Names In The News
League One Ipswich Town striker MICHAEL CHOPRA has been "forced to quit Twitter" after posting a picture of a bag stuffed full of £20 notes. The bag contained "thousands of pounds" and an accompanying message read: "Keep tweeting me about being in debt haha love it #cash #skint #lol #lendmeafiver." The player suffered a "high-profile gambling addiction" and was loaned £250,000 by the club in '11 to help pay debts off (London TELEGRAPH, 2/7). ... Dallas-based SCA Promotions said that it will sue disgraced cyclist LANCE ARMSTRONG to recover more than $12M "it paid him in bonuses for winning the Tour de France seven times" (AP, 2/6). ... Guinea's government has "denied an opposition request" to hold a demonstration in the capital Conakry on Thursday, saying that the "protest would interfere with a visit" by FIFA President SEPP BLATTER (REUTERS, 2/7). ... Liverpool player JAMIE CARRAGHER has announced that "he is to retire at the end of the season." Carragher confirmed that he will continue until the end of the season and will "make no further comment on his future until then" (London GUARDIAN, 2/7).
WHAT A MESS: World Player of the Year LIONEL MESSI has signed a new contract with Barcelona that ties him until June 30, 2018. The Argentinian "penned a deal" agreed in December, which includes a two-year extension on his previous agreement and will keep him at the club until he is 31 (REUTERS, 2/7). Meanwhile, the spotted tuxedo Messi wore to the Ballon D'Or ceremony in January "drew praise and raised eyebrows in equal measure." Messi "seems to like the pattern though" because he was seen in another garment sporting it in the March issue of Esquire. MailOnline fashion editor Deborah Arthurs said that he was "bang on trend" (London DAILY MAIL, 2/6).
OFF THE GREEN: Korean-American rookie on the PGA Tour JAMES HAHN "has become a YouTube hit ahead of the Pebble Beach National Pro Am after his "Gangnam Style" celebration dance of a Sunday birdie." His "birdie dance at the 16th, a grandstand-surrounded hole where rowdy spectators cheer and boo the results of tee shots, stole the show" last week. Hahn said, "I can't believe that I did that" (AFP, 2/7). ... South Korean PGA Tour veteran CHOI KYOUNG-JU has been named as "a recipient of an award for his extensive charity work" off the course. He is the '13 winner of the Golf Writers Association of America's Charlie Bartlett Award (YONHAP, 2/7).