Former Tottenham man Jamie O’Hara revealed that then-manager Harry Redknapp went “absolutely mental” after an infamous Spurs Christmas party in 2009.Robbie Keane whisked some Spurs players away to Dublin for a knees-up despite knowing Redknapp would not have permitted it.In fact, the former Portsmouth and West Ham manager called a team meeting the day after the party had happened, forbidding the team from having one. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream “I was at Tottenham and we’d organised a Christmas party,” O’Hara, still in the game as player-coach at Billericay Town of the Isthmian League, told TalkSport.“Harry Redknapp hated them and he was really against them.“Robbie Keane had organised this big event in Dublin, and we all went there. Before Harry even knew what was going on we’d had the Christmas party and we were back training on the Monday.“Harry pulled us into a team meeting in the afternoon and said ‘boys I’m just letting you know I don’t want any of you organising a Christmas party this year’, not knowing we’d already had one!”Those involved were soon caught, prompting Redknapp’s rage.The players were spotted out on the town by a photographer and pictures of them partying were in the tabloid press soon after, prompting Redknapp to give O’Hara, Keane and the other men involved the “hairdryer treatment”.“On the Tuesday, the Sun ran the story of us all out in nightclubs in Dublin – literally everyone’s on the back of it.“Harry Redknapp goes absolutely mental. He gave us the hairdryer treatment and let me tell you none of us played that weekend!”After the revelations Redknapp made his anger at the players known in the press, though he acknowledged that things could have been worse.“It will be dealt with I can tell you that,” the then 62-year-old said.“I wouldn’t like to say what I’m going to do but it will be dealt with and then we will move on.“They’ve not been fighting or anything like that. You could go back over some of the other parties that other clubs have had over the years and tell a million stories.“I haven’t had any negative reports about what went on but they didn’t ask my permission so they have to take the consequences, which they will do.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele is out of the Clasico meeting with Real Madrid after he was handed a two-match domestic suspension for his comments towards referee Mateu Lahoz.The France international was sent off in Barca’s 4-0 win over Sevilla, with the referee writing in his official report that Dembele had said to him: “You are so bad.”Lionel Messi and head coach Ernesto Valverde had defended the former Borussia Dortmund star’s actions, claiming that he doesn’t speak Spanish well, suggesting that his punishment should be reduced as a result. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Speaking to RAC1, the Argentine said: “I told the referee that it’s very difficult for Ousmane to say something like that because it’s hard for him to form sentences [in Spanish].”The coach supported me at a press conference. We were surprised that the referee understood him so clearly because it’s still difficult for him to speak Spanish.”However, the Spanish Football Federation has upheld a two-game ban, meaning that Dembele will miss the league matches against Eibar and Real Madrid, subject to any appeal from the Catalans.It is the latest setback in the 22-year-old’s Barcelona career, which has yet to really ignite since moving from Dortmund in the summer of 2017.His debut campaign was plagued by injury, preventing him from earning a consistent run in the starting XI, while last term a succession of minor problems prevented him from gaining a head of steam after scoring eight times in the first 20 league matches of the season.This term, he has been restricted to just four appearances because of further hamstring trouble, which kept him pinned to the sidelines from mid-August until mid-September.He made his return after a minor setback against Sevilla and seemed to be enjoying a strong evening, scoring his first goal of the season, before seeing red for a second caution with just a couple of minutes of the match remaining.Team-mate Ronald Araujo was also dismissed in that encounter, with the young centre-back sent for an early bath for a professional foul. He will be suspended for the clash against Eibar but could potentially play against Madrid if called upon.
An open warrant was reissued today for the arrest of Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya.The warrant was issued over Wickramasuriya’s alleged involvement in the misuse of state funds. The Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) had sough the warrant for Wickramasuriya.Wickramasuriya is out on bail and was granted permission to travel overseas last July but he failed to appear before court since then. As a result an open warrant was issued for his arrest in April this year and it was reissued in July and again in August. (Colombo Gazette)