Footballers have been advised to stop spitting to try and reduce the risk of spreading swine flu will disappoint some players. Here’s a look at the Top 10 spitting incidents in football, which may become a thing of the past if the Health Protection Agency has their way.
10 – Italy and Roma hero Francesco Totti got in trouble after spitting at Denmark’s Christian Poulsen at Euro 2004. He got charged with gross unsporting conduct and banned for three games despite Totti’s lawyer pleading mitigating circumstances.
9 – Former Manchester United ‘keeper Barthez got a six month ban for spitting at a Moroccan referee in 2005 in a friendly for Marseille, and the ban was extended after political pressure.
8 –Yugoslavia’s Sinisa Mihajlovic was banned for eight matches after spitting and kicking at Claude Makelele during a Champions League game in 2003.
7 – In another incident at Euro 2004 Swiss striker Alexander Frei was caught on TV spitting onto the neck of England’s Steven Gerrard. He was banned for three matches and agreed to adopt a llama as punishment.
6 – Former Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce called Christophe Dugarry’s spit at Villa’s Joey Gudjohnsen in the Birmingham derby a “Gallic gesture.” Dugarry claimed in his defence that he was just clearing his throat, but was still fined £12,500.
5 – Senegalese striker El Hadji Diouf has been in the headlines for spitting at Arjan de Zeeuw during Bolton’s Premier League match against Portsmouth, as well as previously been sanctioned for spitting at a Celtic fan. Here’s a video of a special song that fans have sung to celebrate Diouf’s spitting ability:
4 – Former Livepool defender Stephane Henchoz appeared to aim a spit at ex-Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock. Henchoz claimed he spat at the ground and not Warnock though, to which Warnock responded “Henchoz is not English so you have to expect that sort of thing.”
3 – Real Madrid star Christiano Ronaldo appeared to spit at Robbie Savage in Manchester United’s 4-1 FA Cup win over Derby last season. Savage can add that to the abuse he gets from opposition fans.
2 – Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira spat at Neil Ruddock after being sent off for Arsenal vs West Ham in 1999. As a result he was given a six game ban and a £30,000 fine, that’ll teach him.
1 – Holland legend Frank Rijkaard spat at German player Rudi Voller in 1990 World Cup in Italy. Watch out for the ridiculous haircuts as well as the spitting in this video:
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