Tag Archives: friends

Cesar Azpilicueta says Chelsea team-mates call him Dave

Alright, Dave Azpilicueta says Chelsea team-mates have given up trying to pronounce his name… just like Rodney and Trigger in Only Fools And Horses

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:52 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:49 GMT, 30 March 2013

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta says his team-mates have dropped their attempts to pronounce his name – and instead simply call the Spaniard ‘Dave’.

The former Marseille full back moved to the Premier League last summer, but his colleagues at Chelsea have struggled to say his surname correctly ever since.

'Cesar’s not even that hard,’ he was quoted in the Daily Telegraph saying. ‘But I suppose Azpilicueta is. Some said my name was too difficult to pronounce and could they call me Dave. It’s stuck. It’s also done affectionately.'

Cesar Azpilicueta

Nicholas Lyndhurst

All right, Dave: Cesar Azpilicueta (left) says his team-mates have given up using his name and have decided to call him 'Dave' like Rodney Trotter (right, centre) was in Only Fools And Horses by the character Trigger

Adapting: Azpilicueta (right) believes he is getting used to the speed of the Premier League

Adapting: Azpilicueta (right) believes he is getting used to the speed of the Premier League

Although Azpilicueta may not know it, his nickname might have been borrowed from one of Britain’s best-loved sitcoms: Only Fools And Horses.

Rodney Trotter struggled throughout the hit TV series, as Trigger failed to use his name because – despite knowing Nicholas Lyndhurst's character well through his brother Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter – he earnestly believed his name was Dave.

Meanwhile, Azpilicueta believes he is adapting to the English style of play, and is beginning to get used to the lifestyle in London with the help of countryman and team-mate Juan Mata.

Azpilicueta told the Guardian: ‘He (Mata) is like a London tour guide,' Azpilicueta told The Guardian. “I say ‘Juan, I want to go out and eat’ and he knows just the place.’

Good friends: Azpilicueta says countryman Juan Mata (right) has helped him settle in London

Good friends: Azpilicueta says countryman Juan Mata (right) has helped him settle in London

Azpilicueta chose to sing Spanish song La Raja de Tu Falda by Estopa as his initiation into the squad. Although his team-mates enjoyed his rendition of the song about a driver who careers off the road because he was staring at an attractive woman, most of it was lost in translation.

He added: 'Some of them danced. But they had no idea what the song was about and they didn’t understand a word.'

VIDEO: Watch one of Rodney and Trigger's finest ever scenes

'My name is Rodney!' Classic Only Fools and Horses

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Tiger Woods relationship with Lindsey Vonn

Tiger's latest birdie! Woods and US ski star Vonn go public with blossoming romance

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

17:58 GMT, 18 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:19 GMT, 18 March 2013

Tiger Woods has revealed he is dating American skier Lindsey Vonn.

The golfer, who is closing in on Rory McIlroy at the top of the world rankings, announced the news on his website.

Vonn, who is an Olympic champion in alpine skiing, suffered a huge crash earlier this year, tearing ligaments in her knee.

Together: Tiger Woods and downhill skier Lindsey Vonn have announced they are in a relationship

Together: Tiger Woods and downhill skier Lindsey Vonn have announced they are in a relationship

Woods, 37, wrote: 'Something nice that's
happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn.

'Lindsey and I have
been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become
very close and are now dating.'

'We thank you for your support and for respecting our privacy. We want
to continue our relationship, privately, as an ordinary couple and
continue to compete as athletes.'

'I guess it wasn't a well-kept secret but yes, I am dating Tiger Woods,' Vonn, 28, said.

'Our relationship evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy,'

Golfer Tiger Woods and downhill skier Lindsey Vonn

Golfer Tiger Woods and downhill skier Lindsey Vonn

Happy couple: Woods and Vonn both made announcements following rumours they were dating

'I don't plan on addressing this further as I would like to keep that part of my life between us, my family and close friends.'

The pair have been the subject of romance rumours for some time and last month Woods sent his private jet to fly Vonn home to Vail, Colorado after her crash.

They have also been spotted together in Vail and aboard Wood's yacht in Florida.

Woods, a winner of 14 golf majors, divorced from his Swedish wife, Elin Nordegren, in 2010 after a highly-publicised sex scandal in which he publicly admitted to infidelity.

Vonn announced her split from husband of four years, Thomas Vonn, in November 2011 before finalising the divorce earlier this year.

Crash: Vonn was lifted by a helicopter during the Super-G event of the Ski World Championships

Crash: Vonn was lifted by a helicopter during the Super-G event of the Ski World Championships

Crash: Vonn was lifted by a helicopter during the Super-G event of the Ski World Championships

Crash: Vonn was lifted by a helicopter during the Super-G event of the Ski World Championships

Paul Gascoigne out of rehab and coming home to England

Gazza's coming home! Former England star out of rehab and on his way back from Arizona

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

02:05 GMT, 8 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

04:17 GMT, 8 March 2013

Paul Gascoigne will return to England after spending time in rehab in Arizona to deal with his severe alcohol problem.

The 45-year-old, whose celebrity friends came together to fund his 6,000-a-week treatment in the US, had a public meltdown at a charity event in Northampton in January but he has vowed to quit booze.

A source close to Gazza told The Sun: ‘We’re just delighted that Paul’s back on track and coming home, where he can get back into his routine of doing the things he enjoys – without the booze getting in the way ever again.'

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

The source added: 'He’s been in good hands out there
and he’s worked really hard over the past month to get where he is. We
were as shocked as anyone to see how bad things had got for Paul, and so
we’re just grateful that so many people stood by him like they did.

'We couldn’t have have got him back to good health again without their help.'

After his appearance in Northampton, video footage also emerged of the former Tottenham midfielder at the depths of his alcoholism and mental torment.

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

He was drinking two litres of
gin and 15 cans of Stella Artois a day before he was rushed to rehab, a former friend claimed.

One
time housemate Shane Abbott, 36, has also said he was taking up to 30 antidepressant Valium pills a day and
injecting cocaine.

He was rushed
to intensive care from the Cottonwood Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona when doctors feared he
could have suffered a major organ failure after having a seizure due to
alcohol withdrawal.

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Celebrities
such as Chris Evans, Alan Shearer, Alan Sugar and Ronnie Irani have
lent support to a Twitter campaign to raise the 100,000 needed to cover his treatment.

English players Frank Lampard, John
Terry, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere had contributed funds, while FA
Charity the England Footballers Foundation also contributed 40,000 from
the national team.

Gascoigne is expected to be alone for two months during his rehabilitation.

Nicklas Bendtner drink driving incident: Striker booked by police after being on "wrong side of the road"

Bendtner in trouble after 'drunken driving on wrong side of the road'

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

14:09 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:12 GMT, 3 March 2013

Nicklas Bendtner has been booked by police for what he described as 'a mild case of drink driving'.

The Arsenal striker, currently on loan at Juventus, was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road in Copenhagen.

He apologised for his actions on his Twitter account, saying: 'Dear friends, I was booked for a mild case of drink driving last night.

Whoops: Nicklas Bendtner apologised on Twitter for drink-driving

Whoops: Nicklas Bendtner apologised on Twitter for drink-driving

'It was a quiet night but I am very very sorry to all my friends and fans.

'It is not OK to drink and drive. I take full responsibility.'

Bendtner, 25, who has not scored for the Italian side in nine appearances is set to return to the Emirates at the end of the season.

Paul Gascoigne: The drink nearly killed me but I wont give up

Gazza: The drink nearly finished me off this time, but I won't give up the fight

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:31 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:31 GMT, 3 March 2013

Paul Gascoigne has revealed he came close to death after his latest drinking binge.

The former England star was admitted to a clinic in the United States last month after his celebrity friends came together to fund his 6,000-a-week treatment.

And the 45-year-old insists he is determined to finally conquer his demons.

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

Emotional: Paul Gascoigne suffered a public meltdown in Northampton

‘The drink nearly finished me off this time,' he told Jimmy 'Five Bellies' Gardner.

'I know I’ve never been as bad as this before. But I’m not ready to give up the fight. I’m getting better now. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.’

Gardner, who revealed to the Sunday Mirror that he had spoken to Gascoigne, said: ‘Paul sounded frail and weak and scared. But I could hear something else in his voice too.

'I could hear grit and determination. No one knows Paul like I do and I can tell you, he’s not for throwing in the towel.’

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Rehab: Gascoigne has since been flown to America for treatment

Gascoigne had a public meltdown at a charity function in Northampton in January with pictures showing him looking bloated, sobbing and unable to stand or speak.

Video footage also emerged of the former Tottenham midfielder at the depths of his alcoholism and mental torment.

He was drinking two litres of
gin and 15 cans of Stella Artois a day before he was rushed to a rehab
clinic, a former friend claimed.

One
time housemate Shane Abbott, 36, has also said he was taking up to 30 antidepressant Valium pills a day and
injecting cocaine.

He was rushed
to intensive care from the Cottonwood Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona when doctors feared he
could have suffered a major organ failure after having a seizure due to
alcohol withdrawal.

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Heyday: Gascoigne was one of the best players of his generation

Celebrities
such as Chris Evans, Alan Shearer, Alan Sugar and Ronnie Irani have
lent support to a Twitter campaign to raise the 100,000 needed to cover his treatment.

English players Frank Lampard, John
Terry, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere had contributed funds, while FA
Charity the England Footballers Foundation also contributed 40,000 from
the national team.

Gascoigne is expected to be alone for two months during his rehabilitation.

GASCOIGNE’S PROBLEMS WITH ALCOHOL

June 1996:
An alcohol-related 'dentist-chair' stunt in a Hong Kong bar during
England's Euro 96 preparations puts Gascoigne on the front pages of the
newspapers back in Britain.

August 1998:
Gascoigne's marriage to Sheryl ends after she is granted a quick
divorce. The player left his wife with a black eye and badly bruised
face and arm after he attacked her in a drunken rage in Gleneagles,
Scotland.

October 1998: The 31-year-old is admitted to the Marchwood Priory hospital to receive treatment for stress and drink problems.

June 2001: Gascoigne admits himself to an alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Arizona on his Everton manager Walter Smith's insistence.

May 2007: Undergoes emergency surgery for a perforated stomach ulcer.

February 2008: Gascoigne is arrested in Newcastle and detained under the Mental Health Act.

June 2008:
The former England footballer is sectioned under the Mental Health Act
following reports that he was acting strangely in Hemel Hempstead.

Newcastle defender Danny Simpson knocked out in Manchester street fight

Newcastle defender Simpson 'OK' after bloody 4am brawl in Manchester

By
Tom Wilkinson, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

09:18 GMT, 4 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 4 February 2013

Danny Simpson was left bleeding and unconscious in the street after a bloody 4am brawl outside a takeaway in Manchester.

The Newcastle defender, who is expected to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season, was out celebrating his side's last-gasp 3-2 win over Chelsea on Saturday evening.

He had recovered enough by Monday morning to tweet: 'For the record im okay, 2 on 1 well done!'

Battler: But Danny Simpson could be on his way out of Newcastle

Battler: But Danny Simpson could be on his way out of Newcastle

Simpson's argument was said to have
kicked off outside the Rice Flamebar and Grill in Manchester in the
early hours of Sunday morning after the night out at the exclusive
Circle Club.

But after leaving the night spot on his own to get food, he reportedly got into a scrap with a fellow punter while queuing for his kebab.

'Him and this guy started getting aggressive with each other,' a source told The Sun. 'They started scuffling. The man was pushing and shoving Danny and he just lost it. He punched him and he dropped to the ground.'

Manchester United graduate: Simpson remains good friends with Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley

Manchester United graduate: Simpson remains good friends with Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley

But while he attempted to leave in the
back of a taxi, two bouncers are said to have to have dragged him out
and punched him in the face, leaving him unconscious on the floor for 15
minutes before an ambulance arrived on the scene.

The source added: 'He dropped to the floor and was half on the pavement, half on the road with blood pouring from his mouth. He was in a bad way. It looked like he’d been knocked out.'

An ambulance spokesperson confirmed a man was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary following the incident, while police said they were called to the takeaway restaurant after reports of an assault but a man with 'minor injuries' did not wish to make a complaint.

Out of favour: Simpson has not been a Newcastle regular of late

Out of favour: Simpson has not been a Newcastle regular of late

The following morning Simpson wrote on his Twitter page that he was enjoying spending some time with his young
daughter.

He tweeted: 'Sunday chill out with my little girl.'

Fulham and West Ham are among those reported to be interested in signing Simpson on a free transfer in the summer.

Jack Wilshere reveals how he got Lionel Messi and Xavi"s shirt

Xavi had the hump with me but I still got his and Messi's shirts, reveals Arsenal ace Wilshere

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

11:58 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:11 GMT, 29 January 2013

Few can boast to have given Barcelona star Xavi such a run for his money that the Spaniard has left the pitch in the huff.

But Jack Wilshere managed just that while still a teenager in 2011. And now the Arsenal star has revealed his adversary begrudgingly handed over his shirt after the pair did battle in the Champions League.

Making his mark: Jack Wilshere more than matched Xavi and Lionel Messi when they faced off in the Champions League back in 2011

Making his mark: Jack Wilshere more than matched Xavi and Lionel Messi when they faced off in the Champions League back in 2011

Making his mark: Jack Wilshere more than matched Xavi and Lionel Messi when they faced off in the Champions League back in 2011

The two-legged tie, won 4-3 on
aggregate by the Catalans, was seen as a coming of age moment for the
young Englishman, standing up as he did to one of modern football's
truly great midfielders.

Arsenal had edged the opening leg 2-1, but were downed, not for the first time, by Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp.

Despite the result, though, all was not well for one of the victors.

'I asked Xavi for his but he had the hump a bit,' said Wilshere. 'So he just threw me his shirt and strolled off. I asked Cesc Fabregas to get me Messi's because they’re good friends, and he did.'

Xavi was also on the scoresheet on the night of the second leg and it is that element of his game that Wilshere admits he most needs to improve.

The 21-year-old has scored twice this season having only previously grabbed three in three years as a first-team player.

He added: 'I'm working on it. I was always top scorer in the youth team but I didn’t score enough in my first year and then I got injured for the whole season. So I’m building up again this year, then next season I’m going to start scoring.'

Matt Prior phone call to Kevin Pietersen built bridges for reintegration

Prior: My phone call built the bridges for Pietersen's England reintegration

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

At the height of last summer’s textgate affair, Kevin Pietersen’s phone had never rung colder.

Few in English cricket were prepared to call a man many believed had, by sending a string of derogatory messages to ‘close friends’ in the South Africa dressing room, betrayed captain Andrew Strauss and severely undermined the team’s carefully fostered morale.

While several England players were minded to wash their hands of the side’s most talented but highest maintenance player, wicketkeeper Matt Prior saw the bigger picture and called his troubled team-mate in an effort to thrash out the seismic differences few in the dressing room had seen coming.

Old friends: Prior (right) and Pietersen (left) patched things up over the phone

Old friends: Prior (right) and Pietersen (left) patched things up over the phone

It was a move that showed Pietersen he was still valued by his team-mates and cemented Prior’s position as the most inclusive – and, arguably, most important – member of the team.

‘If that situation arose another 100 times, I would phone Kev another 100 times,’ Prior said. ‘It wasn’t done for any other reason than that I saw a team-mate struggling and, as far as I’m concerned, that becomes the responsibility of the players.

‘If someone isn’t happy in the dressing room then you have to go out of your way to find out what the issue is and do as much as you can to make it right.

‘That might be a case of seeing a person’s point and saying: “You know what, mate You’re right”. Or it might be a case of being honest and saying: “You need to sort a few things out”.

‘Kevin and I are both pretty straightforward and honest guys who don’t mince our words. I think he was pleased to hear from me and, from what I’ve heard him say, I think he was pleased someone made the call.

Reintegrated: Pietersen was dropped following the Headingley Test last summer

Reintegrated: Pietersen was dropped following the Headingley Test last summer

‘It was a case of “what’s up buddy You
tell me and I’ll tell you”. It was a refreshing way to have a
conversation. Sometimes, you need to say tough things to your mates in
order for them to improve and, more importantly, for the team to move
forward.

‘We’d worked extremely hard under Strauss and Andy Flower to build the team culture and we got to a good place, No 1 in the world. But what last summer proved was how fragile that team spirit can be if you don’t look after it.’

Prior’s intervention saw England’s players begin a dialogue that eventually led to Pietersen being reintegrated after he was dropped for the final Test of the summer on disciplinary grounds.

The appointment of Alastair Cook as Strauss’s successor, after the decision of England’s most successful captain of all time to resign at the end of the South Africa series, also provided an opportunity to bring Pietersen back into the fold for the tour of India.

England were rewarded with a sublime innings of 186 in the series-altering second Test win in Mumbai and an overall contribution of 338 runs at 48.28 in the series.

Down Under: Prior is currently playing in the Big Bash tournament in Australia

Down Under: Prior is currently playing in the Big Bash tournament in Australia

But it was Pietersen’s off-field contribution which impressed Prior most.

‘Kevin was absolutely sensational,’ he said. ‘The public will see he hit 180 in Mumbai, which showed his class, but we all know how good he is and that he can play those match-winning innings.

‘He was fantastic talking to the young players and passing on his experience. Because he’d been to India more than anybody else, he also knew where to go and what restaurants to eat at. Little things like that are incredibly important on a tour to somewhere like India.

‘It wasn’t just Kev who had to make changes, everyone had to. We did that well and proved we’re again a tight unit and can move forward without having to talk about it any more.’

England’s one-day squad, minus the rested Pietersen and the out-of-favour Prior, leave for their five-match tour to India on January 2.

Prior, widely acknowledged as the world’s finest wicketkeeper batsman, remains desperate to reclaim both his one-day and Twenty20 shirt and is spending his time away from the Test team honing his skills in Australia’s Big Bash tournament.

Sarah Story named Dame in New Year Honours List

Fairy Storey! Dame Sarah and Weirwolf head list of Paralympic heroes honoured

|

UPDATED:

00:02 GMT, 29 December 2012

Sarah Storey won Great Britain's first gold medal of a memorable Paralympic Games and has now completed a stunning 2012 by being named a Dame in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Storey, like David Weir, finished with four gold medals from four events and carried the Union Flag at the closing ceremony along with the wheelchair racer, who has been awarded a CBE.

Scroll down for a full list of Paralympic Honours

Stars: Sarah Storey (above) has been named a Dame while David Weir (below) has been awarded a CBE

Stars: Sarah Storey (above) has been named a Dame while David Weir (below) has been awarded a CBE

David Weir celebrates winning Gold during the Men's 800m - T54 Final

Storey has been honoured for a Paralympic career which began as a 14-year-old swimmer in Barcelona in 1992 and featured four Games in the pool before she switched to the bike ahead of the Beijing Games in 2008.

In London, her sixth Games, the 35-year-old from Disley, Cheshire, took her tally to 11 Paralympic gold medals, equalling former wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's haul.

Storey and Weir were Britain's most prolific winners at the Paralympics as the hosts won 34 gold and 120 medals in all, while the nation marvelled at the athletes' ability, forgetting the impairment of an individual and concentrating on the sport.

'Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to be able to accept the DBE,' said Storey, who recently announced she was pregnant.

Laden: Storey won four golds in London

Laden: Storey won four golds in London

'I never expected any additional awards after my sporting success.

'I love competing for my country and that is a huge honour in itself.

'Now to be a dame is beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I cannot thank my family, friends, coaches and support staff over all the years enough for their devotion in helping me to follow the path of becoming the best athlete I can possibly be.'

Weir won the last home gold of a memorable summer with victory in the marathon on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

The 33-year-old from Wallington, Surrey, led the athletics team to a series of stirring triumphs, including for amputee sprinter Jonnie Peacock, who won the blue riband event of the Games, the T44 100metres, ahead of the likes of Oscar Pistorius.

Peacock is awarded an MBE, as are fellow athletes Richard Whitehead, Aled Davies, Mickey Bushell, Hannah Cockroft, Aled Davies and Josie Pearson, who all won Paralympic gold to send a capacity 80,000 Olympic Stadium crowd into raptures.

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds was once again the darling of the Games, dealing with the expectation and her image staring down on all entering the Olympic Park from the Westfield Shopping Centre, by taking two titles before her 18th birthday, four years after two wins as a 13-year-old.

Simmonds is awarded an OBE, an honour also bestowed upon Sophie Christiansen, who won three equestrian gold medals in Greenwich.

