GRANTFIN

Avram Grant suffered more penalty shoot-out heartache with Ghana

FORTUNATELY, it doesn’t happen very often. But once is more than enough and no one has come out well from the abandonment of a Maccabi League football match this past Sunday morning. Referee Steve Russell handed out two red cards as a fight erupted on the pitch early in the second half of a match Jewdinese were winning 6-2, decisions which neither Catford & Bromley nor Jewdinese disagreed with. However, that by all accounts was only the beginning. While describing it as a ‘free-for-all’ would be over-egging the situation, other players did get involved, and I’m reliably informed, it wasn’t to break anything up. While both managers claimed to have been ‘baffled’ by the decision to abandon the game, the referee it seems was left with little choice, given that he knew others had been involved in fighting, but was unable to identify them. If anything positive can come out of this, it’s that both clubs say there is no ill feeling between them, and that both were ‘in good spirits’ afterwards. Which begs the question, why start the broigus in the first place?

YOU CAN’T help but feel for Avram Grant. While most people expressed a sigh of relief when John Terry slipped in Moscow to deny him a Champions League win with Chelsea, his latest penalty shoot-out heartache would have been met with a lot more sympathy from a lot more people. One, possibly two converted penalties away from winning the African Cup of Nations with Ghana, having only been in charge of the side for a couple of months, his side exceeded all expectations in the tournament by reaching the final in the first place. They then went toe-to-toe with the best side Africa has to offer, an Ivory Coast side featuring the likes of Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony, and yes, even Gervinho in a tense final on Sunday. The Ghanaians scored their first two, the Ivorians missed their first two, victory seemed in the bag, only for Grant to witness another monumental slip-up.