Thursday, February 07, 2008

The circus is leaving town

Premier to play fixtures overseas

"The English Premier League is considering playing some matches overseas, BBC Sport has learned.

At a meeting in London on Thursday, all 20 clubs agreed to explore a proposal to extend the season to 39 games.

Those 10 extra games would be played at venues around the world, with cities bidding for the right to stage them.

It is understood the additional fixtures could be determined by a draw but that the top-five teams could be seeded to avoid playing each other."

This has got to be a joke...if that happens footy is over. It's just a circus after that. 39 games a season? You play everyon ohme and away then well all decamp to Thailand or Kuala Lumpur for a randomly chosen one-off fixture in order to make a bit of extra cash....nah, that'll be it for me.

I THOUGHT this would be the weirdest sporting story of the day until this turned up on the radio on the way home :

"Pakistani cricket captain Shoaib Malik has threatened to sue an Indian family for alleging he married their daughter over the telephone five years ago.

He has accused the Muslim family from the city of Hyderabad of committing an internet marriage fraud against him.

The family says that the marriage took place in June 2002 after a two-month courtship with witnesses on both sides.

When news of the relationship became public in 2005, it was hailed as a love affair that crossed borders.

But now it has turned sour with both sides threatening legal action.

"I was interested in marrying her after she told me she belonged to an Indian Muslim family in Hyderabad and sent me her pictures," Mr Malik told a news conference in Lahore.

He said that although he had spoken to the woman, Ayesha Siddiqui, on the telephone and chatted to her on the internet, they never actually met.

Mr Malik said that he came to realise in 2005 that the girl in the photograph was not who she claimed to be and that the relationship ended in that year.

He said that the Siddiqui family in Hyderabad had tricked him on the internet into believing she was the girl in the picture.

"I can claim with authority that no nikkah [Muslim marriage ceremony] has ever been performed [by me] with a girl having a name of Ayesha," Mr Malik said.

"This is an accusation against me, and I will take legal action, both in India and in Pakistan."

However, The Times of India newspaper has quoted Mohammed Ahmed Siddiqui, the father of the woman, Ayesha, as saying Mr Malik should acknowledge the marriage took place in June 2002 - for which he has proof - and that he should divorce his daughter.

Mr Siddiqui argued that Islamic Sharia laws recognises the exchange of marriage vows over the telephone and has threatened legal action against Mr Malik.

He said that his daughter has been ill since Mr Malik denied his relationship with her.

In 2005, Ayesha told the BBC that the two had met for the first time in Dubai in 2000 where Shoaib had come as a member of a Pakistani team and she was there with her family shopping.

Ayesha recalled that they bumped into each other accidentally at a hotel where she had gone for a meal and had left behind her keys.

A young man came to return the key who she said turned out to be Shoaib.

Shoaib Malik became Pakistan's cricket captain last year after the team's surprise exit from the World Cup. "

Cricket365 - Malik Denies Telephonic Marriage

BBC Sport - Pakistan captain in 'love scam'

Telegraph - Pakistan cricket captain's 'net marriage fraud'

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