She said: 'It's been a great honour to be included in the list which caps an amazing year for me personally and for British sport.'

Natasha Baker won two para-equestrian titles and is awarded an MBE along with Christiansen's team-mates in the team championship Deborah Criddle and Sophie Wells.

Ten-time Paralympic champion Lee
Pearson, the fourth member of the winning quartet, did not receive an
honour, having been made an MBE following the 2008 Games.

Sealed with a kiss: Ellie Simmonds (above) and Jonnie Peacock (below) were also among the gold medals

Sealed with a kiss: Ellie Simmonds (above) and Jonnie Peacock (below) were also among the gold medals

Jonnie Peacock

Storey's husband Barney also did not make the list, despite claiming his third Paralympic title in London.

His tandem partner Neil Fachie was awarded an MBE, as was tandem pilot rider Craig MacLean, who won an Olympic medal in Sydney in 2000 and piloted Anthony Kappes to gold in London.
Like Barney Storey, Kappes was not honoured this time around.

Road cyclist David Stone won road race gold at Brands Hatch, but also missed out on a fresh honour, having already been made an MBE.

All other London 2012 gold medal winners were honoured, with boccia player Nigel Murray given an MBE for his long and distinguished career which has featured two Paralympic titles and bronze in London.

PARALYMPIC ATHLETES HONOURED

DAME

Sarah Storey – cycling

CBE

David Weir – athletics

OBE

Sophie Christiansen – equestrian

Ellie Simmonds – swimming

MBE

Jessica-Jane Applegate – athletics
Natasha Baker – equestrian
Danielle Brown – archery
Mickey Bushell – athletics

Hannah Cockroft – athletics
Mark Colbourne – cycling
Josef Craig – swimming
Deborah Criddle – equestrian
Aled Davies – athleticsNeil Fachie – cycling
Jonathan Fox – swimming
Heather Frederiksen – swimming
Oliver Hynd – swimming
Helena Lucas – sailing
Craig MacLean – cycling
Nigel Murray – boccia
Jonnie Peacock – athletics
Josie Pearson – athletics
Pam Relph – rowing
Naomi Riches – rowing
James Roe – rowing
David Smith – rowing
Lily van den Broecke – rowing
Sophie Wells – equestrian
Richard Whitehead – athletics

Raul Meireles has 11-game spitting ban reduced to four matches

Meireles has 11-match ban for spitting reduced to four games after lodging successful appeal

|

UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 27 December 2012

Fenerbahce midfielder Raul Meireles has had his 11-match ban reduced to four matches on appeal.

The former Chelsea player was hit with the suspension after being accused of spitting at the referee following his red card in the Istanbul derby with Galatasaray.

But the Turkish Football Federation's disciplinary committee ruled the Portugal international did not deliberately spit at Halis Ozkahya.

Scroll down for the video of the incident

Feisty: Raul Meireles remonstrates with the referee and was banned for spitting

Feisty: Raul Meireles remonstrates with the referee and was banned for spitting

It said it was 'physically impossible' for him to have spat as he berated the referee for his sending-off as he was speaking throughout the incident.

The 29-year-old will still have to serve a four-game ban because of his verbal attack on the referee.

Meireles confronted Ozkahya after he was given a second yellow card in the second half of the 2-1 defeat. It was claimed then that he spat at the official while also making a homophobic gesture.

Cleared: Meireles will still have to serve a four-match ban for his verbal attack on the referee

Cleared: Meireles will still have to serve a four-match ban for his verbal attack on the referee

Speaking after the match, the 29-year-old vehemently denied the claims.
He said: 'I'm really annoyed at being accused of spitting at the referee. I have an eight year old kid, can you imagine if kids at school start saying your father spat at a ref, this could ruin my reputation in the eyes of my child.

'I have many gay friends who I deeply respects. The hand gesture I made is directed at the referee caving in to the pressure of the home fans.

'That hand gesture was to tell him he was scared. Look at my hairstyle, what I wear, I'm not a prejudice person, my hand gesture was in no way, shape or form a homophobic one'

Meireles, who joined Fener from Chelsea in the summer, had vehemently denied the accusations and vowed to prove his innocence.

VIDEO: Watch the incident during the Istanbul derby