Anorak News | Black And White

Black And White

by | 16th, June 2003

‘IT cannot be often that the election of the Barcelona president has led the sports pages over here, but of course any story with just of whiff of David Beckham is big news.

A Black mark for New Zealand rugby

And Joan Laporta’s campaign to take on the top job at the Catalan club was based on a promise to bring the England captain to the city.

Whether he will succeed is another matter, with the Guardian suggesting that Laporta’s success has prompted Real Madrid to make a move for the player.

It quotes reports in Spain, suggesting that Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon and managing director David Gill met with Real director Pedro Lopez on Friday.

But Barcelona, who are prepared to make Beckham the highest-paid footballer in the world, are confident they can get their man.

Vice-president Sandro Rosell has said that, ”given 24 hours with Beckham in Barcelona”, he could persuade him and his wife to move to Catalonia.

It sounds unlikely, however, given that it’ll probably take more than 24 hours just to explain to them where Catalonia is.

Away from football, the Independent leads with more predictable news that Michael Schumacher has recovered from a slow start to the season to take the lead in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship.

The German duly won the Canadian GP yesterday, his fourth victory in the last five races, and now leads Kiki Raikkonen by three points.

Less predictable was England rugby players’ 15-13 victory over the mighty All Blacks – only their second success in New Zealand ever.

But the match – and full-back Josh Lewsey’s face – has been scarred by an incident in which All Black lock Ali Williams was seen stamping on the No.15’s head.

And coach Clive Woodward is furious that Williams has been cleared of foul play by the New Zealand rugby football union.

”If this had been an England player, then I bet we wouldn’t have had the same verdict,” he tells the Telegraph.

The panel decided that the stamp, which required Lewsey to have half a dozen stitches and has left his face looking a bit of a mess, was accidental.

The Telegraph calls the judgement ”ludicrous” and says it sends out the wrong signals.

It recalls that five years ago, All Black lock Ian Jones was cleared of stamping on prop Graham Rowntree, while England lock Danny Grewcock got a five-match ban for kicking an opponent.

There’s one rule for the All Blacks, it seems, and another for the All Whites.

Posted: 16th, June 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink