter takes out any middle ground. You can say what you want, when you want.’

This, however, can get you into trouble. Sponsorship deals have been lost and hundreds of thousands of pounds paid in fines as athletes have tweeted ill-advised messages in the heat of the moment. American National Football League players are banned from using social media from 90 minutes before a game until post-match interviews are complete. The instant, unfiltered nature of Twitter is an integral part of its success but could also be its downfall.

Abuse: Rebecca Adlington

Abuse: Rebecca Adlington

One FA employee described Twitter as ‘a growing headache’. The organisation are responsible for educating the players in the national sides, particularly the youth teams, and for disciplining those who step out of line. The FA also have their own feed, which has 190,000 followers.

Mawhinney said: ‘There are a growing number of young players who are joining without really understanding its reach. Some have had to learn the hard way but there’s now a sense among players Twitter is something you need to be aware of in the same way as giving a press conference.’

Yet football managers, mindful of the risk of players revealing injuries or discussing team selection or transfers, remain resistant to its charms. ‘Twitter is dangerous,’ said Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew.

Few managers have accounts. They do not have the time, while the potential to misinterpret a view written in 140 characters is huge. There is also a generational gap — in terms of technology and the usefulness of social media — between player and coach. One footballer mentioned the freedom Twitter gives: it feels like the one area the boss cannot control.

Perhaps the test of Twitter’s power in sport will be shown if prolific contributors like Ferdinand step into management themselves. Will they still be as keen to engage Or will we have become saturated with these details of daily life, longing for the days when sportsmen and women smiled for the cameras and concentrated on what they do best: winning matches and medals #weshallsee

Top sports stars on Twitter



In March 2010 the West Ham striker joked that the England v Ghana friendly at Wembley was a trap set up by the Government to catch illegal immigrants. When his tweets received a furious backlash he wondered why people were being so sensitive — but later deleted them and was handed a 20,000 fine by the FA.


WHEN the striker’s move from Tottenham to Sunderland was stalling he took it upon himself to speed things along by posting a rant aimed at Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. He wrote: ‘Do I wanna go Hull City NO. Do I wanna go Stoke NO. Do I wanna go Sunderland YES. So stop ******* around Levy.’ He later apologised but got the move he wanted.


The golfer defended caddie JP Fitzgerald after he was criticised by commentator Jay Townsend, who had mocked McIlroy’s course management since taking on the bagman in 2008. McIlroy tweeted: ‘Shut up. You’re a commentator and a failed golfer, your opinion means nothing!’

Outspoken: Rory McIlroy hit out at commentator Jay Townsend

Outspoken: Rory McIlroy hit out at commentator Jay Townsend


NOT one for holding his tongue, the England batsman has put out his fair share of Twitter rants. In 2010 he reacted to being dropped from the one-day squad by branding the decision a ‘**** up’. And this May the 32-year-old laid into Sky Sports pundit Nick Knight, who had questioned why KP was in the one-day side.

He wrote: ‘Can somebody please tell me how Knight has worked his way into the commentary box for Tests Ridiculous.’ The ECB fined him around 5,000 and said the comments were ‘not helpful’. Sky had just paid the ECB 260million for a four-year TV deal.


The Australia swimmer paid the price for posting a homophobic slur after Australia’s rugby union team beat South Africa in September 2010. The triple Olympic gold medallist lost her lucrative sponsorship deal with Jaguar — including a car worth 59,255 — and after severe criticism issued a tearful apology in a press conference.

Euro 2012: Ian Ladyman"s diary: Fred the ferret gets his predictions right

Ian Ladyman's Euro diary: Right said Fred… ferret gets predictions right



22:35 GMT, 10 June 2012

Remember Paul the octopus who managed to predict so many correct results during the last World Cup Meet Fred, a ferret from Kharkiv, who has a record of three out of four prior to Sunday night’s games. So his owners say anyway, and who are we to argue

Spot on: Ferret Fred was on the money with three of his predictions

Spot on: Ferret Fred was on the money with three of his predictions

A big thumbs up for…

The local girls holding up signs in Poznan’s Old Town square on Sunday saying: ‘Hug Me’. A nice gesture but, after being swamped by hundreds of Irish, Poles and Czechs within seconds, I fear they may not be back.

A big thumbs down for…

The manager of my (lovely) hotel in Kiev for providing me with an advert for ‘Finding a wife in Ukraine’ as part of my welcome pack. Honestly, a room service menu really would have been enough.

From one Roy to another…

Still going after all these years, the Roy of the Rovers comic strip is now available on digital platforms and publishers Egmont UK have produced some special images of the football icon backing his namesake Roy Hodgson on Monday.

Backing the manager: Roy Race sends a message to Roy Hodgson

Backing the manager: Roy Race sends a message to Roy Hodgson

You're the one, Johan

Such is Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s standing in Sweden, the 30-year-old Milan striker is said to have a major influence on coach Erik Hamren’s team selection. Today against Ukraine the duo have apparently selected former Bolton striker Johan Elmander to start up front with the enigmatic Ibrahimovic. No pressure there, then Johan. Just remember who picked you.

Picked by the top man: Johan Elmander has apparently been picked by Zlatan Ibrahimovic to play

Picked by the top man: Johan Elmander has apparently been picked by Zlatan Ibrahimovic to play

Rio who

Mr Ferdinand may be persona non grata with team England but bookmakers Blue Square are offering odds on how many times commentator Clive Tyldesley mentions the absent defender’s name during the game against France.

Play of the day

They may have taken a while to get going, but Spain’s equalising goal yesterday — Iniesta to Silva to Fabregas — was a thing of beauty. Spain have had a quiet build-up but they remain, well, the best team on the planet.

Taking their time: Spain's goal by Cesc Fabregas was a thing of beauty

Taking their time: Spain's goal by Cesc Fabregas was a thing of beauty

Quote of the day

‘When it comes…then it can leave.’ An honest reply from the lady at the Warsaw airport boarding gate when asked what time my delayed flight to Kiev would get off the ground on Sunday.